NASA Remembers Apollo Astronaut Al Worden

Astronaut Al Worden circled the moon during the Apollo 15 mission. NASA

Astronaut Al Worden circled the moon during the Apollo 15 mission. NASA

Worden was command module pilot on the Apollo 15 lunar landing - and although he never got to walk on the moon, he performed three space walks on the flight back from the moon to retrieve film from cameras on the spacecraft, according to NASA. He kept the module while the other two mission members surfaced. During the mission Worden became the first human to carry out a deep space walk. Though this was not illegal, NASA disapproved of such activities and made an example of the astronauts, grounding them from further spaceflights.

Worden's post-NASA career included executive roles at Maris Worden Aerospace and Goodrich Aerospace.

Worden joined NASA in 1966. NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said he was "deeply saddened" to hear of Worden's passing and hailed him as an American hero. He served as a support crew for Apollo 9 and as a backup command module pilot for Apollo 12.

NASA said Worden was born in Jackson, Mich., and graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1955. "Not for a closer look at the Moon, but to look back at our home, the Earth.' We remember this pioneer whose work expanded our horizons".

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During 1972-1973, Worden was Senior Aerospace Scientist at the NASA Ames Research Center, and from 1973 to 1975, he was chief of the Systems Study Division at Ames.

He also became familiar to a generation of young people though his appearances on the children's show Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood.

The video below commemorates Colonel Worden.

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