List of Apollo astronauts

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Most of the Apollo astronauts gathered at the Johnson Space Center in Houston in 1978. Names are included even for those not in the photo, with moonwalkers' names in white and those who flew to the Moon without landing shown in dark grey. Names shown in faint grey are Apollo astronauts who did not fly to the Moon.

NASA assigned 32 American astronauts to the Apollo lunar landing program, and 24, flying on nine missions between December 1968 and December 1972, orbited the Moon. During six two-man landing missions twelve astronauts walked on the lunar surface, and six of those drove Lunar Roving Vehicles. Three flew to the Moon twice, one orbiting both times and two landing once apiece. Apart from these 24 men, no human being has gone beyond low Earth orbit.

The Apollo program included three other crewed missions. Apollo 1 did not launch and its crew died in a ground-based capsule fire, and Apollo 7 and Apollo 9 were low Earth orbit missions testing spacecraft components and docking maneuvers. Nine astronauts later flew unused Apollo command modules in the Apollo Applications Program's Skylab and Apollo–Soyuz Test Project.

Of the 24 astronauts who flew to the Moon, two went on to command a Skylab mission, one commanded Apollo–Soyuz, one flew as commander for Approach and Landing Tests of the Space Shuttle, and two commanded orbital Space Shuttle missions.

Prime crew members[edit]

NASA's Director of Flight Crew Operations during the Gemini and Apollo programs was Donald K. "Deke" Slayton, one of the original Mercury Seven astronauts, who was medically grounded in September 1962 due to a minor cardiac arrhythmia – paroxysmal atrial fibrillation. Slayton was responsible for making all Gemini and Apollo crew assignments. In March 1972, Slayton was restored to flight status, and flew on the 1975 Apollo–Soyuz Test Project mission.

The prime crew members selected for actual missions are here grouped by their NASA astronaut selection groups, and within each group in the order selected for flight. Two versions of the Apollo Command/Service Module (CSM) spacecraft were developed: Block I intended for preliminary low Earth orbit testing, and Block II which was designed for the lunar landing. The Block I crew position titles were Command Pilot, Senior Pilot (second seat), and Pilot (third seat). The corresponding Block II titles were: Commander, Command Module Pilot (second seat), and Lunar Module Pilot (third seat). The second seat pilot was given secondary responsibility for celestial navigation to keep the CSM's guidance computer accurately calibrated with the spacecraft's true position, and the third seat pilot served as a flight engineer, monitoring the health of the spacecraft systems.

From the Mercury Seven[edit]

  • Virgil I. "Gus" Grissom – Pilot of Liberty Bell 7 and commander of the first crewed Gemini mission, Grissom was selected in 1966 as Command Pilot for the first crewed mission, Apollo 1, a low Earth orbit test of the Block I Command/Service Module. This mission ended a month before its scheduled launch[1] when a cabin fire on the launch pad killed Grissom and his entire crew—Ed White and Roger Chaffee—on January 27, 1967. According to Slayton, Grissom would have been his choice to be the first to walk on the Moon.[2][3]
  • Walter M. Schirra Jr. – Pilot of Sigma 7 and commander of Gemini 6A, was selected to command a second CSM test flight which was canceled in late 1966, at which time he was reassigned as Grissom's backup. Twenty-one months after the Apollo 1 fire, Schirra commanded the first Block II CSM test flight, Apollo 7. He was the only member of the "Mercury Seven" to fly on all three programs.
  • Alan B. Shepard Jr. – America's first man in space on Freedom 7 was originally selected to command Gemini 3, but was medically grounded for the duration of Gemini due to Ménière's disease and assisted Slayton in Flight Operations. After corrective surgery, Shepard was restored to flight status and commanded Apollo 14, the third successful Moon landing mission.

From Astronaut Group 2[edit]

NASA Astronaut Group 2: Back row: Elliot M. See (died in Gemini training), McDivitt, Lovell, White, Stafford. Front row: Conrad, Borman, Armstrong, Young

All of these astronauts flew on Gemini, and except for White, each commanded one Gemini and one Apollo mission:

  • Ed White – Second-seat veteran of Gemini 4 who made the United States' first walk in space, selected as Senior Pilot (second seat) on Apollo 1. White was killed in the Apollo 1 fire along with Grissom and Chaffee.
  • James A. McDivitt – Commander of Gemini 4, selected in late 1966 to command the first Earth orbital flight test of the Apollo Lunar Module with the CSM. This mission flew in March 1969 as Apollo 9. After his flight, McDivitt was promoted to Manager of Lunar Landing Operations, and in August 1969 was promoted to Manager of the Apollo Spacecraft Program.
  • Frank F. Borman II – Commander of Gemini 7, selected to command a higher Earth orbit test of the complete Apollo spacecraft. But when delays prevented the LM from being ready in time for its first flight in December 1968, Borman's mission was changed to the first lunar orbital flight of the CSM on Apollo 8.
  • James A. Lovell Jr. – Second-seat veteran of Gemini 7, and commander of Gemini 12, flew as Command Module Pilot (second seat) on Apollo 8. Lovell became the first to fly a second Apollo mission as commander of Apollo 13, the third lunar landing attempt. This mission was unsuccessful, due to a Service Module electrical system failure caused by an oxygen tank explosion. Lovell and his crew managed to return to Earth safely.
  • Thomas P. Stafford – Second-seat veteran of Gemini 6A and commander of Gemini 9A, commanded a lunar orbital test of the Lunar Module on Apollo 10. He also commanded the Apollo–Soyuz Test Project mission.
  • John W. Young – Second-seat veteran of Gemini 3 and commander of Gemini 10, flew as Command Module Pilot on Apollo 10. Young later commanded the successful Apollo 16 lunar landing. He also commanded the first Space Shuttle flight, STS-1 Columbia, April 12–14, 1981, and STS-9, also on Columbia, November 28-December 8, 1983.
  • Neil A. Armstrong – Commander of Gemini 8, commanded Apollo 11, becoming the first human to set foot on the Moon.
  • Charles "Pete" Conrad Jr. – Second-seat veteran of Gemini 5 and commander of Gemini 11, commanded Apollo 12, the second lunar landing. He went on to command Skylab 2, successfully completing repairs to the spacecraft that saved it for this and two subsequent missions.

From Astronaut Group 3[edit]

NASA Astronaut Group 3

This was the first class of astronauts for which test pilot experience was not required, but military jet fighter pilot experience was acceptable.

Five of this group got their first spaceflight experience as second seat on Gemini:

The remaining six members of this group were selected for their first space flights on Apollo:

From Astronaut Group 4[edit]

Harrison Schmitt (seated, center) became NASA's first scientist astronaut to fly in space.

In June 1965, NASA named a group of five scientist astronauts, the first group qualified by doctorate degrees rather than test or military fighter pilot experience.[4] Geologist Harrison H. "Jack" Schmitt participated heavily in the geological training of the lunar landing astronauts, as well as assisting in the analysis of returned samples and the preparation of mission reports. In 1970, he was selected as Lunar Module Pilot for the Apollo 15 backup crew, and prime crew on Apollo 18. When program cutbacks canceled missions 18 through 20, NASA's lunar geological community insisted on having a geologist on the Moon, so Slayton reassigned Schmitt to Apollo 17.

From Astronaut Group 5[edit]

NASA Astronaut Group 5

NASA named a group of 19 more astronauts in April 1966. None had spaceflight experience before their Apollo mission.

Other astronauts who trained for Apollo but did not fly[edit]

Apollo astronauts who walked on the Moon[edit]

Twelve people have walked on the Moon. Four of them are still living as of July 2021. All of the crewed lunar landings took place between July 1969 and December 1972 as part of the Apollo program. Most astronauts at that time came from the military services and were considered to be on active duty during their NASA service; the few exceptions were considered civilian NASA astronauts (regardless of any prior military service).

On each of the Apollo 17 extravehicular activities (EVAs), Harrison Schmitt and Eugene Cernan walked on the Moon. For their final EVA, Schmitt stepped out of the Apollo lunar module onto the surface of the Moon after Cernan, and is therefore the 12th and (at present) the last person to have stepped out onto the Moon, and when they re-entered the lunar module, Cernan stepped in last, after Schmitt, and is therefore (at present) the last person to have been on the Moon.

Alan Shepard was the oldest person to walk on the Moon, at age 47 years and 80 days. Charlie Duke was the youngest, at age 36 years and 201 days.

Jim Lovell and Fred Haise were scheduled to walk on the Moon during the Apollo 13 mission, but the lunar landing was aborted following a major malfunction en route to the Moon. Haise was again scheduled to walk on the Moon as commander of Apollo 19, but Apollo 18 and Apollo 19 were canceled on September 2, 1970.

Joe Engle had trained on the backup crew for Apollo 14 to explore the Moon with Cernan, but he was replaced by Schmitt on the primary crew for Apollo 17. Schmitt had previously been crewed with Apollo 12 Command Module pilot Dick Gordon in anticipation of Apollo 18, but Schmitt replaced Engle on Apollo 17 after the cancellation of Apollo 18 and Apollo 19, leaving Gordon as the last Apollo astronaut to train extensively for lunar exploration without ever landing on the Moon.

Image Name Born Died Age at
first step
Mission Lunar EVA dates Military service Alma mater
1 Neil Armstrong pose.jpg Neil Armstrong (1930-08-05)August 5, 1930 August 25, 2012(2012-08-25) (aged 82) 38y 11m 15d Apollo 11 July 21, 1969[6] Civilian[7] (Navy veteran) Purdue University, University of Southern California
2 Buzz Aldrin.jpg Buzz Aldrin (1930-01-20) January 20, 1930 (age 91) 39y 6m 0d Air Force United States Military Academy, MIT
3 Pete Conrad during suit-up for the Apollo 12 launch.jpg Pete Conrad (1930-06-02)June 2, 1930 July 8, 1999(1999-07-08) (aged 69) 39y 5m 17d Apollo 12 November 19–20, 1969 Navy Princeton University
4 Alan Bean NASA portrait (S69-38859).jpg Alan Bean (1932-03-15)March 15, 1932 May 26, 2018(2018-05-26) (aged 86) 37y 8m 4d Navy University of Texas, Austin
5 Alan Shepard Apollo 14 (cropped).jpg Alan Shepard (1923-11-18)November 18, 1923 July 21, 1998(1998-07-21) (aged 74) 47y 2m 18d Apollo 14 February 5–6, 1971 Navy United States Naval Academy, Naval War College
6 Edgar Dean Mitchell.jpg Edgar Mitchell (1930-09-17)September 17, 1930 February 4, 2016(2016-02-04) (aged 85) 40y 4m 19d Navy Carnegie Mellon University, Naval Postgraduate School, MIT
7 Dave Scott Apollo 15 CDR.jpg David Scott (1932-06-06) June 6, 1932 (age 89) 39y 1m 25d Apollo 15 July 31 – August 2, 1971 Air Force University of Michigan, United States Military Academy, MIT
8 Jim Irwin Apollo 15 LMP.jpg James Irwin (1930-03-17)March 17, 1930 August 8, 1991(1991-08-08) (aged 61) 41y 4m 14d Air Force United States Naval Academy, University of Michigan
9 Astronaut John W. Young (1971).jpg John Young (1930-09-24)September 24, 1930 January 5, 2018(2018-01-05) (aged 87) 41y 6m 28d Apollo 16 April 21–23, 1972 Navy Georgia Institute of Technology
10 Official NASA portrait Charles Moss Duke Jr.jpg Charles Duke (1935-10-03) October 3, 1935 (age 85) 36y 6m 18d Air Force United States Naval Academy, MIT
11 Cernan s71-51308.jpg Eugene Cernan (1934-03-14)March 14, 1934 January 16, 2017(2017-01-16) (aged 82) 38y 9m 7d Apollo 17 December 11–14, 1972 Navy Purdue University, Naval Postgraduate School
12 Harrison Schmitt.jpg Harrison Schmitt (1935-07-03) July 3, 1935 (age 86) 37y 5m 8d Civilian[8] Caltech, University of Oslo, Harvard University

Lunar activities[edit]

Armstrong descended the lunar module ladder and spoke his famous epigram, "That's one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind."[9] He then went to work on collecting the contingency sample, which was a scoop of the lunar surface collected early in the mission in case there was an emergency.[10] Armstrong took the TV camera off the lunar module and mounted it to a tripod.[11] After that, Aldrin descended the ladder to join Armstrong.[12] Aldrin egressed to the surface about nineteen minutes after Armstrong.[13] They had some trouble planting the American flag into the lunar soil, but were able to secure it into the surface. Aldrin positioned himself in front of a video camera and began experimenting with different locomotion techniques on the surface.[14] During these experiments, Armstrong and Aldrin received a phone call from President Nixon, congratulating them for the successful landing.[15]

Aldrin then set to work documenting the condition of the spacecraft to ensure it was in proper condition for their upcoming launch. After setting up a couple of experiments with Armstrong, Aldrin went to work hammering a tube into the lunar surface to obtain a core sample.[16] Aldrin's EVA ended when they loaded the lunar samples into the spacecraft and tossed out unneeded items, just before sealing the hatch.[11] Armstrong performed the majority of the photography on the surface, which is why there are only five photos of him on the Moon.[17]

Soon after piloting the LM Falcon to a landing at Hadley Rille, Scott accomplished the only stand-up EVA through the lander's top hatch, using it as a high place from which to refine the geology traverses he and Irwin would undertake during the following days. Scott became the first to drive a vehicle on the Moon as he drove the Lunar Roving Vehicle, more than doubling Apollo 14's EVA time. After the final traverse, back outside the LM, Scott performed a demonstration of Galileo's theory that all objects fall at the same rate in vacuum by dropping a hammer and a feather for the television camera.

Irwin came onto the lunar surface soon after his commander, Scott. As the LRV's first passenger, he had an often rough ride as Scott swerved to avoid craters.[18] It was Irwin who, during the second EVA, first spotted the Genesis Rock and aided Scott in collecting this bit of the early lunar crust.[19] A man of deep Christian religious faith, Irwin quoted from Psalms while on the lunar surface and later became an evangelist.[20]

Apollo astronauts who flew to the Moon without landing[edit]

Besides the 12 people who have walked on the Moon, 12 more have flown to within 0.001 lunar distance of its surface. During each of the six missions with successful lunar landings, one astronaut remained in lunar orbit while the other two landed. In addition, the three-person crews of Apollo 8 and Apollo 10 also entered lunar orbit, and the crew of Apollo 13 looped around the Moon on a free-return trajectory.

All nine crewed missions to the Moon took place as part of the Apollo program over a period of just under four years, from 21 December 1968 to 19 December 1972. The 24 people who have flown to the Moon are the only people who have traveled beyond low Earth orbit. Ten of them are still living as of July 2021.

Jim Lovell, John Young, and Eugene Cernan are the only three people to have flown to the Moon twice. Young and Cernan each set foot on it during their respective second lunar missions, while Lovell is the only person to have flown to the Moon twice without landing.

During Cernan's first lunar mission on Apollo 10, he tied the present record set by Bill Anders on Apollo 8 as the youngest person to fly to the Moon. Each was 35 years and 65 days old on his launch date and 35 years and 68 days old when he entered lunar orbit. The oldest person to fly to the Moon was Alan Shepard, who walked on its surface during the Apollo 14 mission. Shepard was 47 years and 74 days old on his launch date and 47 years and 78 days old when he entered lunar orbit.

Jim Lovell and Fred Haise were scheduled to walk on the Moon during the Apollo 13 mission, but the lunar landing was aborted following a major malfunction en route to the Moon.[21] Haise was again scheduled to walk on the Moon as commander of Apollo 19, but Apollo 18 and Apollo 19 were canceled on September 2, 1970. Because of Apollo 13's free-return trajectory, Lovell, Swigert and Haise flew higher above the Moon's 180° meridian (opposite Earth) than anyone else has flown (254 km/158 mi). Coincidentally, due to the Moon's distance from Earth at the time, they simultaneously set the present record for humans' greatest distance from Earth, reaching an altitude of 400,171 km (248,655 mi) above sea level at 0:21 UTC on 15 April 1970.

Image Name Born Died Age Mission Military service Notes
1 Frank Borman.jpg Frank Borman (1928-03-14) March 14, 1928 (age 93) 40 Apollo 8
December 21–27, 1968
Air Force
2 Jim Lovell (1).jpg Jim Lovell (1928-03-25) March 25, 1928 (age 93) 40

Apollo 8
December 21–27, 1968
Apollo 13
April 11–17, 1970
Navy Intended to land on Apollo 13; only person to fly to the Moon twice without landing.
3 William Anders.jpg Bill Anders (1933-10-17) October 17, 1933 (age 87) 35 Apollo 8
December 21–27, 1968
Air Force
4 Thomas Stafford.jpg Tom Stafford (1930-09-17) September 17, 1930 (age 91) 38 Apollo 10
May 18–26, 1969
Air Force Later flew on Apollo–Soyuz Test Project.
5 Michael Collins (S69-31742, restoration).jpg Michael Collins (1930-10-31)October 31, 1930 April 28, 2021(2021-04-28) (aged 90) 38 Apollo 11
July 16–24, 1969
Air Force
6 RichardFGordon.jpg Dick Gordon (1929-10-05)October 5, 1929 November 6, 2017(2017-11-06) (aged 88) 40 Apollo 12
November 14–24, 1969
Navy Trained to land, slated for Apollo 18 (canceled).[22]
7 Jack Swigert.jpg Jack Swigert (1931-08-30)August 30, 1931 December 27, 1982(1982-12-27) (aged 51) 38 Apollo 13
April 11–17, 1970
Air Force
8 Fred Haise.jpg Fred Haise (1933-11-14) November 14, 1933 (age 87) 36 Apollo 13
April 11–17, 1970
Marines, Air Force Intended to land; later trained to land and slated to command Apollo 19 (canceled);[22] flew the Space Shuttle on approach / landing tests.
9 Stuart Allen Roosa.jpg Stu Roosa (1933-08-16)August 16, 1933 December 12, 1994(1994-12-12) (aged 61) 37 Apollo 14
January 31 – February 9, 1971
Air Force In rotation to land on Apollo 20 (canceled).
10 Al Worden Apollo 15 CMP.jpg Al Worden (1932-02-07)February 7, 1932 March 18, 2020(2020-03-18) (aged 88) 39 Apollo 15
July 26 – August 7, 1971
Air Force
11 Astronaut Thomas K. (Ken) Mattingly.jpg Ken Mattingly (1936-03-17) March 17, 1936 (age 85) 36 Apollo 16
April 16–27, 1972
Navy Later flew two Space Shuttle missions.
12 Ronald Evans.jpg Ron Evans (1933-11-10)November 10, 1933 April 7, 1990(1990-04-07) (aged 56) 39 Apollo 17
December 7–19, 1972

Apollo astronauts who never flew to the Moon[edit]

In addition to the nine lunar missions, there were two manned flights in the Apollo program that remained in Earth orbit to test fly the spacecraft. Apollo 7 was a manned test flight of the CSM, and Apollo 9 was a manned flight test of the CSM and LEM. Of the six astronauts who participated in these missions, five were never rotated to a lunar mission. In addition, the three Skylab missions and Apollo-Soyuz Test Project used manned CSMs in Earth orbit and are considered part of the Apollo Applications Project. Although Conrad, Bean, and Stafford commanded three of these four flights, the remaining crew members were rookies and thus had long missed the opportunity to fly a Moon mission. Of the seven rookies who flew Skylab, three of them (Paul J. Weitz, Owen K. Garriott, and Jack R. Lousma) would return to space aboard the Space Shuttle. Vance Brand flew on ASTP as Command Module Pilot and would command three Shuttle missions. Out of all Apollo astronauts who also flew on the Shuttle, Garriott is the only one who never flew as Commander.

Astronauts died during the Apollo Program[edit]

Three astronauts died on the ground while training for the first crewed Apollo mission, Apollo 1.

Position Astronaut
Command Pilot Virgil I. "Gus" Grissom
Would have been third spaceflight
Senior Pilot Edward H. White II
Would have been second spaceflight
Pilot Roger B. Chaffee
Would have been first spaceflight


  1. ^ George E. Mueller, Associate Administrator of the Office of Manned Spaceflight, issued a directive on April 24, 1967, that the mission would be officially recorded as Apollo 1, "first manned Apollo Saturn flight - failed on ground test." Ertel, Ivan D.; Newkirk, Roland W.; Brooks, Courtney G. (1978). "Vol.11, part 1 (1967 Mar/Apr), March 25 - April 24". NASA SP-4009: The Apollo Spacecraft – A Chronology. NASA. Retrieved March 3, 2011.
  2. ^ Zornio, Mary C. Detailed Biographies of Apollo I Crew - "Gus Grissom", NASA, accessed July 19, 2006.
  3. ^ Slayton, Donald K; Cassutt, Michael (1994). Deke!: U.S. Manned Space from Mercury to the Shuttle (1st ed.). New York City: Forge: St. Martin's Press. p. 234. ISBN 0-312-85503-6. LCCN 94-2463. OCLC 29845663.
  4. ^ Note: Edwin Aldrin and Eugene Cernan were selected for Group 3 without having been test pilots, though both were fighter pilots in the Air Force and Navy respectively.
  5. ^ "Footagevault, Project MOCR". Archived from the original on 2013-06-15.
  6. ^ This date is based on Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). Americans alive at the time remember it as the night of July 20, 1969 (Armstrong set foot on the Moon at 10:56 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time), but the official NASA chronology was kept in Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), so the first step was 2:56 a.m. on the 21st: [1]
  7. ^ Armstrong had mustered out of the US Navy, and was already a NASA test pilot when he and Elliot See became the first civilian astronauts in Astronaut Group 2; see Armstrong's NASA biography and a description of his receiving a NASA award, among others.
  8. ^ Schmitt, a geologist, was chosen as a scientist in Astronaut Group 4.
  9. ^ Mikkelson, Barbara; Mikkelson, David (October 2006). "One Small Misstep: Neil Armstrong's First Words on the Moon". Retrieved September 19, 2009.
  10. ^ Meyer, Charles (2009). "Lunar Sample Compendium: Contingency Soil (10010)" (PDF). Astromaterials Research & Exploration Science. NASA. Retrieved June 13, 2013.
  11. ^ a b Jones, Eric M.; Glover, Ken, eds. (1995). "First Steps". Apollo 11 Lunar Surface Journal. NASA. Retrieved September 23, 2006.
  12. ^ Jones, Eric M., ed. (1995). "One Small Step". Apollo 11 Lunar Surface Journal. NASA. Retrieved June 13, 2013.
  13. ^ Orloff 2000, pp. 102–110.
  14. ^ Chaikin 2007, pp. 212–213.
  15. ^ Chaikin 2007, p. 215.
  16. ^ Chaikin 2007, pp. 216–217.
  17. ^ Jones, Eric M. (July 28, 2011). "AS11-40-5886". Apollo 11 Lunar Surface Journal. NASA. Archived from the original on July 28, 2011. Retrieved May 13, 2011.
  18. ^ Chaikin 2007, pp. 417–418.
  19. ^ Chaikin 2007, pp. 430–431.
  20. ^ Chaikin 2007, pp. 437, 442, 557–558.
  21. ^ Tate, Karl (April 13, 2015). "How Apollo 13's Dangerous Survival Mission Worked (Infographic)". Retrieved February 21, 2019.
  22. ^ a b Williams, David R. "Apollo 18 through 20 - The Cancelled Missions". Retrieved July 19, 2006.
  23. ^ "Apollo 1 Prime and Backup Crews". NASA. Archived from the original on April 14, 2019. Retrieved December 2, 2017.

External links[edit]