|This article needs additional citations for verification. (December 2013)|
|Stuart Allen Roosa|
August 16, 1933|
|Died||December 12, 1994
Falls Church, Virginia
|Other occupation||Test Pilot|
|Time in space||9d 00h 01m|
|Selection||1966 NASA Group|
Stuart Allen Roosa (August 16, 1933 – December 12, 1994) was a NASA astronaut, who was the command module pilot for the Apollo 14 mission. The mission lasted from January 31 to February 9, 1971 and was the third mission to land astronauts (Alan Shepard and Edgar Mitchell) on the Moon. While Shepard and Mitchell spent two days on the lunar surface, Roosa conducted experiments from orbit in the command module "Kitty Hawk". He was one of only 24 people to travel to the Moon.
Roosa began his career as a smokejumper with the U.S. Forest Service, dropping into at least four active fires in Oregon and California during the 1953 fire season. He was a graduate of the Aviation Cadet Program at Williams Air Force Base, Arizona, where he received his flight training commission in the U.S. Air Force. He also attended the Aerospace Research Pilots School and was an experimental test pilot at Edwards Air Force Base in California before being selected for the astronaut class of 1966.
Roosa was one of 19 people selected as part of the astronaut class of 1966 and served as a member of the astronaut support crew for the Apollo 9 mission. On Apollo 14 he spent 33 hours in solo orbit around the Moon, conducting an extensive series of experiments.
On the Apollo 14 mission Roosa carried seeds from loblolly pine, sycamore, sweet gum, redwood, and Douglas fir trees as part of a joint U.S. Forest Service/NASA project. The seeds were germinated on his return and planted throughout the United States, becoming known as the "Moon Trees".
Following Apollo 14, Roosa served as backup command module pilot for Apollo 16 and Apollo 17, and based on crew rotations, would probably have commanded one of the last Apollo missions had it not been cancelled. He was assigned to the Space Shuttle program until his retirement as a colonel from the Air Force in 1976. After leaving NASA and the Air Force, he held a number of positions in international and U.S. businesses, and became owner and president of Gulf Coast Coors in 1981. His daughter Rosemary was named CEO of Gulf Coast Coors several years later.
Honors and awards
Roosa's honors include the NASA Distinguished Service Medal; the Johnson Space Center Superior Achievement Award (1970); the Air Force Command Pilot Astronaut Wings; the Air Force Distinguished Service Medal; the Arnold Air Society's John F. Kennedy Award (1971); the City of New York Gold Medal (1971); the American Astronautical Society's Flight Achievement Award (1971); the Order of Tehad (1973); and the Order of the Central African Empire (1973). Additionally, an elementary school in Claremore, Oklahoma is named in his honor. Roosa earned a Program for Management Development (PMD) degree from Harvard Business School, Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 1973 and an honorary LL.D. from University of St. Thomas, Houston in 1971.
On December 12, 1994, Stuart Roosa died at age 61 in Washington D.C. from complications of pancreatitis. He was survived by his wife Joan, three sons and a daughter, and five grandchildren. Son Jack Roosa attended the USAF Academy and became an F-16 squadron commander. He is buried in section 7A of Arlington National Cemetery. His wife Joan died on October 30, 2007 in Gulfport, Mississippi. She was interred at Arlington Cemetery with her husband.
In popular culture
- The book Smoke Jumper, Moon Pilot (2011), by Willie G. Moseley, is a biography on Roosa's life.
- In 2013, footage of Roosa with two of his granddaughters appears in USAA insurance television ads promoting availability to family members.
- "Houston, We Have Moon Trees". Peeling Back the Bark. Forest History Society. February 17, 2011.
- "Stuart Roosa". Find a Grave. January 1, 2001.
- Patricia Langley Harvey (November 2, 2007). "Joan Carol Barrett Roosa". Find a Grave.
- Credits, From the Earth to the Moon (1998 miniseries)
- Moseley, Willie G. (2011-10-31). Smoke Jumper, Moon Pilot. Acclaim Press. ISBN 978-1935001768.
- "USAA TV Spot, 'Earned'". iSpot TV. "Screenshot"
- "Mine Was Earned — USAA Auto Insurance". YouTube. USAA. October 2, 2013.
- Steitz, David E.; Herring, Kyle (1994-12-12). "Apollo Astronaut Stuart Allen Roosa Dies". Press release 94-210 (NASA). Retrieved December 12, 1994.
- Official NASA biography
- Arlington Cemetery biography and photos
- Joan Barrett Roosa Obituary
- "Houston, We Have Moon Trees". Peeling Back the Bark blog, the Forest History Society.