Status: Deceased; Active 1966-1972. Born: 1930-09-17. Died: 2016-02-04. Spaceflights: 1 . Total time in space: 9.00 days. Birth Place: Herford, Texas.
Educated Carnegie Tech; USNPGS; MIT. US Navy test pilot.
Official NASA Biography as of June 2016:Edgar Dean Mitchell (Captain, USN, Ret.)
NASA Astronaut (former)
PERSONAL DATA: Born September 17, 1930, in Hereford, Texas, but considers Artesia, New Mexico, his hometown. Has resided in Palm Beach County, Florida since 1975. Divorced. Four daughters: Karlyn Mitchell, Ph.D Elizabeth Kendall, Kimberly Mitchell, Mary Beth Johnson. Two sons: Paul Mitchell, Adam Mitchell. Nine grandchildren.
EDUCATION: Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Management from Carnegie Mellon University (1952); Bachelor of Science degree in Aeronautics from the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School (1961); Doctorate of Science degree in Aeronautics and Astronautics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1964; Honorary Doctorates from New Mexico State University (1971), Carnegie-Mellon University (1971), University of Akron (1979) and Embry-Riddle University (1996).
ORGANIZATIONS: Member, Society of Experimental Test Pilots (1966--), American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (1963-1983), International Platform Association (1975-1983), Explorers Club (1972--), World Futures Society (1975--), New York Academy of Sciences (1975-1983). Honorary member, Radio and Television Correspondents Association (1972--).
HONORS AND AWARDS: Presidential Medal of Freedom. USN Distinguished Service Medal. NASA Distinguished Service Medal. NASA Distinguished Service Award. Three NASA Group Achievement Awards. USAF Aerospace Research Pilot School, First in Class Award. Medal of the City of New York. American Astronautical Society, Flight Achievement Award. Arnold Air Society, John F. Kennedy Award for Space Exploration. Carnegie Mellon University Alumni, Outstanding Man of the Year (1972). Kappa Sigma, Man of the Year Award (1972). Adventurers Club, Gold Medal Award for Exploration. Explorers Club, Lowell Thomas Award for Explorations in Human Consciousness (1980). Drexel University, Engineering and Science Award for Explorations in Consciousness (1974). Space Hall of Fame (inducted 1979). Astronaut Hall of Fame (inducted 1995). Nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize (2005).
EXPERIENCE: Mitchells experience includes Navy operational flight, test flight, engineering, engineering management, and experience as a college instructor. Mitchell came to the Manned Spacecraft Center in Houston 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. From 1964 to 1965 he served as Chief, Project Management Division of the Navy Field Office for Manned Orbiting Laboratory. 1965-1966 was spent at the U.S. Air Force Aerospace Research Pilot School in preparation for astronaut duties, and certification as test pilot. Mitchell served as an instructor in advanced mathematics and navigation theory for astronaut candidates.
NASA EXPERIENCE: Mitchell was a member of Group 5, 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.
On January 31, 1971, serving as lunar module pilot, Dr. Edgar Mitchell, then a U.S. Navy Captain, embarked on a journey through outer space of some 500,000 miles that resulted in becoming the sixth man to walk on the moon. That historic journey terminated safely nine days later on February 9, 1971 and was made in the company of two other men of valor Admiral Alan Shepard and Colonel Stuart Roosa.
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 included: 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.
In 1972, Mitchell retired from NASA and the U.S. Navy.
BUSINESS EXPERIENCE: Dr. Mitchell founded the Institute of Noetic Sciences in 1973, one year after retiring from government service. It is a foundation organized to sponsor research in the nature of consciousness. He also is co founder of the Association of Space Explorers, an international organization founded in 1984 for all who share the experience of space travel. Both are educational organizations developed to provide new understanding of the human condition resulting from the epoch of space exploration.
Dr. Mitchell is author of Psychic Exploration: A Challenge for Science, G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1974, a major reference book; and The Way of the Explorer Putnam 1996. He is also author and/or interviewee in dozens of articles in both professional and popular periodicals.
As a lecturer, Dr. Mitchell delivers 25 to 50 addresses annually on cosmology, human potential and topics relating to the evolving future of the species on planet Earth. His most current lecture series discusses the implications of recent discoveries in science as they affect our individual lives in the home, the workplace and society-at-large. He is a frequent guest on radio and television talk shows and has been featured in several documentary films relative to his interests.
Dr. Mitchell continues to write, speak and do research for a number of new books. He also is a consultant to a limited number of corporations and foundations.
This is the only version available from NASA. Updates must be sought from the above named individual.
NAME: Edgar D. Mitchell
BIRTHPLACE AND DATE: Mitchell was born September 17, 1930, in Hereford.
EDUCATION: Bachelor of Science in industrial management from Carnegie Institute of Technology in 1952. Bachelor of Science in aeronautical engineering from the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School in 1961. Doctorate of Science in aeronautics/astronautics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1964.
EXPERIENCE: Mitchell entered the Navy in 1952 and was commissioned an ensign a year later. He completed flight training in July 1954 and was assigned to Patrol Squadron 29 deployed to Okinawa. Assigned to a Heavy Attack Squadron in 1957, he flew off the aircraft carriers USS Bon Homme Richard and USS Ticonderoga. He later served as a research pilot with Air Development Squadron 5 and as Chief of Project Management Division of the Navy Field Office for the Manned Orbiting Laboratory project. He graduated first in his class from the Air Force Aerospace Research Pilot School, and served an instructor as the school thereafter. Mitchell was selected as a NASA astronaut in April 1966.
Mitchell was selected as Lunar Module pilot for Apollo 14, which launched on January 31, 1971. The mission was commanded by Alan Shepard and Command Module Pilot was Stuart Roosa. On February 5, Shepard and Mitchell landed their Lunar Module in the Fra Mauro highlands while Roosa orbited overhead in Kitty Hawk. During 33 hours on the surface, Shepard and Mitchell made two outside excursions during which they set up a nuclear-powered science station, collected 42 kg of moon rocks, and obtained core samples of the lunar regolith.
Mitchell long had an interest in extra-sensory perception and while on the lunar surface he conducted unauthorised ESP experiments with a friend in Chicago. Following the Apollo program, he retired from NASA and from the Navy and founded the Institute of Noetic Sciences in an effort to integrate various scientific disciplines into the study of human consciousness. He has written several books, including the 1996's The Way of the Explorer.
The group was selected to provide pilot-astronauts for the Apollo Applications Program (then planned as 10 lunar landings after Apollo 11 and 30 Apollo flights to earth-orbit space stations).. Qualifications: Qualified jet pilot with minimum 1,000 flight-hours, bachleor's degree in engineering or physical or biological sciences, under 35 years old, under 183 cm height, excellent health. US citizen.. 351 applications (including six women and a legless US Navy pilot). All 19, except X-15 astronaut Engle, would fly into space on Apollo or Skylab missions. Engle and six others would fly shuttle missions.
Final dress rehearsal in lunar orbit for landing on moon. LM separated and descended to 10 km from surface of moon but did not land. Apollo 10 (AS-505) - with crew members Thomas P. Stafford, Eugene A. Cernan, and John W. Young aboard - lifted off from Pad B, Launch Complex 39, KSC, at 12:49 p.m. EDT on the first lunar orbital mission with complete spacecraft. The Saturn V's S-IVB stage and the spacecraft were inserted into an earth parking orbit of 189.9 by 184.4 kilometers while the onboard systems were checked. The S-IVB engine was then ignited at 3:19 p.m. EDT to place the spacecraft in a trajectory toward the moon. One-half hour later the CSM separated from the S-IVB, transposed, and docked with the lunar module. At 4:29 p.m. the docked spacecraft were ejected, a separation maneuver was performed, and the S-IVB was placed in a solar orbit by venting residual propellants. TV coverage of docking procedures was transmitted to the Goldstone, Calif., tracking station for worldwide, commercial viewing.
On May 19 the crew elected not to make the first of a series of midcourse maneuvers. A second preplanned midcourse correction that adjusted the trajectory to coincide with a July lunar landing trajectory was executed at 3:19 p.m. The maneuver was so accurate that preplanned third and fourth midcourse corrections were canceled. During the translunar coast, five color TV transmissions totaling 72 minutes were made of the spacecraft and the earth.
At 4:49 p.m. EDT on May 21 the spacecraft was inserted into a lunar orbit of 110.4 by 315.5 kilometers. After two revolutions of tracking and ground updates, a maneuver circularized the orbit at 109.1 by 113.9 kilometers. Astronaut Cernan then entered the LM, checked all systems, and returned to the CM for the scheduled sleep period.
On May 22 activation of the lunar module systems began at 11:49 a.m. EDT. At 2:04 p.m. the spacecraft were undocked and at 4:34 p.m. the LM was inserted into a descent orbit. One hour later the LM made a low-level pass at an altitude of 15.4 kilometers over the planned site for the first lunar landing. The test included a test of the landing radar, visual observation of lunar lighting, stereo photography of the moon, and execution of a phasing maneuver using the descent engine. The lunar module returned to dock successfully with the CSM following the eight-hour separation, and the LM crew returned to the CSM.
The LM ascent stage was jettisoned, its batteries were burned to depletion, and it was placed in a solar orbit on May 23. The crew then prepared for the return trip to earth and after 61.5 hours in lunar orbit a service propulsion system TEI burn injected the CSM into a trajectory toward the earth. During the return trip the astronauts made star-lunar landmark sightings, star-earth horizon navigation sightings, and live television transmissions.
The Apollo 14 (AS-509) mission - manned by astronauts Alan B. Shepard, Jr., Stuart A. Roosa, and Edgar D. Mitchell - was launched from Pad A, Launch Complex 39, KSC, at 4:03 p.m. EST January 31 on a Saturn V launch vehicle. A 40-minute hold had been ordered 8 minutes before scheduled launch time because of unsatisfactory weather conditions, the first such delay in the Apollo program. Activities during earth orbit and translunar injection were similar to those of the previous lunar landing missions. However, during transposition and docking, CSM 110 Kitty Hawk had difficulty docking with LM-8 Antares. A hard dock was achieved on the sixth attempt at 9:00 p.m. EST, 1 hour 54 minutes later than planned. Other aspects of the translunar journey were normal and proceeded according to flight plan. A crew inspection of the probe and docking mechanism was televised during the coast toward the moon. The crew and ground personnel were unable to determine why the CSM and LM had failed to dock properly, but there was no indication that the systems would not work when used later in the flight.
Apollo 14 entered lunar orbit at 1:55 a.m. EST on February 4. At 2:41 a.m. the separated S-IVB stage and instrument unit struck the lunar surface 174 kilometers southeast of the planned impact point. The Apollo 12 seismometer, left on the moon in November 1969, registered the impact and continued to record vibrations for two hours.
After rechecking the systems in the LM, astronauts Shepard and Mitchell separated the LM from the CSM and descended to the lunar surface. The Antares landed on Fra Mauro at 4:17 a.m. EST February 5, 9 to 18 meters short of the planned landing point. The first EVA began at 9:53 a.m., after intermittent communications problems in the portable life support system had caused a 49-minute delay. The two astronauts collected a 19.5-kilogram contingency sample; deployed the TV, S-band antenna, American flag, and Solar Wind Composition experiment; photographed the LM, lunar surface, and experiments; deployed the Apollo lunar surface experiments package 152 meters west of the LM and the laser-ranging retroreflector 30 meters west of the ALSEP; and conducted an active seismic experiment, firing 13 thumper shots into the lunar surface.
A second EVA period began at 3:11 a.m. EST February 6. The two astronauts loaded the mobile equipment transporter (MET) - used for the first time - with photographic equipment, tools, and a lunar portable magnetometer. They made a geology traverse toward the rim of Cone Crater, collecting samples on the way. On their return, they adjusted the alignment of the ALSEP central station antenna in an effort to strengthen the signal received by the Manned Space Flight Network ground stations back on earth.
Just before reentering the LM, astronaut Shepard dropped a golf ball onto the lunar surface and on the third swing drove the ball 366 meters. The second EVA had lasted 4 hours 35 minutes, making a total EVA time for the mission of 9 hours 24 minutes. The Antares lifted off the moon with 43 kilograms of lunar samples at 1:48 p.m. EST February 6.
Meanwhile astronaut Roosa, orbiting the moon in the CSM, took astronomy and lunar photos, including photos of the proposed Descartes landing site for Apollo 16.
Ascent of the LM from the lunar surface, rendezvous, and docking with the CSM in orbit were performed as planned, with docking at 3:36 p.m. EST February 6. TV coverage of the rendezvous and docking maneuver was excellent. The two astronauts transferred from the LM to the CSM with samples, equipment, and film. The LM ascent stage was then jettisoned and intentionally crashed on the moon's surface at 7:46 p.m. The impact was recorded by the Apollo 12 and Apollo 14 ALSEPs.
The spacecraft was placed on its trajectory toward earth during the 34th lunar revolution. During transearth coast, four inflight technical demonstrations of equipment and processes in zero gravity were performed.
The CM and SM separated, the parachutes deployed, and other reentry events went as planned, and the Kitty Hawk splashed down in mid-Pacific at 4:05 p.m. EST February 9 about 7 kilometers from the recovery ship U.S.S. New Orleans. The Apollo 14 crew returned to Houston on February 12, where they remained in quarantine until February 26.
All primary mission objectives had been met. The mission had lasted 216 hours 40 minutes and was marked by the following achievements:
The CM and SM separated, the parachutes deployed, and other reentry events went as planned, and the Kitty Hawk splashed down in mid-Pacific at 21:05 GMT 7 kilometers from the recovery ship U.S.S. New Orleans. The Apollo 14 crew returned to Houston on February 12, where they remained in quarantine until February 26. All primary mission objectives had been met. Additional Details: here....
The Apollo 16 (AS-511) space vehicle was launched from Pad A, Launch Complex 39, KSC, at 12:54 p.m. EST April 16, with a crew of astronauts John W. Young, Thomas K. Mattingly II, and Charles M. Duke, Jr. After insertion into an earth parking orbit for spacecraft system checks, the spacecraft and the S-IVB stage were placed on a trajectory to the moon at 3:28 p.m. CSM transposition and docking with the LM were achieved, although a number of minor anomalies were noted.
One anomaly, an auxiliary propulsion system leak on the S-IVB stage, produced an unpredictable thrust and prevented a final S-IVB targeting maneuver after separation from the CSM. Tracking of the S-IVB ended at 4:04 p.m. EST April 17, when the instrument unit's signal was lost. The stage hit the lunar surface at 4:02 p.m. April 19, 260 kilometers northeast of the target point. The impact was detected by the seismometers left on the moon by the Apollo 12, 14, and 15 missions.
Spacecraft operations were near normal during the coast to the moon. Unexplained light-colored particles from the LM were investigated and identified as shredded thermal paint. Other activities during the translunar coast included a cislunar navigation exercise, ultraviolet photography of the earth and moon, an electrophoresis demonstration, and an investigation of the visual light-flash phenomenon noted on previous flights. Astronaut Duke counted 70 white, instantaneous light flashes that left no after-glow.
Apollo 16 entered a lunar orbit of 314 by 107.7 kilometers at 3:22 p.m. April 19. After separation of LM-11 Orion from CSM 112 Casper, a CSM active rendezvous kept the two vehicles close together while an anomaly discovered on the service propulsion system was evaluated. Tests and analyses showed the redundant system to be still safe and usable if required. The vehicles were again separated and the mission continued on a revised timeline because of the 5 3/4-hour delay.
The lunar module landed with Duke and Young in the moon's Descartes region, about 230 meters northwest of the planned target area at 9:23 p.m. EST April 20. A sleep period was scheduled before EVA.
The first extravehicular activity began at 11:59 a.m. April 21, after the eight-hour rest period. Television coverage of surface activity was delayed until the lunar roving vehicle systems were activated, because the steerable antenna on the lunar module could not be used. The lunar surface experiments packages were deployed, but accidental breaking of the electronics cable rendered the heat flow experiment inoperable. After completing activities at the experiments site, the crew drove the lunar roving vehicle west to Flag Crater, where they performed the planned tasks. The inbound traverse route was just slightly south of the outbound route, and the next stop was Spook Crater. The crew then returned via the experiment station to the lunar module and deployed the solar wind composition experiment. The duration of the extravehicular activity was 7 hours 11 minutes. The distance traveled by the lunar roving vehicle was 4.2 kilometers. The crew collected 20 kilograms of samples.
The second extravehicular traverse, which began at 11:33 a.m. April 22, was south-southeast to a mare-sampling area near the Cinco Craters on Stone Mountain. The crew then drove in a northwesterly direction, making stops near Stubby and Wreck Craters. The last leg of the traverse was north to the experiments station and the lunar module. The second extravehicular activity lasted 7 hours 23 minutes. The distance traveled by the lunar roving vehicle was 11.1 kilometers.
Four stations were deleted from the third extravehicular traverse, which began 30 minutes early at 10:27 a.m. April 23 to allow extra time. The first stop was North Ray Crater, where "House Rock" on the rim of the crater was sampled. The crew then drove southeast to "Shadow Rock." The return route to the LM retraced the outbound route. The third extravehicular activity lasted 5 hours 40 minutes, and the lunar roving vehicle traveled 11.4 kilometers.
Lunar surface activities outside the LM totaled 20 hours 15 minutes for the mission. The total distance traveled in the lunar roving vehicle was 26.7 kilometers. The crew remained on the lunar surface 71 hours 14 minutes and collected 96.6 kilograms of lunar samples.
While the lunar module crew was on the surface, Mattingly, orbiting the moon in the CSM, was obtaining photographs, measuring physical properties of the moon and deep space, and making visual observations. Essentially the same complement of instruments was used to gather data as was used on the Apollo 15 mission, but different areas of the lunar surface were flown over and more comprehensive deep space measurements were made, providing scientific data that could be used to validate findings from Apollo 15 as well as add to the total store of knowledge of the moon and its atmosphere, the solar system, and galactic space.
The LM lifted off from the moon at 8:26 p.m. EST April 23, rendezvoused with the CSM, and docked with it in orbit. Young and Duke transferred to the CSM with samples, film, and equipment, and the LM was jettisoned the next day. LM attitude control was lost at jettison; therefore a deorbit maneuver was not possible and the LM remained in lunar orbit, with an estimated orbital lifetime of about one year.
The particles and fields subsatellite was launched into lunar orbit and normal system operation was noted. However, the spacecraft orbital shaping maneuver was not performed before ejection and the subsatellite was placed in a non-optimum orbit that resulted in a much shorter lifetime than the planned year. Loss of all subsatellite tracking and telemetry data on the 425th revolution (May 29) indicated that the subsatellite had hit the lunar surface.
The mass spectrometer deployment boom stalled during a retract cycle and was jettisoned before transearth injection. The second plane-change maneuver and some orbital science photography were deleted so that transearth injection could be performed about 24 hours earlier than originally planned.
Activities during the transearth coast phase of the mission included photography for a contamination study for the Skylab program and completion of the visual light-flash-phenomenon investigation that had been partially accomplished during translunar coast. A 1-hour 24-minute transearth extravehicular activity was conducted by command module pilot Mattingly to retrieve the film cassettes from the scientific instrument module cameras, inspect the equipment, and expose a microbial-response experiment to the space environment. Two midcourse corrections were made on the return flight to achieve the desired entry interface conditions.