Al Worden, astronaut, dies

Al WordenApollo 15 astronaut Al Worden dies at the age of 88. As the mission’s command module pilot, he was the only member of Apollo 15’s crew to not walk on the moon, though he does still hold the distinction of performing the furthest spacewalk from Earth, when he retrieved film cannisters from the body of the service module, requiring him to suit up and venture outside the vehicle while it was roughly halfway on its journey from the moon back to Earth. With the other members of the crew, he was embroiled in a seemingly minor scandal involving space-flown postal covers that turned out to almost be a career-ender once the astronauts were back on Earth; he made the jump to NASA’s Ames Research Center rather than returning to the Air Force, where he had been a past instructor at the Aerospace Research Pilot School, reporting directly to Colonel Chuck Yeager. After retiring from NASA, he made an unsuccessful run for Congress in 1982, and continued promoting the space program and science education.