Author Topic: John Young has passed away  (Read 11175 times)

Offline Rocket Science

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Re: John Young has passed away
« Reply #60 on: 01/07/2018 07:56 PM »
John was rarely if ever at a loss for words... Gold bless him...
"The laws of physics are unforgiving"
~Rob: Physics instructor, Aviator, Vintage auto racer

Online Ben the Space Brit

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Re: John Young has passed away
« Reply #61 on: 01/07/2018 08:06 PM »
A hero's hero. For so long a fixture of NASA and the manned space program that it's hard to visualise talking about him prefaced by 'the late...'
"Oops! I left the silly thing in reverse!" - Duck Dodgers

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The Space Shuttle Program - 1981-2011

The time for words has passed; The time has come to put up or shut up!
DON'T PROPAGANDISE, FLY!!!

Offline DwightM

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Re: John Young has passed away
« Reply #62 on: 01/07/2018 08:40 PM »
Like many others, he was my favorite.  To a young space enthusiast John Young was the quintessential astronaut.  I was transfixed during the time of STS 1, and learning that he was on the moon when my little brother was born just capped it off for this kid.  Many good words have been said about his legacy, may we all strive to go so far.  Rest in peace Captain, Godspeed John Young.

Offline Hog

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Re: John Young has passed away
« Reply #63 on: 01/07/2018 09:55 PM »
No STS-1 Return To Launch Site for John Young. 

John Young, expressed that “RTLS requires continuous miracles interspersed with acts of God to be successful.”

RIP, Sir.
Paul

Offline MATTBLAK

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Re: John Young has passed away
« Reply #64 on: 01/08/2018 04:39 AM »
His passing barely got 30 seconds on the major news networks yesterday. Terrible; but considering the so-called politics of the era we are currently in, totally unsurprising... :'( >:(
« Last Edit: 01/08/2018 04:40 AM by MATTBLAK »
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Online Oersted

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Re: John Young has passed away
« Reply #65 on: 01/08/2018 02:59 PM »
Privileged to say I was at the first Space Shuttle launch commanded by John Young.

Wauw, must have been amazing. What were your impressions of the day? Any surprises?

Offline catdlr

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Re: John Young has passed away
« Reply #66 on: 01/10/2018 05:11 AM »
In honor of John Young I'm going to post the complete STS-1 Full Mission video coverage as provided by YouTube member lunarmodule5 in this thread: http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=1033.msg1769765#msg1769765
« Last Edit: 01/10/2018 05:14 AM by catdlr »
Tony De La Rosa

Online jacqmans

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Re: John Young has passed away
« Reply #67 on: 01/12/2018 12:47 PM »
NASA astronaut John Young was remembered in a ceremony at the Heroes and Legends exhibit at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. The brief memorial took place on the afternoon of Jan. 11, 2018. Young died Jan. 5, 2018, in Houston at the age of 87. He was the only astronaut to fly in NASA's Gemini, Apollo and Space Shuttle Programs.

Photo credit: NASA/ Frank Michaux

Online jacqmans

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Re: John Young has passed away
« Reply #68 on: 01/12/2018 12:48 PM »

Online jacqmans

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Re: John Young has passed away
« Reply #69 on: 01/12/2018 12:49 PM »

Offline dawei

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Re: John Young has passed away
« Reply #70 on: 01/15/2018 04:51 PM »
Just want to express a belated tribute to my childhood hero John Young.  I was 12 years old when he commanded STS-1 and I have been hooked on spaceflight ever since.  I never had the honor to meet him but I have always held him in the highest respect.  My condolences to his family and friends and may we never forget his contributions to human spaceflight.

Offline 807chris

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Re: John Young has passed away
« Reply #71 on: 01/18/2018 01:29 AM »
It has been a long while since posting and pardon this long message about the passing of John Young. However, I was quite surprised at the tempered reaction from some close to aviation and aerospace. Got me thinking. Can a case be made for Young as the top of the pyramid guy. Sent this note to a few friends. Now post it here.

---------------

I was speaking with folks about John Young’s death the other day. And we said the things people usually say, like “it happens to the best of us”. But that’s just it. That’s ground zero. Literally. The more I think about it, he was exactly and specifically the best of us. Sure, many of us can be “remember when” types who overly romanticize a swashbuckling past through grandiose rose colored lenses. And yes, I do lament drifting away from the blend of cowboy ethics and barnstorming gusto which defined so much of our last 100 years. But, perhaps there is more significance here. Perhaps his passing was more of a milestone than it seems at first blush. Maybe it is more than, “we all gotta go sometime” or “what a hero”.

Young wasn’t just a guy, he may have been the guy. Maybe in the final calculus Young is the top of the pyramid guy. Not just one of the best of them. The head honcho himself. And not by some last man standing attrition or rotation. His docile demeanor and folksy minimalism blanch the possibility that he uniquely was made of the most righteous stuff. There may be no need for a national holiday or special cross promotional Starbucks brew. However, as the ranks of his ilk evaporate we may want to realize how rarely special these fellas were. No one alive today may ever see anything like it again. Frontiers aren’t that easy to come by.

History put us at the right time and place where it would be raw moxie that made the difference because in no way were we prepared or ready to thrust off to the stars. Two centuries ago it was the American West, two centuries before that it was the new world, and the beat goes on. The test pilot’s creed of “Ad Explorata” has described a special breed for centuries. Toward the unexplored. That’s what drove John Young. He wasn’t just a hot shoe looking for a thrill riding rockets. He was just as in love with exploration and did what he did to push us further out there. And that meant taking a risk so obscenely huge it is numbing in retrospect.

Wilbur and Orville knew more about what they were getting into on the windy sands of Kitty Hawk than the two astronauts strapped into the Space Shuttle for its maiden flight in 1981. John Young punched his own ticket to command the mission as head of the astronaut office, alongside him was rookie Robert Crippen. Simply put, it was the greatest “all balls out” testflight in the history of anything with wings or engines. The most complex flying machine ever devised and the most un-tested.

In a departure with every manned program that had come before it, not one major component was flight proven. There could be no un-manned shakedown runs as there had been in the past. Computers were not yet up to the task of handling something so daunting. Someone was just going to have to get in the beast and fly it. That would require conquering more firsts than anything before or since.

Nothing like it had ever existed. Some engineers will tell you building the shuttle was magnitudes more difficult than landing on the moon. The record suggests it’s true. The technology wasn’t there yet. The experience wasn’t there yet. The shuttle was a leap into future we had no business attempting. Just the thing steely eyed missile men overconfident from their ongoing lunar conquests are apt to tackle. Matter of fact, John Young and Charlie Duke were saluting old glory on the surface of the moon the very day NASA got the green light to make the shuttle happen.

It did not go well. Nearly every system was beyond the cutting edge. Airframe, heat shield, engines, design, size, flight profile and goals were all vastly unlike anything preceding. While 3 Apollo astronauts were getting plucked out of the ocean from single use Volkswagen Beetle sized capsules, a shuttle crew of 7 would fly back to earth in a Mach 25 glider roughly the size of a DC-9 with the idea of being ready to launch again in only 2 weeks. 

Those damn engines. Why were they exploding all the time? Pound for pound still the most powerful rocket motors ever made. Guzzling liquid hydrogen. Designed for 100 flights each. That’s 99 more than anything flying at the time. There would be no flying though until they stopped violently and abruptly disassembling during static fire tests. That is a kind way to say blowing themselves to bits. And even if you did get a few good tests, were they ready? Were the Rocketdyne RS-25’s ready to be ridden?

When congress pressured the budget NASA had no choice but to strap the shuttle to the side of its gigantic hydrogen tank to allow a parallel burn configuration with solid rocket boosters. Christ. Solids? You are going to put people on top of solids? There is no way to turn those fuckers off once lit. You’re locked in for 2 minutes of rough riding. Biggest firecrackers in the world. Biggest solids ever made. Only ones ever to launch crews.

The shuttles long gliding re-entry meant prolonged exposure to atmospheric friction which creates 3,000 degree heat. A hot airframe made of titanium or other advanced metals would be the ideal choice but weight would only allow a cold airframe of buttery soft aluminum. This would have to be protected by something invented exclusively for the shuttle, silica based tiles, a fancy word for quartz sand. Each one machined to the precise contours it was to cover. Only one problem, why are they not sticking to the shuttle? Why are these things falling off? Hell. When Columbia was flown from North American Rockwell’s Palmdale California factory to the Kennedy Space Center to undergo its first pre-launch processing heat shield tiles came unglued and rained parts across this country’s breadbasket, just from the 300 miles per hour cruise perched atop a 747. Orbit? Mach 25? Hmm.

So, the delays stacked up. Months became years. The miracle makers at NASA were not used to scrutiny, questions and failures. There was talk of just axing the entire program. Leaving the country with 14 billion dollars of nothing and no other options. As it was, we had not flown in space for six years. There was still great concern about the Soviets.

At some point, the individual parts stopped failing or at least stop failing as often. The most complicated piece of space hardware likely to ever be built was rolled out to the launch pad and it was time to go. There was no advanced computer modeling to let folks know how it would go, but they would go. The projections they had turned out to be wrong anyway. Engineers misjudged the amount of sound suppression water hosing the pad during ignition allowing powerful shockwaves to slam back into the orbiter. Columbia was potentially mortally damaged even before the explosive bolts released it to ascend. Unknown to Young, Crippen and NASA were parts bent beyond their structural tolerances. And those engines, those glorious engines that would go on to never terminally fail during 135 flights, out performed all expectations lofting the shuttle higher and faster than calculated. The fatal flaws that later killed two crews were there too, lurking hidden in wait to strike at a more painfully unexpected time.

There was no viable means of escape or abort during a shuttle mission, especially ascent. Previous space travelers had ejection seats or launch escape towers ready to pull them away to safety from a self destructing booster. No one in the astronaut corps dare whisper that shuttle ejection seats were window dressing for wives and the press. Fly it back or die in it.

Two days later, after a tortuous communication blackout which prevents radio contact during re-entry, the first shuttle pilots would do just that. Deadstick landing. One try is all you get. Science fiction becomes science fact. Men had actually flown back from space with wings, the way God intended it.

And there is John Young. Known to forever be cool as a cucumber. The only person to command four different types of spacecraft. Whose heart rate never ventured above 70 beats per minute while saddled up on the mighty Saturn 5 rocket on his way to land on the moon. There he is, running around the shuttle after landing like a kid who just pitched the little league championship, more excited than you’ve ever seen any astronaut or pilot...or kid after a little league win.

It is really tough to understand the gravity of all this free from the distortion of history. The best hopes and dreams of the shuttle program were never realized. Rather than a lasting step further into the solar system it became a program in search of a purpose. Young and those around him believed as explorers they were driving the golden spike.

Even before the Challenger explosion delivered NASA an icy sobering lesson in confirmation bias, it was clear the thing would not work as intended. Shuttles would always remain experimental vehicles. The loss of confidence and support stopped many projects. Operational spaceflight to open the heavens to a new wave of Magellans would have to wait. We are still waiting. But it is hard to imagine that when it does happen it will be as daring and nor should it be. We now have the tools to better model outcome and the cocky bravado once required would now be regarded as silly rather than brave.

But there was a time we should not be quick to forget. And there are people who we should burn the flame for. They are from a time when we could not or just did not want to wait.
« Last Edit: 01/18/2018 03:47 AM by 807chris »
C.A.M.

Online Oersted

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Re: John Young has passed away
« Reply #72 on: 01/19/2018 08:14 PM »
Beautiful write-up.

Offline 807chris

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Re: John Young has passed away
« Reply #73 on: 01/20/2018 06:48 PM »
Thank you Oersted.

Just trying to keep the flame burning.

Never had the chance to meet Young. But I did make it to the STS-9 launch as a kid.
C.A.M.

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