Alfred Worden

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Alfred Worden
Alfred Worden
Country: United States
Organization: NASA
selected on April 4, 1966
(5th NASA Group)
Calls: 1 space flight
Begin: July 26, 1971
Landing: 7th August 1971
Time in space: 12d 7h 12min
EVA inserts: 1
EVA total duration: 39min
retired on September 1975
Space flights

Alfred Merrill Worden (born February 7, 1932 in Jackson , Michigan , † March 18, 2020 in Sugar Land , Texas ) was an American astronaut . He was pilot of the command module of the Apollo 15 lunar landing mission , which took place in July and August 1971.


The son of Merrill and Helen Worden attended and graduated from the Sibble, Friswold, Bloomfield and East Jackson schools. He attended the military laureate course at the West Point Military Academy , New York. In 1955 he graduated with a bachelor's degree in military engineering and in 1963 as an aerospace engineer at the University of Michigan again with a master's degree. In 1971 he was awarded an honorary doctorate as a space engineer from the University of Michigan.


After applying to the Air Force, Worden trained as a pilot at the Moore, Texas Air Base. Before joining the Johnson Space Center, Worden served as an instructor at the Space Pilot's School, where he also graduated in September 1965. Worden obtained another degree in February 1965 from the Empire Test Pilot School in Farnborough, England. In addition to attending Radolph Air Force Base Instrument Pilots Instructor School in 1963, he served as a pilot and officer from March 1957 to May 1961 in the 95a Fighter Interceptor Squadron at Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland. He had over 4000 flight hours, of which around 2500 were in a jet plane.

Experience in NASA

Was one of 19 astronauts selected by NASA in April 1966. It received its first classification on December 22, 1966, when it was assigned to Mission D , the second planned Apollo flight, as a support. After the Apollo 1 disaster , all plans were put on hold.

On November 20, 1967, this classification was confirmed, and Worden belonged again to the support crew of Mission D, which started in March 1969 under the designation Apollo 9 . Was one of the liaison speakers ( Capcom ) during this space flight . Shortly afterwards, on April 10, 1969, Worden was nominated as a replacement pilot for the command module of the Apollo 12 mission . He was not used and served again as Capcom during the space flight in November 1969.

As expected, on March 26, 1970, Worden was assigned the main crew of the next available flight, Apollo 15 . Together with commander David Scott and the pilot of the lunar module James Irwin , he started for the moon on July 26, 1971. While Scott and Irwin made the fourth manned moon landing, Worden stayed aboard the Apollo spacecraft Endeavor in lunar orbit.

Alfred Worden at EVA to take over the film cassettes

On the way back to Earth, Worden left the spaceship to retrieve the film cassettes from the two cameras with which he had photographed the moon. This was the first space exit outside of Earth orbit.

The entire Apollo 15 crew, Scott, Irwin, and Worden, were assigned as Apollo 17 backup crews . Due to the Apollo 15 stamp affair , they were replaced on May 23, 1972 by Young , Duke and Roosa .

Worden stayed with NASA and moved to the Ames Research Center in California, where he was divisional director in 1973.

Alfred Worden (2019)

Alfred Worden left NASA in September 1975 and retired in 1996. In 1982, Worden ran for a seat in the United States House of Representatives in the 12th constituency of Florida ; but he lost the Republican primary against the then incumbent Congressman Tom Lewis .

Alfred Worden was married and had two children from his first marriage and one child from his second marriage. He died of a stroke on March 18, 2020 at the age of 88 in Houston, Texas .


  • The loneliest person ends up in Wiesental. RNZ (Rhein-Neckar-Zeitung, daily newspaper), September 9, 2014, p. 3.

Web links

Commons : Alfred Worden  - Collection of Images

Individual evidence

  1. March 17th is also given.
    Harrison Smith: Alfred Worden, who orbited the moon and walked in deep space, dies at 88. In: Washington Post . Retrieved March 22, 2020 (English).
  3. Emre Kelly: Apollo Astronaut Al Worden, one of the few who orbited the moon, dies. In: Florida Today. Retrieved March 18, 2020 (English).
  4. ^ Richard Goldstein: Alfred M. Worden, Who Orbited the Moon in 1971, Dies at 88. In: The New York Times . March 18, 2020, accessed March 19, 2020 .