Alfred M. Worden Who Orbited The Moon Dies Of Stroke
Alfred M. Worden, who orbited the moon in the summer of 1971, taking sophisticated photographs of the lunar terrain has died of stroke.
Alfred while taking photographs, his fellow astronauts of the Apollo 15 mission roamed its surface in a newly developed four-wheel rover, died overnight at an assisted living center in Sugar Land, Texas, his family said on Wednesday. He was 88.
His son-in-law Bill Penczak said that Mr. Worden, who had lived in League City, Texas, apparently had a stroke.
Apollo 15 was NASA’s first moon mission devoted mainly to science. The flight of Apollo 11 in July 1969 had fulfilled President John F. Kennedy’s call for America to reach the moon by the end of the 1960s.
But the three lunar landings that preceded Apollo 15 had yielded relatively modest insight into the moon’s origin and composition.
Major Worden, of the Air Force, spent three days in orbit operating a pair of cameras in his space capsule Endeavour.
Major Worden also operated an extensive package of instruments to enhance knowledge of space and the moon itself.
En route home, he released a “sub-satellite” — carried by Endeavour and weighing about 78 pounds — that was designed to orbit the moon for at least a year and radio back data on its gravitational field and other technical information.
It was the first time such a space vehicle had been deployed.
He also undertook the first walk in deep space, spending 38 minutes tethered to Endeavour while more than 196,000 miles from Earth as he retrieved canisters of film attached to the skin of the craft.