John Watts Young

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Young, John Watts


Born Sept. 24, 1930, in San Francisco. US pilot and astronaut. Captain in the US Navy.

After receiving a bachelor of science degree from the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, Young began his service in the navy. He was a test pilot from 1959 to 1962. In 1962 he set world time-to-climb records in a fighter plane for altitudes of 3 km and 25 km. In the same year he was named to the astronaut corps of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

On Mar. 23, 1965, Young was V. Grissom’s copilot aboard the Gemini 3 spacecraft, which made three orbits around the earth. The flight lasted 4 hr 53 min. Young flew with M. Collins from July 18 to July 21, 1966, as commander of the Gemini 10 spacecraft. During its mission, which lasted 70 hr 46 min, Gemini 10 docked with Agena 10 and rendezvoused with Agena 8.

Between May 18 and May 26, 1969, Young flew to the vicinity of the moon as the pilot of the Apollo 10 command and service module; the other crew members were T. Stafford and E. Cernan. The module remained in low lunar orbit for 61 hr 40 min. On its 32nd orbit, Apollo 10 began the return journey to earth. The mission lasted 192 hr 3 min.

Between Apr. 16 and Apr. 27, 1972, as commander of the Apollo 16 spacecraft, Young flew to the moon with C. Duke and T. Mattingly. Carrying Young and Duke, the craft’s lunar module landed on the moon’s surface on April 21, in the Descartes region. Young spent 71 hr 2 min on the moon, including three excursions outside the lunar module that totaled 20 hr 14 min. Young and Duke used a lunar rover for moving about the surface.

During his four flights into space, Young accrued 533 hr 33 min of flight time.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.