Larry Young

Laurence Young, professor emeritus of astronautics and renowned expert in bioastronautics, dies at 85, MIT

"Laurence R. Young '57, SM '59, ScD '62, the Apollo Program Professor Emeritus of Astronautics and professor of health sciences and technology at MIT, died peacefully at his home in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on Aug. 4 after a long illness. He was 85. ... While he never flew a space mission, he served as backup crew (alternate payload specialist) on Spacelab Life Sciences-2 (STS-58) and was principal or co-investigator on seven shuttle missions conducting human orientation experiments."

Keith's note: Where do I start. Larry was one of the first real, by gosh, space life scientists I ever met - even before I arrived at the old NASA Life Science Division at NASA HQ in 1987. Over the coming decades, whether I was running centrifuge efforts at Space Station Freedom, covering NASA online, enduring advisory committee meetings, hanging out at NASA conferences, shuttle launches, peer review panels, or eating lobster in Woods Hole, there was Larry. He was everywhere doing everything, I always looked forward to regular chats with Larry. He was always interested in what you had to say and was never, ever shy about telling you what he thought. And nothing ever seemed to bum him out. Speaking of bums, in addition to his immense career in space life sciences he was a certifiably crazy ski bum. Larry was always in motion.

A few years ago we were gossiping in the hallway at some event. Indeed, I swear Larry was one of the best people to gossip with in the hallway when a meeting was boring since he was always much more interesting. At some point I mentioned our mutual friends Mel Averner and Dick Keefe who had died recently. I started to tear up. So did Larry. We missed our friends. Now I am really going to miss Larry too. The people who created space biomedical sciences are leaving us far too fast. This MIT bio of Larry only scratches the surface.

Ad astra my friend.

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This page contains a single entry by Keith Cowing published on August 26, 2021 11:06 PM.

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