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    Chief Astronaut John Young Appointed to New Post

    NASA Press RELEASE NO. 87-018 - April 15, 1987
    John W. Young today was appointed by JSC Director Aaron Cohen as Special Assistant to the Center Director for Engineering, Operations and Safety.

    In his new position, Young will have direct and immediate access to the Center Director and other senior managers to aid in the timely definition and resolution of issues affecting the safe return to flight of the Space Shuttle.

    Cohen said, "John Young's acceptance of this new responsibility will strengthen the link between operational and engineering elements at the Johnson Space Center. John's extensive flight experience coupled with his engineering background and his solid judgment on flight safety will be particularly important in returning the Shuttle to flight status.

    Young will also advise the Center Director on engineering, operational and safety aspects of Space Station and new initiatives such as the second generation shuttle and the national aerospace plane.

    As the United States' most experienced astronaut, with six space missions spanning the Gemini, Apollo and Space Shuttle eras, Young will remain eligible to command future Shuttle astronaut crews.

    Henry Hartsfield, Deputy Chief of the Astronaut Office, will assume Young's Astronaut Office duties until his permanent successor is selected, which is expected to be announced in the next few weeks.

    Young, 56, has been Chief of the Astronaut Office since January 1974. He was among the second group of astronauts selected by NASA in September 1962. He is a retired captain in the U.S. Navy.
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