In memory of
Edgar Mitchell, Apollo 14 astronaut who was the 6th man to walk on the moon, has died in Florida, according to The Associated Press. He was 85.
This year marks the 45th Anniversary of the Apollo 14 mission, which lasted from January 31 – February 9, 1971.
A capable pilot and man of diverse and colorful interests, Mitchell was the Lunar Module Pilot on his lone trip into space. During the mission he and Commander Alan Shepard spent more than nine hours on the lunar surface, collecting 95 pounds of rock samples, walking over two miles, and in Shepard’s case, golfing. The success of Apollo 14 in 1971 was important to NASA following the nearly-catastrophic Apollo 13 mission.
“Had we blown it, had it failed for whatever reason, that would probably have been the end of the Apollo program right there,” Mitchell said in a 1997 interview.
“Looking at Earth from space and seeing it was a planet in isolation… that was an experience of ecstasy, realizing that every molecule in our bodies is a system of matter created from a star hanging in space,” Mitchell told The Telegraph in 2014. “The experience I had was called Samadhi in the ancient Sanskrit, a feeling of overwhelming joy at seeing the Earth from that perspective.”
During the return voyage Mitchell conducted a series of ESP experiments attempting to communicate messages with friends on Earth. He claimed the experiments were successful but some in NASA were uncomfortable with his public fascination with telepathy.
After leaving NASA he founded the Institute of Noetic Sciences to study consciousness and paranormal phenomena. He was also interested in faith healing and on numerous occasions spoke to the press about his beliefs in UFOs.
Mitchell was born on September 17, 1930, in Hereford, Texas. He received a degree in Industrial Management from Carnegie Institute of Technology in 1952 before joining the U.S. Navy. While in the Navy he completed his Doctor of Science degree in Aeronautics and Astronautics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1964. He was selected to be an astronaut in 1966.
According to his daughter, Kimberly Mitchell, he died at a West Palm Beach hospice after a short illness.
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