Saturday, February 6, 2016

To Absent Friends - Edgar Mitchell

Edgar Mitchell

A news obituary in the Post-Gazette reports of the death of Edgar Mitchell at the age of 85.  Like many of you, if you had asked me "Who was Edgar Mitchell?" I would have drawn a blank, which is too bad when you consider Mr. Mitchell's greatest accomplishment in a life that was filled with them.  

In February, 1971, Apollo Astronaut Mitchell, a graduate Carnegie Tech (now Carnegie Mellon University) in Pittsburgh, landed the Apollo 14 lunar module on the surface of the moon, and he became the sixth man to set foot upon the lunar surface, one of only twelve such men to do so.  It was an amazing feat, and it's too bad that the names of these men have slipped from our minds and into the sometimes dusty recesses of history.

With Mitchell's death, seven lunar explorers remain alive.  They are Buzz Aldrin, Alan Bean, David Scott, John Young, Charles Duke, Gene Cernan, and Harrison Schmitt.  The youngest of these surviving moon walkers are Duke and Schmitt, both of whom will turn 81 in 2016.

And while we are at it, let's also remember those Men of Apollo who walked on the moon who are no longer with us.  In addition to Mitchell, they are Neil Armstrong, Pete Conrad, Alan Shepard, and Jim Irwin.

RIP Edgar Mitchell.

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