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Friday February 5th, 2016

New Mexico Hero Mourned

Apollo 14 Astronaut Edgar Mitchell Passes Away at 85

(Alamogordo, New Mexico, February 5, 2016) - The last surviving member of the Apollo 14 crew, Astronaut Edgar Dean Mitchell, passed away February 4, at 9:30 pm, in West Palm Beach from a sudden illness.

IMAGE: Apollo 14 Astronaut Edgar Mitchell, the last surviving member of the crew, passed away on February 4, just hours away from the 45th anniversary of his touchdown on the moon.

Apollo 14 Astronaut Edgar Mitchell, the last surviving member of the crew, passed away on February 4, just hours away from the 45th anniversary of his touchdown on the moon.

Although Mitchell was born in Hereford, Texas, he always considered Artesia, New Mexico, his home because he spent most of his childhood there. A 1948 graduate of Artesia High School, the Navy veteran also held degrees in Industrial Management, Aeronautical Engineering, and Aeronautics and Astronautics. He held an honorary doctorate from New Mexico State University and several other universities.

Mitchell was the sixth man to walk on the moon. The Apollo 14 mission launched on January 31, 1971, landed on the moon on February 5, and returned safely to the Earth on February 9th. Mitchell was the Lunar Module Pilot and performed two lunar EVAs along with Mission Commander Alan Shepard. Command Module Pilot Stuart Roosa passed away from pancreatitis in 1994. Shepard succumbed to leukemia in 1998.

“How fitting that Ed passed away within hours of the 45th anniversary of his landing on the moon,” said Museum Executive Director Chris Orwoll. “New Mexico is privileged to have been home to two Apollo era moonwalkers and we are all saddened for the loss of this amazing man.”

Mitchell was inducted into the International Space Hall of Fame at the New Mexico Museum of Space History in 1979. Mitchell was the author of several books, essays and articles. One of his better known quotes, from his book The Way of the Explorer, said in regards to how his mission to space affected him, “you develop an instant global consciousness, a people orientation, an intense dissatisfaction with the state of the world, and a compulsion to do something about it. From out there on the moon, international politics look so petty. You want to grab a politician by the scruff of the neck and drag him a quarter of a million miles out and say, ‘Look at that, you (censored).

The New Mexico Museum of Space History, a Smithsonian Affiliate is a division of the NM Department of Cultural Affairs. For more information, call 575-437-2840 or toll free 1-877-333-6589 or visit the website at www.nmspacemuseum.org. Like us at: www.facebook.com/NMSpaceMuseum.