A Legacy Not Forgotten

January 3, 2020

Georgia Tech graduate John Young remembered as the most experienced astronaut in history

Photo, John Young dressed in spacesuit boarding Gemini 10

John Young boards Gemini 10 on launch day (July 18, 1966).

John Young was the most experienced astronaut in history - the only person to go into space as part of the Gemini, Apollo and space shuttle programs. On the anniversary of his death, the College remembers the astronaut and all he did to advance space exploration. He was the first astronaut to fly six times (seven including his liftoff from the Moon during Apollo 16).

Young graduated from Georgia Tech in 1952 (aeronautical engineering) and was selected by NASA for its second class of astronauts 10 years after leaving campus in 1962. It was the beginning of his 42-year career at NASA. He flew to space for the first time in 1965 on Gemini 3 and would return the next year as commander of the Gemini 10 mission. In May 1969, Young flew to the Moon aboard Apollo 10. He and his crewmates scouted landing sites from lunar orbit and tested all procedures and components of the lunar and command modules. It served as a full dress rehearsal for the Apollo 11 landing two months later.

Young returned to the Moon as commander of Apollo 16 in April 1972, this time spending three nights on the surface and driving 16 miles in a lunar rover. He’s one of 12 people ever to walk on the Moon and the only Georgia Tech graduate to do so. Young was at the helm for the first space shuttle mission, STS-1, when Columbia rose into the sky in April 1981. He served as commander again for STS-9 in 1983 for his final spaceflight. Young retired from NASA in 2004.

Young received an honorary doctoral degree from Georgia Tech in 2003.

Today, we take a moment to remember John Young and reflect on the progress of space exploration research in the College since his passing. 

The Legacy of John Young (AE, 1952)

Helping Georgia’s Students Take Flight

How the Georgia Space Grant Consortium is supporting the state’s aerospace industry and helping students shoot for the stars

Dr. Stephen Ruffin, director of GSGC and professor in the School of Aerospace Engineering at Georgia Tech

Dr. Stephen Ruffin, director of GSGC and professor in the School of Aerospace Engineering at Georgia Tech

It Came from Outer Space

Aerospace engineer Brian Gunter discusses space exploration at Georgia Tech and his small satellite missions that make it possible.


It Came from Outer Space Podcast

The Next Generation of Space Exploration

Wilton Rooks, MSAE '62 Shares a Very Different Apollo Space Program Story

Wilton Rooks' memories of the Apollo program come from a very different time in our country's history. It was also a very different time to be studying aerospace engineering at Georgia Tech.

Prof. E. Glenn Lightsey: Exploring the Big World of Small Sats

As the world gathers to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11's mission to the moon, AE professor E. Glenn Lightsey is marveling at another revolution - the small satellite - that is shaping the next chapter of space technology and exploration.

Recent News

2 researchers

National Security Research Fueled By Partnership

New program to foster research collaboration between academic faculty and Georgia Tech Research Institute scientists
Jun 14 2021
Asif Khan headshot

Khan Chosen for DARPA Young Faculty Award

ECE Assistant Professor Asif Khan has been chosen for a DARPA Young Faculty Award.
Jun 11 2021
John Cressler and Justin Romberg headshots

Cressler, Romberg Honored with Prestigious IEEE Medals

John D. Cressler and Justin K. Romberg, both faculty members from the Georgia Tech School of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE), have been awarded with two of the most prestigious honors presented by the IEEE, the world’s largest technical professional organization dedicated to advancing technology for the benefit of humanity.
Jun 7 2021
Jonathan Fitch headshot

From Side Hustle to Successful Business: ISyE Student Jonathan Fitch and Next Gen Integration, LLC

Third-year Industrial and Systems Engineering student Jonathan Fitch's side hustle has transformed into a growing and successful business called Next Gen Integration, LLC. 
Jun 7 2021
Samuel Graham headshot

Samuel Graham Selected as Dean of Engineering at University of Maryland

18-year faculty member to begin new role Oct 1
Jun 3 2021