Former astronaut Al Worden, command module pilot on the Apollo 15 lunar landing, passed away March 18, 2020, in Texas.
As command module pilot, Worden stayed in orbit while commander David Scott and lunar module pilot Jim Irwin explored the Moon’s Hadley Rille and Appennine Mountains. Apollo 15’s command module, dubbed Endeavour, was the first to have its own module of scientific instruments. During the flight back from the Moon, Worden made three spacewalks to retrieve film from cameras in the module. Altogether, Worden logged more than 295 hours in space.
In this image, Worden relaxes in the life raft while awaiting a helicopter pickup after the successful splashdown of the Apollo 15 spacecraft.
Worden was born Feb. 7, 1932, in Jackson, Michigan. He was appointed to the United States Military Academy at West Point, graduating in 1955. He earned master of science degrees in astronautical/aeronautical engineering and instrumentation engineering from the University of Michigan in 1963. In 1971, the University of Michigan awarded him an honorary doctorate of science in astronautical engineering.
Before becoming an astronaut, Worden was an instructor at the Aerospace Research Pilots School. He had also served as a pilot and armament officer from March 1957 to May 1961 with the 95th Fighter Interceptor Squadron at Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland.
Worden was one of 19 astronauts selected by NASA in April 1966. He served as a member of the astronaut support crew for Apollo 9 and as backup command module pilot for Apollo 12.
After leaving the astronaut corps, Worden moved to NASA’s Ames Research Center in Mountain View, California. He was the Senior Aerospace Scientist there from 1972-73, and then chief of the Systems Study Division until 1975.
After retirement from active duty in 1975, Worden became President of Maris Worden Aerospace, Inc., and was Vice-President of BF Goodrich Aerospace Brecksville, Ohio, in addition to other positions within the aerospace and aviation industries. Worden wrote several books: a collection of poetry, “Hello Earth: Greetings from Endeavour” in 1974; a children’s book, “I Want to Know About a Flight to the Moon”, also in 1974; and a memoir, “Falling to Earth,” in 2011. His interest in educating children about space led to an appearance on “Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood”.
在1975年从现役退休后，Worden担任Maris Worden Aerospace，Inc.的总裁，并担任俄亥俄州BF Goodrich Aerospace Brecksville的副总裁，此外还担任航空航天行业的其他职位。沃登写了几本书：1974年的诗集《你好，地球：来自奋进的问候》。也是在1974年出版的儿童读物“我想知道关于飞往月球的事”；以及2011年的回忆录《坠落的地球》。他对教育儿童太空知识的兴趣导致他在“太空先生：罗杰斯的邻居”节目中露面。