Apollo Astronaut Al Worden, one of the few who orbited the moon, dies
EMRE KELLY / FLORIDA TODAY
Photo Credit Florida Today: Apollo 15 astronaut Al Worden speaks with attendees during an Apollo 8 celebration at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in December 2018.
NASA Astronaut Alfred “Al” Worden, command module pilot for Apollo 15 and one of the few to have orbited the moon, died Tuesday night, February 17, 2020.
In a statement on Worden’s Twitter page, his family confirmed that the 88-year-old retired astronaut and Air Force colonel died in his sleep.
“We remember this pioneer whose work expanded our horizons,” NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said in a statement.
Worden was one of only 24 people to have flown to the moon. He was also the first astronaut to conduct a deep-space extravehicular activity, or EVA, during Apollo 15’s return to Earth in 1971.
During the mission, he orbited the moon dozens of times while astronauts David Scott and James Irwin explored the surface.
“Now I know why I’m here,” he said. “Not for a closer look at the Moon, but to look back at our home, the Earth.”
Worden was selected by NASA for the astronaut corps in 1966. Before joining the agency, he attended the U.S. Military Academy West Point and went on to fly thousands of hours in Air Force aircraft.