NASA astronaut Alfred “Al” Worden, who flew to the moon but did not land on the lunar surface, has died at the age of 89.
“NASA extends its deepest condolences to the family and loved ones of astronaut Al Worden, whose achievements in space and on Earth will not be forgotten,” NASA chief Jim Bridenstine said in a statement posted on the Agency’s website.
“He flew to the moon as a pilot of the command module on Board the spaceship “Apollo 15.” At this time, he set a world record as the “loneliest person” while members of his team walked on the surface of the moon, he was at a distance of 2235 miles (3596.4 kilometers) from everyone,” the statement said.
According to the Guinness Book of Records, in 1971, Worden controlled the main module of the ship, which was rotating in orbit, while David Scott and James Irwin were on the moon. Worden was at the maximum distance that one astronaut was from the other.
“About his mission, Worden said: Now I know why I’m here. Not to get a closer look at the moon, but to look back at our home, the Earth,” Bridenstine said.