Apollo 15 astronaut Al Worden dies at 88

Al Worden (KPRC2)

HOUSTON – Apollo-era astronaut Al Worden died in Texas on Wednesday. He was 88.

NASA confirmed Worden’s death with a statement from Jim Bridenstine, the agency’s administrator.

"Al was an American hero whose achievements in space and on Earth will never be forgotten,” Bridenstine said.

Worden was the pilot of the Endeavour command module during the Apollo 15 mission to the moon’s Hadley Rile and Appennine Mountains. He stayed with the module while the other two members of the mission went to the surface.

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“Every time I came around the moon I went to a window and watched the Earth rise and that was pretty unique,” Worden said during an interview with Smithsonian Magazine in 2011.

Endeavour was one of the only command modules to have its own set of scientific instruments. Worden performed three spacewalks during the trip back to Earth to retrieve film from the module’s cameras.

Born in 1932 in Jackson, Michigan, Worden was selected to be an astronaut in 1966. He served on the support crew for Apollo 9 and as the backup command module pilot for Apollo 12.

Worden wrote several books and even appeared on an episode of “Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood.”