Saturday, October 01, 2005

Edgar Dean Mitchell 1930-2016

PERSONAL DATA: Born September 17, 1930, in Hereford, Texas, but considers Artesia, New Mexico, his hometown. Married to the former Anita K. Rettig of Medina, Ohio. Two daughters. He enjoys handball and swimming, and his hobbies are scuba diving and soaring.
EDUCATION: Attended primary schools in Roswell, New Mexico, and is a graduate of Artesia High School in Artesia, New Mexico; received a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Management from the Carnegie Institute of Technology in 1952, a Bachelor of Science degree in Aeronautical Engineering from the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School in 1961, and a Doctorate of Science degree in Aeronautics/Astronautics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1964; presented an Honorary Doctorate of Science from New Mexico State University in 1971, and an Honorary Doctorate of Engineering from Carnegie-Mellon University in 1971.
ORGANIZATIONS: Member of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics; the Society of Experimental Test Pilots; Sigma Xi; and Sigma Gamma Tau, New York Academy of Sciences.
SPECIAL HONORS: Presented the Presidential Medal of Freedom (1970), the NASA Distinguished Service Medal, the MSC Superior Achievement Award (1970), the Navy Astronaut Wings, the navy Distinguished Service medal, the City of New York Gold Medal (1971), and the Arnold Air Society’s John F. Kennedy Award (1971).
EXPERIENCE: Captain Mitchell’s experience includes Navy operational flight, test flight, engineering, engineering management, and experience as a college instructor. Mitchell came to the Manned Spacecraft Center after graduating first in his class from the Air Force Aerospace Research Pilot School where he was both student and instructor.He entered the Navy in 1952 and completed his basic training at the San Diego Recruit Depot. In May 1953, after completing instruction at the Officers’ Candidate School at Newport, Rhode Island, he was commissioned as an Ensign. He completed flight training in July 1954 at Hutchinson, Kansas, and subsequently was assigned to Patrol Squadron 29 deployed to Okinawa.From 1957 to 1958, he flew A3 aircraft while assigned to Heavy Attack Squadron Two deployed aboard the USS BON HOMME RICHARD and USS TICONGEROGA; and he was a research project pilot with Air Development Squadron Five until 1959. His assignment from 1964 to 1965 was as Chief, Project Management Division of the Navy Field Office for Manned Orbiting Laboratory.He accumulated 4,000 hours flight time--1,900 hours in jets.
NASA EXPERIENCE: Captain Mitchell was in a group selected for astronaut training in April 1966. He served as a member of the astronaut support crew for Apollo 9 and as backup lunar module pilot for Apollo 10.He completed his first space flight as lunar module pilot on Apollo 14, January 31 - February 9, 1971. With him on man’s third lunar landing mission were Alan B. Shepard, spacecraft commander, and Stuart A. Roosa, command module pilot.Maneuvering their lunar module, “Antares,” to a landing in the hilly upland Fra Mauro region of the moon, Shepard and Mitchell subsequently deployed and activated various scientific equipment and experiments and collected almost 100 pounds of lunar samples for return to Earth. Other Apollo 14 achievements include: first use of Mobile Equipment Transporter (MET); largest payload placed in lunar orbit; longest distance traversed on the lunar surface; largest payload returned from the lunar surface; longest lunar surface stay time (33 hours); longest lunar surface EVA (9 hours and 17 minutes); first use of shortened lunar orbit rendezvous techniques; first use of color TV with new vidicon tube on lunar surface; and first extensive orbital science period conducted during CSM solo operations.In completing his first space flight, Mitchell logged a total of 216 hours and 42 minutes in space.He was subsequently designated to serve as backup lunar module pilot for Apollo 16.