Former United States astronaut Cmdr. Edgar D. Mitchell, who was a part of NASA's Apollo 14 mission to the Moon, has passed away this week in Hospice in West Palm Beach, Florida at the age of 85.
Perhaps not so ironic as it sounds, Mitchell passed away on the eve of the 45th anniversary of his Lunar landing on February 5th, 1971. He was always a very exploring person, and loved the idea of space travel and took interest in what we might find out there.
"On behalf of the entire NASA family, I would like to express my condolences to the family and friends of NASA astronaut Edgar Mitchell. As a member of the Apollo 14 crew, Edgar is one of only 12 men to walk on the moon and he helped to change how we view our place in the universe,” NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said in a statement.
“He believed in exploration, having been drawn to NASA by President Kennedy’s call to send humans to the moon. He is one of the pioneers in space exploration on whose shoulders we now stand.”
Mitchell was the sixth man to walk on the surface of the Moon, out of only 12 lucky astronauts who’ve been given the opportunity to step foot there, where he spent a good nine hours for the good of science and humanity collecting data and rocks to be examined more closely on Earth later on.
Mitchell is pictured here, standing beside a United States flag on the Moon’s surface:
On his mission, he visited the Moon along with Alan Shepard and Stuart Roosa. The team stayed on the Moon for 33 hours before having to return back to Earth.