Twenty-four human beings have traveled from Earth to the moon. Fewer than half of them remain.
Astronaut Al Worden, who flew to the moon in 1971 as a member of the Apollo 15 crew, has died. The retired astronaut was 88.
Worden circled the moon alone on that mission, while his two crewmates test-drove the first lunar rover.
Worden served as command module pilot for Apollo 15 with Dave Scott and Jim Irwin. During the mission Worden became the first human to carry out a deep space walk. He logged 38 minutes in extravehicular activity outside the command module, "Endeavour."
During 1972-1973, Worden was Senior Aerospace Scientist at the NASA Ames Research Center, and from 1973 to 1975, he was chief of the Systems Study Division at Ames.
BELOW, "Cycle," a poem by Al Worden:
Learn to fly
Those earthly things."
Reactions to and official announcements of his death, below.
Houston, Texas March 18, 2020 – It is with great sadness that the family of Colonel Al Worden, (USAF Ret.) CMP Apollo 15 share the news that "Al" died in his sleep last night. The family thank you all for your kindness, thoughts, and prayers. pic.twitter.com/K82iUyVbjm
— Alfred M Worden (@WordenAlfred) March 18, 2020
"Only 24 humans have left Earth orbit and journeyed to the moon. I'm one of the them. It's an exclusive club so small that I am still surprised they let me in." — Al Worden, from his 2011 memoirs "Falling to Earth" https://t.co/5jBwJc010B
— RobertPearlman (@RobertPearlman) March 18, 2020
Learn to fly
Those earthly things."
-"Cycle" by Al Worden
— NASA History Office (@NASAhistory) March 18, 2020
We're saddened by the loss of Apollo astronaut Al Worden. As command module pilot for Apollo 15, he conducted three spacewalks during the record-setting mission: https://t.co/R0s8QsxxAz pic.twitter.com/Cvx9qW8JfO
— NASA (@NASA) March 18, 2020
— SPACE.com (@SPACEdotcom) March 18, 2020
Al Worden was a command module pilot who circled the moon during Apollo 15, often considered one of NASA's most important scientific missions.
The retired astronaut died this week at age 88.https://t.co/SDUsHH4q9J
— All Things Considered (@npratc) March 19, 2020
RIP #Apollo15 #CMP #astronaut #AlWorden, who was always ready to answer my son's many questions and listen to his observations about space travel. May the endless wonders of the universe now be revealed to you. pic.twitter.com/sQKM93cRDu
— MmeDF (@MmeDefargeKnits) March 18, 2020
We send our deepest condolences to the family & friends of @usairforce Col (ret) Al Worden. His impact on #space exploration & the Apollo program set the stage for the successes we have today. We will always be thankful for his service to our Nation. https://t.co/OssbtDoOED
— Gen. Dave Goldfein (@GenDaveGoldfein) March 19, 2020
Here are two shots of the Hadley-Apennine region of the Moon, the Apollo 15 landing site. One was taken by Apollo 15 CMP Al Worden from just 60 miles above. The other by me in my backyard in Houston. Always love seeing these side-by-side, especially today. #RIPAlWorden pic.twitter.com/IkyKKnRwQ5
— Martin Hajovsky (@MartinHajovsky) March 18, 2020
Apollo astronaut Al Worden has died. He was command module pilot for Apollo 15. It didn't matter much to him that he never stepped on the moon. He was happy to play his part in the space program. My @NPR remembrance: https://t.co/e9oAnMwiDg
— Russell Lewis (@rdlewis) March 18, 2020
I'm deeply saddened to hear that Apollo astronaut Al Worden has passed away. Al was an American hero whose achievements in space and on Earth will never be forgotten. My prayers are with his family and friends. https://t.co/ZUx1yMv6iJ pic.twitter.com/Y7F6RT1foZ
— Jim Bridenstine (@JimBridenstine) March 18, 2020
We mourn the passing of @usairforce Col (ret) Al Worden – a National hero, an American Airman & @NASA Astronaut who pioneered space exploration in the Apollo program & was a true inspiration to many generations. Our condolences to his family & friends." https://t.co/HJ0T92OybR
— Gen. Jay Raymond (@SpaceForceCSO) March 18, 2020
Al Worden, an Apollo 15 astronaut, has passed away at the age of 88. https://t.co/kZoVcuyjRp
— Twitter Moments (@TwitterMoments) March 18, 2020
We mourn the loss and celebrate the life of Apollo 15 astronaut, aviator, engineer, and storyteller Alfred "Al" Worden. From the halls of West Point to the far side of the Moon, the legacy of history's first deep-space walker continues to inspire. "Our work has just begun." pic.twitter.com/xPkOPOeJLc
— National Air and Space Museum (@airandspace) March 18, 2020
Saddened by this world's loss of Al Worden. Astronaut & Poet. I am blessed to call him friend & to have witnessed the joyous & thoughtful way he shared his experience with everyone. We'll miss you here with us on the planet Al. #RIP #HelloEarth #astronaut #poet #friend pic.twitter.com/rlEEd7H8ZV
— Nicole Stott (@Astro_Nicole) March 18, 2020
REST IN PEACE: Apollo 15 astronaut Al Worden, who circled the moon alone while his two crewmates drove around in the first lunar rover, has died at age 88 in Houston.
— Lane Luckie (@LaneLuckie) March 18, 2020
Today, we pause to remember the life of beloved Apollo astronaut Al Worden. Worden served as command module pilot for Apollo 15 and was and a frequent guest astronaut of Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. https://t.co/Pe7dIUT7Fx pic.twitter.com/7bURCgTrc1
— Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex (@ExploreSpaceKSC) March 18, 2020
[via Associated Press