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Ed Mitchell, Moonwalker

Added on 06 February 2016


Ed Mitchell, Moonwalker

Captain Edgar Dean Mitchell (September 17, 1930 – February 4, 2016) was the pilot of the Apollo 14 Lunar Module Antares, landing the craft safely in in the Fra Mauro Highlands region in February 1971. The sixth person to walk on the moon on February 6, 1971, Ed spent nine hours working on the lunar surface. Ed was also selected as the backup Lunar Module Pilot for Apollos 10 and 16.

For two days Ed and fellow astronaut Alan Shepard set up equipment and carried out scientific experiments on the lunar surface. They also collected lunar samples for return to Earth. The two astronauts clocked up the longest distance covered on foot on the moon, the longest surface stay time (33 hours) and the longest surface extra-vehicular activity time (9 hours, 23 minutes). Apollo 14 was notable as the largest payload placed in lunar orbit and for the largest payload returned from the lunar surface. Apollo 14 was also first to use shortened lunar orbit rendezvous techniques. Ed’s photograph of Alan Shepard raising the American flag was listed on Popular Science's photo gallery of the best astronaut selfies.

Ed Mitchell’s career post-NASA covered his interests in consciousness and paranormal phenomena, as on his return journey to Earth on Apollo 14 he had a powerful spiritual experience. He was the founder of the Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS) , which researches consciousness and other similar phenomena and wrote several articles, essays and books.  The best known of the latter is The Way of the Explorer.