March is a Busy Birthday Month for Apollo Astronauts

apollo-11
March is a particularly busy month for birthdays of Apollo astronauts. Nine of the 38 men who flew Apollo spacecraft in Earth orbit, to the moon and to the Skylab space station have birthdays this month.

So happy birthday to the six living Apollo astronauts who are celebrating this month, including:

  • Frank Borman, Apollo 8: March 14, 1928 (age 88)
  • Eugene Cernan, Apollo 10 & 17: March 14, 1934 (age 82)
  • Alan Bean , Apollo 12 & Skylab 3: March 15, 1932 (age 84)
  • Walt Cunningham. Apollo 7: March 16, 1932 (age 84)
  • Ken Mattingly, Apollo 16: March 17, 1936 (age 80)
  • Jim Lovell, Apollo 8 & 13: March 25, 1928 (age 87)

Three other Apollo astronauts with birthdays this month have sadly passed on:

  • Deke Slayton, Apollo Soyuz Test Project: March 1, 1924 June 13, 1993 (aged 69)
  • Wally Schirra, Apollo 7: March 12, 1923 – May 3, 2007 (aged 84)
  • James Irwin, Apollo 15: March 17, 1930 – August 8, 1991 (aged 61) .

Twenty-six of the 38 astronauts from Apollo, Skylab and the Apollo Soyuz Test Program remain alive today. All but  one of the astronauts — Skylab 4’s Edward Gibson – are in their 80’s. Ken Mattingly joins his fellow octogenarians today as he turns 80.

With the death of Apollo 14 moon walker Edgar Mitchell last month at the age of 85, the United States lost its first full lunar crew. He was pre-deceased by crew mates Stuart Roosa in 1994 and Alan Shepard in 1998.

The table below shows the birthdays and ages of the astronauts in these programs.

MISSIONOBJECTIVES
CREW
BORNDIED
AGE
Apollo 7
Oct. 11-22 1968
Test command service module in Earth orbitWally SchirraMarch 12, 1923May 3, 2007d. 84
Donn EiseleJune 23, 1930December 2, 1987d. 57
Walt CunninghamMarch 16, 1932 — 84
Apollo 8
Dec. 21-27 1968
First human voyage to the moon; 10 orbits above the lunar surface Frank BormanMarch 14, 1928 —88
Jim Lovell March 25, 192887
Bill Anders October 17, 1933 — 82
Apollo 9
March 3-13 1969
 Test command service module and lunar module in Earth orbitJames A. McDivittJune 10, 192986
David R. Scott June 6, 1932 83
 Russell L. SchweickartOctober 25, 1935 —80
Apollo 10
May 18-26 1969
Dress rehearsal for first human landing on the moon; lunar module flew within 50,000 feet of lunar surface Tom StaffordSeptember 17, 1930 —85
 John Young September 24, 1930 — 85
 Eugene Cernan March 14, 1934 —82
Apollo 11
July 16-24 1969
First manned moon landing on Sea of Tranquility; Armstrong and Aldrin spent more than two hours walking on the surfaceNeil Armstrong August 5, 1930August 25, 2012d. 82
 Buzz AldrinJanuary 20, 1930 —86
 Michael CollinsOctober 31, 1930 — 85
Apollo 12
Nov. 14-24 1969
Second manned landing on the moon; recovered part of Surveyor 3 landerCharles “Pete” Conrad June 2, 1930July 8, 1999d. 69
 Alan BeanMarch 15, 1932 — 84
 Dick Gordon October 5, 1929 — 86
Apollo 13
April 11-17 1970
Landing in Fra Mauro  aborted due to explosion in service module oxygen tank Jim Lovell March 25, 1928 — 87
Fred HaiseNovember 14, 1933 — 82
Jack SwigertAugust 30, 1931 December 27, 1982d. 51
Apollo 14
Jan. 31 – Feb. 9, 1971
Exploration of the Fra Mauro formationAlan ShepardNovember 18, 1923July 21, 1998 d. 74
 Edgar MitchellSeptember 17, 1930  February 4, 2016d. 85
 Stu RoosaAugust 16, 1933December 12, 1994 d. 61
Apollo 15
July 28 – Aug. 7, 1971
 Exploration of Hadley Rille; first use of the lunar rover; Worden made first deep space walk to retrieve film from the service moduleDavid ScottJune 6, 1932 —83
 James IrwinMarch 17, 1930August 8, 1991d. 61
 Al Worden February 7, 1932 —84
Apollo 16
April 16-27 1972
Exploration of Descartes Highlands; Young and Duke spent more than 20 hours walking and driving on the surfaceJohn W. Young September 24, 1930 — 85
 Charles DukeOctober 3, 1935 — 80
 Ken MattinglyMarch 17, 1936 — 80
Apollo 17
Dec. 7-19 1972
Final manned moon mission; Cernan and Schmitt spent 22 hours outside the lunar module exploring Taurus-Littrow highlands Eugene CernanMarch 14, 1934 —82
Harrison Schmitt July 3, 1935 — 80
 Ron EvansNovember 10, 1933 April 7, 1990d. 56
Skylab 2
May 25 – June 22 1973
First U.S. space station crew; set new space duration record of 28 days; during launch, Skylab damaged with one solar panel torn off, another trapped against the ship by debris;  crew freed the solar panel and spread a parasol over area where micrometeorite/heat shield had been torn off; astronauts completed many of planned experimentsPete Conrad June 2, 1930July 8, 1999 69
 Joseph KerwinFebruary 19, 1932 —84
 Paul WeitzJuly 25, 1932 — 83
Skylab 3
July 28 – Sept. 25 1973
 Second U.S. space station crew set new space duration record of 59 days; conducted experiments on human body’s adaptation in space, observed sun using powerful space telescopes; placed second shield over parasol to protect station Alan BeanMarch 15, 1932 —84
Owen Garriott November 22, 1930 — 85
 Jack LousmaFebruary 29, 1936 —80
Skylab 4
Nov. 16, 1973 – Feb. 8, 1974

 

 Third and final crew set new duration record of 84 days; continued experiments begun by first two crewsGerald Carr August 22, 1932 —83
 Edward GibsonNovember 8, 1936 —79
William PogueJanuary 23, 1930March 3, 2014d. 84
Apollo-
Soyuz Test Project
July 15-24 1975

 

 First joint docking of American and Soviet spacecraft in orbit; first and only spaceflight for Deke Slayton, one of the original Mercury 7 astronauts Tom Stafford September 17, 1930 — 85
 Vance Brand May 9, 1931 — 84
Deke SlaytonMarch 1, 1924June 13, 1993 d. 69