Apollo 15 astronaut Al Worden, who circled moon, dies at 88

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.

From NASA:

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:

Breaking free
Being born

Growing Up
Getting wise
Being worldly
No surprise.

Learn to fly
Getting wings
Rise above
Those earthly things."

Reactions to and official announcements of his death, below.

[via Associated Press