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James Irwin

James Irwin

Born on: 17 Mar 1930
Join NASA in: 4 Apr 1966
Current status: Died 8 Aug 1991
Spaceflight Position Date
Apollo 15 LMP 26.07. - 07.08.1971
Spaceflight experience:
Colonel Irwin was one of the 19 astronauts selected by NASA in April 1966. He was crew commander of lunar module (LTA-8)-this vehicle finished the first series of thermal vacuum tests on June 1, 1968. He also served as a member of the astronaut support crew for Apollo 10 and as backup lunar module pilot for the Apollo 12 flight.

Irwin served as lunar module pilot for Apollo, July 26 to August 7, 1971. His companions on the flight were David R. Scott, spacecraft commander and Alfred M. Worden, command module pilot. Apollo 15 was the fourth manned lunar landing mission and the first to visit and explore the moon's Hadley Rille and Apennine Mountains which are located on the southeast edge of the Mare Imbrium (Sea of Rains). The lunar module, "Falcon", remained on the lunar surface for 66 hours, 54 minutes-setting a new record for lunar surface stay time-and Scott and Irwin logged 18 hours and 35 minutes each in extravehicular activities conducted during three separate excursions onto the lunar surface. Using "Rover-l" to transport themselves and their equipment along portions of Hadley Rille and the Apinnine Mountains, Scott and Irwin performed a selenological inspection and survey of the area and collected approximately 180 pounds of lunar surface materials. They deployed an ALSEP package which involved the emplacement and activation of surface experiments, and their lunar surface activities were televised in color using a TV camera which was operated remotely by ground controllers stationed in the mission control center located at Houston, Texas. Other Apollo 15 achievements included: largest payloads ever placed in earth and lunar orbits; first scientific instrument module bay flown and operated on an Apollo spacecraft; longest distance traversed on lunar surface; first use of a lunar surface navigation device, mounted on Rover 1; first subsatellite launched in lunar orbit; and first extravehicular activity (EVA) from a command module during transearth coast. The latter feat was accomplished by Worden during three excursions to "Endeavour's" SIM bay where he retrieved film cassettes from the panoramic and mapping cameras and reported his personal observations of the general condition of equipment housed there.

Apollo 15 concluded with a Pacific splashdown and subsequent recovery by the USS OKINAWA.

In completing his first flight, Irwin logged 295 hours and 11 minutes in space-19 hours and 46 minutes of which were in EVA

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