John W. Young (1930-2018), born on Sept. 24, was NASA’s longest-serving astronaut and the only astronaut to fly missions in the Gemini, Apollo and Space Shuttle Programs. In this 1965 photo, Young performs last-minute checks before the Gemini III mission’s March 23 launch. Young was the pilot on this flight, which was commanded by Gus Grissom.
Young began his impressive career at NASA in 1962, when he was selected for NASA’s second astronaut class, known as the “New Nine.” He walked on the Moon during Apollo 16 and commanded STS-1, the first space shuttle mission. Young commanded the Gemini X mission, which prepared for Apollo by demonstrating rendezvous and docking with target spacecraft, and was Command Module Pilot of the Apollo 10 mission, which orbited the Moon and scouted landing sites.
Image Credit: NASA