A Country Boy Can Survive…On The Space Shuttle: John Watts Young, STS-1 Edition

“Dang. NASA is messin’ up mah hair.” Super-tousled John from 1981 in early shuttle-era pressure suit. NASA photo. 

“Now ah am a painting. Aw shucks.” “When Thoughts Turn Inward,” 1982. Painting by Henry Casselli.

“Now ah am an inaction figure. Aw shucks.” John in full STS-1 regalia as a painted figurine. 

“Dang. Ah think Bob is really tan.” STS-1 pilot Bob Crippen and John at a press conference, 1978. 

“Imma gonna fly the hell out of this shuttle rascal.” Crippen and Young swagger their way into spaceflight history, April 12, 1981.
All photos (save for painted figurine) courtesy of NASA; painting by Henry Casselli.

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.


Picture of Emily Carney

Emily Carney

Leave a Comment

future 1

Don't Miss a Beat!

Be the first to know when new articles are posted!

Follow Us On Social Media


Give The Gift Of Space: Membership For Friends and Family

Book Review


ISDC 2024:

International Space Development Conference May 23rd-26th, 2024


Image of Kalpana One space settlement courtesy Bryan Versteeg, spacehabs.com $32,000 in Cash Awards Given for Best Space-Related Business Plans — Deadline March 1, 2024

Category: Nonfiction Reviewed by: John J. Vester Title: Nuclear Rockets: To the Moon and Mars Author: Manfred “Dutch” von Ehrenfried Format: Paperback/Kindle Pages: 270 Publisher:

Partially Successful Flight Reached Space and Demonstrated New “Hot Staging” System The National Space Society congratulates SpaceX on the second test of its Starship/Super Heavy

Ad Astra, the NSS quarterly print, digital, and audio magazine, has won a 2023 MARCOM Gold Award. The awards are given yearly for “Excellence in

By Jennifer Muntz, NSS Member Coordinator On October 10th, an inspiring breakfast event took flight at the Center for Space Education at the Kennedy Space

By Grant Henriksen NSS Policy Committee Benefit sharing is a concept that refers to the distribution of benefits derived from the exploration and use of

People residing and working in space, space settlements, or on long-duration space flights will need to produce infrastructures and food to maintain healthy lifestyles. The

Image: Artist’s concept of the Blue Moon lander. Credit: Blue Origin. Second Human Landing System Contract Encourages Competition and Innovation The National Space Society congratulates