American astronaut Edgar Mitchell, one of twelve people who visited the moon, died at the age of 85. This was reported by his family and NASA representatives on Friday, calling him a “pioneer”.
NASA paid tribute to Edgar Mitchell, who died in Florida after a short illness on Thursday evening, on the eve of the 45th anniversary of his landing on the moon.
The late astronaut was a member of the Apollo 14 mission together with Alan Shepard and Stuart Rus.
Edgar Mitchell was the last living member of Apollo 14: Rusa died in 1994, Shepard in 1998.
In an interview in 1997 for NASA's oral history program, Mitchell said he was involved in space flights after President John F. Kennedy’s announcement about sending astronauts to the moon.
“This is exactly what I wanted, it was a great breakthrough in science and the opportunity to see what no one had seen before, the opportunity to learn new things and I was allowed to explore, research and study from the earliest years, which was very a big boost, ”said Mitchell. NASA administrator Charles Bolden recalled Mitchell's amazing, magnificent descriptions of Earth from space.
Edgar poetic talked about how our home planet looks from the moon, “Suddenly, because of the edge of the lunar rim, in a long slow moment of immense greatness, a sparkling white-blue diamond appeared, a delicate sky-blue sphere with slowly moving white curtains, gradually growing like a little pearl in a black, vast sea of secrets. ”
“It takes a little more moment to fully realize that this is the Earth ... the house.”
Bolden added: "He is one of the pioneers in space exploration, on whose research we now rely."
Buzz Aldrin, the second man on the moon, reiterated this on Twitter, calling Mitchell “the lunar discoverer.”
The Apollo 14 mission, Mitchell’s only spaceflight, began on January 31, 1971, from the launch of the trio at Cape Canaveral, Florida.
Mitchell was responsible for the lunar module Antares, which landed in the lunar region Fra Mauro.
It was the third manned mission on the moon, and Mitchell became the sixth man to set foot on its surface. During the mission, astronauts collected about 100 pounds (40 kilograms) of samples of lunar rocks and conducted a number of scientific experiments.
The mission ended when astronauts completed their journey to Earth in a space capsule, falling into the waters of the Pacific Ocean on February 9, 1971.
In 1972, Mitchell resigned from NASA, and the following year founded the Institute of Noetic Sciences, which studies consciousness and paranormal phenomena.
According to Mitchell, he was sure that extraterrestrial unidentified flying objects (UFO), visited the Earth, but admitted that he had never seen them.
Mitchell has written several books, including his 1996 memoir The Way of the Researcher.
Two daughters, three adoptive sons and nine grandchildren are a big family that makes up his legacy.
The family told the Palm Beach Post that Edgar Mitchell died in West Palm Beach hospital after a brief illness.