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Crip’s all business, while John is a clown. STS-1 25th anniversary talk, 2006. 

If you ever had doubts about John Young’s comedy prowess, watch this clip here (it’s 53 minutes long, so get some tea and a snack). 

Highlights:
  • John discusses what would have happened if software hadn’t canceled out aerodynamic sideslip on STS-1 (“You’d still be lookin’ for us…”);
  • Calls modern lunar/interplanetary landing techniques for “a bunch of sissies”;
  • Just watch the entire clip. Seriously. The whole thing is hilarious. “How many of y’all worked on Gemini?”
I just reread Andrew Smith’s book, Moondust, and giggled at John all over again. He was blatantly trolling the poor interviewer there by not looking at him and basically being a smartass, but it had a great result. John’s contribution is one of the greatest parts of the book and I think revealed the most about him (well, more than other books have, but his memoir is on its way…). Viva John forever!

Pool partiez, 1969. Life magazine photo.

Emily Carney is a writer, space enthusiast, and creator of the This Space Available space blog, published since 2010. In January 2019, Emily’s This Space Available blog was incorporated into the National Space Society’s blog. The content of Emily’s blog can be accessed via the This Space Available blog category.

Note: The views expressed in This Space Available are those of the author and should not be considered as representing the positions or views of the National Space Society.

 

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