6th Man on Moon Edgar Mitchell, Dies at 85 on Eve of 45th Lunar Landing Anniversary

Apollo 14 astronaut crew, including Moonwalkers Alan B. Shepard Jr., mission commander (first) and Edgar D. Mitchell, lunar module pilot (last), and Stuart A. Roosa, command module pilot (middle) walk out to the astrovan bringing them to the launch pad at NASA's Kennedy Space Center.    Credit: Julian Leek

NASA astronaut Edgar Mitchell, the 6th man to walk on the Moon, passed away on Thursday, Feb. 4, on the eve of the 45th anniversary of his Apollo 14 mission lunar landing.Mitchell passed away in West Palm Beach, Fla., just 1 day prior to the 45th anniversary of the Feb. 5, 1971 landing of Apollo 14’s Lunar Module “Antares.” Mitchell was accompanied by Apollo 14 commander Alan Shephard, Jr., the first American in space, for the descent to the Moon’s surface inside “Antares.”Meanwhile the third Apollo 14 crewmember command module pilot Stuart A. Roosa, flew solo in orbit around the moon while remaining inside the Command and Service Module “Kitty Hawk” during the lunar landing trek by his two crewmates.Shephard and Mitchell safely touched down in the Fra Mauro highlands on Feb. 5, 1971 and spent a record 33 hours on the Moon. “It’s the 45th Anniv of the #Apollo14 landing on the moon & yesterday we lost another Lunar Pioneer Edgar Mitchell,” tweeted Buzz Aldrin, the second man to walk on the Moon along with humanities first moon walker Neil Armstrong, during the Apollo 11 mission in 1969.Apollo 14 marked NASA’s third successful lunar landing mission, following the ill fated Apollo 13 mission, which abandoned its originally planned third moon landing flight after a sudden in flight emergency and explosion in the service module on the way to the Moon.Apollo 14 launched on Jan. 31, 1971 from launch pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center.Altogether only 12 humans, all American’s, have walked on the Moon during a total of six NASA lunar landing missions in the 1960s and 1970s. No human has visited the Moon since the Apollo 17 lunar landing in 1972.”On behalf of the entire NASA family, I would like to express my condolences to —> Read More