Russell Lewis

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

There was a beautiful moment at the Olympics last night that might have gone unnoticed. Two U.S. athletes won medals for the first time. But that is not the story, as NPR's Russell Lewis reports from Pyeongchang.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

John Young, who was one of NASA's most experienced astronauts and the first to fly in space six times, including a moon landing, died on Friday after complications from pneumonia. He was 87.

In NASA's history, few astronauts were more accomplished than John Young. His career was filled with firsts: he was the first to fly in space six times. He was on the first Gemini mission and he commanded the first shuttle flight. (He was also one of 12 people to walk on the moon.)

NASA astronaut Bruce McCandless has died at the age of 80, NASA announced Friday. You may not know his name, but you most likely have seen him in one of the most famous pictures ever taken in space. In 1984, McCandless strapped on a jet-powered backpack and flew away from the shuttle, by himself, untethered, with Earth as a backdrop. It was the first time an astronaut had ever floated freely in space; McCandless had helped develop the technology.

Astronaut Dick Gordon who flew to the moon but never got a chance to walk on the surface has died at his California home at age 88, according to NASA.

NASA Administrator Robert Lightfoot said, "Dick will be fondly remembered as one of our nation's boldest flyers, a man who added to our own nation's capabilities by challenging his own. He will be missed."

Nothing like waiting until the last minute — or, in this case, the final game — of World Cup qualifying to see if the U.S. Men's National Soccer Team will make next year's tournament in Russia.

A lot is on the line for the U.S. squad: The team has made the last seven tournaments. When it comes to the world's biggest sporting event, there are a lot of numbers. Consider:

  • The World Cup is played every four years and qualifying takes two years.

The U.S. women's national soccer team got some disappointing (and not unexpected) news Friday — it fell out of first place in the FIFA world rankings for the first time in years. The demotion follows a last-place finish in a U.S.-hosted tournament of some of the world's best teams earlier this month.

The last person to leave footprints on the moon has died. NASA reported that Gene Cernan died Monday at the age of 82, surrounded by his family.

Gene Cernan flew in space three times, including twice to the moon. Cernan was big, brash and gregarious. And if he hadn't been lucky, he could have missed his chance to walk on the moon.

Updated 5 p.m. ET

The first American to orbit the Earth has died. John Glenn was the last surviving member of the original Mercury astronauts. He would later have a long political career as a U.S. senator, but that didn't stop his pioneering ways.

Glenn made history a second time in 1998, when he flew aboard the shuttle Discovery to become the oldest person to fly in space.

Glenn was 95 when he died; he had been hospitalized in an Ohio State University medical center in Columbus since last week.

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