Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Get HideMyAss! VPN, PC Mag's Top 10 VPNs of 2016 for 55% off for a Limited Time ×
Moon NASA

Apollo Astronaut Edgar Mitchell, Sixth Man On the Moon, Dies At 85 (examiner.com) 113

MarkWhittington writes: According to a story in the Palm Beach Post, Edgar Mitchell, the sixth man to walk on the moon, has died at the age of 85. He flew as lunar module pilot on board Apollo 14, which flew to and from the moon between January 31, 1971 and February 9, 1971. His crewmates were Alan Shepard and Stuart Roosa. Apollo 14 was the return to flight for the moon landing program after the near disaster of Apollo 13 in April 1970, and explored the Fra Mauro highlands on the lunar surface. NASA marks Mitchell's passing as well.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Apollo Astronaut Edgar Mitchell, Sixth Man On the Moon, Dies At 85

Comments Filter:
  • Didn't recognize the name, or the individual Wikipedia picture of him, then saw the crew photo of him with Alan Shepard, and said, "Oh, of course...". Getting old myself; probably time for my Geritol and a nap...
  • by rmdingler ( 1955220 ) on Friday February 05, 2016 @09:22PM (#51450877) Journal
    If a prenuptial agreement with life had been presented to me when I was 21 or 22, I would've happily signed on for walking on the moon & living into my 80's.

    He had an interesting life; probably never dull and with few regrets.

    Rest in peace, astronaut.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Possibly few regrets... but think about what it would be like, after that event. You were one of the first few human beings to ever walk on another planet, and now... what? What can you ever do or experience in the rest of your life that is going to compare to that?

      Well, sure, maybe there are other highly important things to some people, like having children. But that's very different. That's something almost anyone can do, and countless people do every single day. But walking on another world? That's

      • by Radres ( 776901 )

        Tell you what I'd do... two chicks at the same time!

      • by sconeu ( 64226 )

        Go read Andrew Chaikin's "A Man on the Moon".

        Pretty much all of the moonwalkers (and CM pilots) did not experience what you are talking about.

    • Indisputably, his life was one of great accomplishment and fulfillment.

      However, it's a shame that his post-NASA career took him down the rabbit hole into pseudo-science and UFOs. [wikipedia.org]

      • by rmdingler ( 1955220 ) on Friday February 05, 2016 @10:28PM (#51451139) Journal
        People are often surprised when their heroes turn out to be regular, mortal, flawed human beings.

        Actually, it makes the accomplishment even more amazing for its rather humble origin.

        • Well said. Heroes aren't heroes because of their perfections, but because of what they do despite their imperfections.
      • You develop an instant global consciousness, a people orientation, an intense dissatisfaction with the state of the world, and a compulsion to do something about it. From out there on the moon, international politics look so petty. You want to grab a politician by the scruff of the neck and drag him a quarter of a million miles out and say, ‘Look at that, you son of a bitch'.

        That doesn't sound like going down a rabbit hole. It sounds more like waking up.

  • by JoshuaZ ( 1134087 ) on Friday February 05, 2016 @09:25PM (#51450891) Homepage
    The really sad thing here is that it is likely that all of the original Apollo astronauts will be dead before anyone else goes to any non-Earth body.
    • Obligatory xkcd (Score:5, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 05, 2016 @10:05PM (#51451063)
    • I think it was rational to go to the moon a limited number of times, and then give it a rest. Imagine if NASA had continued sending people to the moon into the 1990s, and it became an entitlement program. Edgar Mitchell is perfect in that he was brave, talented, and rare. A thousand more moonwalkers would have led to a backlash instead of nostalgia.
    • by Okian Warrior ( 537106 ) on Friday February 05, 2016 @10:39PM (#51451167) Homepage Journal

      The really sad thing here is that it is likely that all of the original Apollo astronauts will be dead before anyone else goes to any non-Earth body.

      While I agree that this is sad in a philosophical sense, we should also consider that while we haven't sent people to a non-Earth body, we *have*:

      1) Landed on a comet
      2) Got up-close-and-personal images of Pluto [google.com]
      3) Also Charon [google.com]
      4) Discovered over 5000 exoplanets [blogspot.com]
      5) Send a probe out of the solar system [wikipedia.org] (*)
      6) Maintained a manned space station for the last 18 years [wikipedia.org]
      7) Sent several robots wandering around mars [wikipedia.org] and taking pictures
      8) (And occasionally vaporizing the miniature martian town centers with its "heat ray" [wikipedia.org])

      And a bunch of other things, such as mapping the CMB, finding strong evidence for dark matter, imaged [eso.org] an exoplanet, gotten spectrometer readings of the atmosphere in an exoplanet, found an asteroid with rings, and many minor things.

      I'm not sure what the utility of sending a human into space is at the present time. Unless there's an obvious use case, it *seems* like the extra effort of sending a human isn't worth the risk, except as a political statement.

      Oh, and we're seriously considering mining asteroids. How cool is that?

      (*) Depending on the definition of the boundary, and the current definition is "cloudy" at that point, so that the probe seems to be going into and out of the boundary that defines the solar system edge.

      • by Sarten-X ( 1102295 ) on Friday February 05, 2016 @11:10PM (#51451285) Homepage

        The utility of humans in space is the long list of minor things that didn't make it onto your list of headlines. Crystallography, metallurgy, chemistry, biology, physiology, and materials science, to name a few, are all fields that have benefited from research on the ISS.

        For having so many small experiments and projects to maintain, a human presence is really not that much more effort compared to building robotic versions of each experiment. The human is also far more adaptable, able to repair and rebuild systems as needed.

        • by Kjella ( 173770 )

          For having so many small experiments and projects to maintain, a human presence is really not that much more effort compared to building robotic versions of each experiment. The human is also far more adaptable, able to repair and rebuild systems as needed.

          Well, except that humans are pretty much stuck at the landing site. Mars has half the circumference of earth or about 20000 km, you can get the equivalent of the lunar rover and cover maybe 20 km before you have to turn back. Sure, the rovers are a snooze feast but we got several of them in different places. For the same reason it's not practical to repair them or return samples to base either, even if we had a man on Mars.

          • by KGIII ( 973947 )

            How to put this? Hmm... I'm in Florida for the winter. I'm in Panama City Beach area. I've done a whole lot of traveling in my life. Yesterday and today have been Mardi Gras and, at this one, it's "family friendly." Sending robots to the exclusion of sending humans is like going to Mardi Gras in Florida instead of Louisiana. Yeah, you can do it and the results are the same in that you can say you went to Mardi Gras but they're just not the same.

            I'm not against sending robots. I'm against the trend that I se

      • I'm not sure what the utility of sending a human into space is at the present time. Unless there's an obvious use case, it *seems* like the extra effort of sending a human isn't worth the risk, except as a political statement.

        It wasn't worth the risk in 1969, either, but it sure was a political statement back then.

      • And yet, towering over all of these in importance is the kind of shirt the spokesman is wearing when he makes the announcement that humanity has arrived at some great new achievement.

        "If you can force a rocket scientist, celebrating the accomplishment of a lifetime, to cry and grovel and beg forgiveness on international TV for wearing a shirt, you are not unempowered."

    • Not that sad.

      We should celebrate the achievement, certainly. Were I to meet one of these guys I would thank them for their service. But regretting the passing of the era of manned lunar flights is like mourning the end of the steam age. Yes - the steam age was a great advance over what came before. Yes, it is steeped (now) in romanticism. But what have now is far superior to the technology to steam technology. Let's not pretend we've regressed because nobody rides a steam engine from London to Oxford.

      The

  • by turkeydance ( 1266624 ) on Friday February 05, 2016 @09:51PM (#51450983)
    out of Twelve.
  • by kbahey ( 102895 ) on Friday February 05, 2016 @11:45PM (#51451417) Homepage

    He said he had had an "epiphany" in space and later devoted his life to studying the mind and unexplained phenomena. He said he believed that aliens had visited Earth. ... Mitchell left the US space agency Nasa in 1972 and set up the Institute of Noetic Sciences which aimed to support "individual and collective transformation through consciousness research".

    Source: BBC [bbc.com].

  • by Anonymous Coward

    http://xkcd.com/893/

  • What a lonely place to die....

Congratulations! You are the one-millionth user to log into our system. If there's anything special we can do for you, anything at all, don't hesitate to ask!

Working...