The sixth man to walk on the moon, Astronaut Edgar Mitchell, passed away on the eve of the 45th anniversary of his landing in the Fra Mauro region of the moon. Mitchell died on Thursday night at a West Palm Beach hospice after a short illness.
Apollo 14 astronaut Edgar Mitchell devoted his life to exploring physics, the mind, and paranormal phenomena. Mitchell left a lasting legacy in the paranormal research field after he left NASA in the 70’s. NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said, “As a member of the Apollo 14 crew, Edgar is one of only 12 men to walk on the moon. He helped to change how we view our place in the universe.”
Mitchell was a travel enthusiast, and the passion for exploration led him to become and astronaut, and in 1966 he accomplished his dream by joining NASA. In 1971, five years after he was selected as a NASA astronaut, Edgar Mitchell served as Apollo 14’s lunar module pilot, with Alan Shepard and Stuart A. Roosa. Shepard, the first American launched in space, picked Mitchell to be on Apollo 13’s crew.
Edgar Mitchell also founded the Institute of Noetic Sciences in 1973, focused on supporting consciousness research. While he was working at NASA, Mitchell developed a deep interest in consciousness, driving him to leave NASA in the end. According to People Magazine he said, “one of those rare moments in life when you seemed to be able to reach out and touch the universe, and one where you had an intuitive flash about the real meaning of truth,” on an interview made in 1974.
It’s worth remembering that Apollo 13’s astronauts faced a deadly threat when an oxygen tank exploded as they were arriving to the moon in 1970. And thanks to the fast-thinking and problem-solving minds of those brave astronauts they made it home safely. However, Mitchell, Shepard and Roosa wouldn’t get the chance to make their mission, the third lunar landing, which was launched a year after, an enormous success.
“What I experienced during that three-day trip home was nothing short of an overwhelming sense of universal connectedness,” Mitchell wrote in his 1996 autobiography. “It occurred to me that the molecules of my body and the molecules of the spacecraft itself were manufactured long ago in the furnace of one of the ancient stars that burned in the heavens about me.”
Memorial service arrangements were pending Friday afternoon. The family, instead of flowers, requested donations to the Astronaut Scholarship Fund, The Institute for Noetic Sciences or Eterna Incorporated.
Source: Space Flight Now