Apollo 15 astronaut Al Worden dies at 88

NASA shows astronauts Al Worden center Dave Scott left and Jim Irwin in the Command Module for an altitude chamber test at Cape Canaveral Fla

Worden, Scott and Irwin never flew again following the lunar mission after being reprimanded by NASA for a participating in an unauthorized plan to bring hundreds of postage stamp covers with them to the moon to be sold later to collectors.

Retired astronaut Al Worden, who was once called the "loneliest human being" because of his role as Apollo 15's command module pilot in 1971, died in his sleep in Houston on Tuesday night at the age of 88, his family announced.

Worden circled the moon in the command module while fellow astronauts Jim Irwin and David Scott explored the surface.

Apollo 15 was Worden's only space mission.

Worden was born February 7, 1932, in Jackson, Michigan.


Correction for 6:25 p.m. PT March 18: We've corrected the designation of Worden's mission in one reference. "Not for a closer look at the Moon, but to look back at our home, the Earth", Bridenstine added.

Worden graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1955.

Later in his career, Worden was a senior scientist at NASA's Ames Research Center in Mountain View, Calif., and an executive at BF Goodrich Aerospace in Brecksville, Ohio.

"His multiple appearances on the children's program Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood have surely fueled the desire of many children to pursue a career in the same vein as him and to become future leaders in exploration", said Bridenstine. He went on to study engineering and earn two master's degrees from the University of MI.

He became an astronaut in 1966, says his NASA biography.

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