Edgar Mitchell, one of only 12 humans to set foot on the moon, was not a typical rationalist astronaut. In his later years, he said that aliens visited Earth and claimed that the USA government covered up evidence about the landings. NASA Administrator Charles Bolden has expressed his condolence on the behalf of the entire NASA family. “He is one of the pioneers in space exploration on whose shoulders we now stand”.
Mitchell was part of the Apollo 14 mission in 1971.
Shepard and Mitchell are among the 24 Apollo program spacemen who are the only humans to have even seen the far side of the moon with their own eyes, or seen the planet earth as a complete globe.
Mitchell logged a total of 216 hours and 42 minutes in space. He affirmed that the experience he had was Samadhi, which in the ancient Sanskrit means a feeling of overwhelming joy at seeing the Earth from that perspective.
Their mission was best known to the public because Shepard became the first and only golfer on the moon.
After retiring from NASA and the US Navy, he founded the Institute of Noetic Sciences in 1973 and 1984, co-founded the Association of Space Explorers. Cernan wrote in his autobiography that despite Mitchell’s impeccable skills and vast intelligence, flight crew director Deke Slayton and Shepard were bothered with the fascination.
Mitchell and Shephard set mission records for the time of the longest distance traversed on the lunar surface, the largest payload returned from the moon, and the longest lunar stay time, at 33 hours.
“I actually felt what has been described as an ecstasy of unity”. That’s important, because I think what we’re trying to do is discover ourselves and our place in the cosmos, and we don’t know. He had a B.S.in Industrial Management from Carnegie Mellon (1952), a B.S.in Aeronautics from the US Naval Postgraduate School (1961), and a Doctorate in Aeronautics and Astronautics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1964). He began astronaut training with NASA in April 1966.
In the family statement provided to the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation, adopted daughter Kimberly Mitchell said her brother and sisters “consider ourselves so blessed to have had the Dad we did”.
“That’s what I wanted because it was the bear going over the mountain to see what he could see, and what could you learn, and I’ve been devoted to that, to exploration, education and discovery since my earliest years, and that’s what kept me going”, Mitchell said.
(The story was originally published at Fait-Religieux)