Men on the Moon: Apollo 14 & 15 Missions

In the third and fourth missions to the Moon, one of the astronauts had a chance to hit a few golf balls. In this article, you will learn who took the time to tee off while in space, as well as other information regarding the men who have walked the Moon.

The Apollo 14 Mission (Edgar Mitchell and Alan Shepard)

Edgar Mitchell and Alan Shepard landed on the Moon during a mission that lasted from January 31 to February 9, 1971.

Edgar Mitchell was a pilot and engineer that was selected to become an astronaut in 1966. He was designated the backup lunar module pilot for Apollo 10, and flew as the lunar module pilot for the Apollo 14 mission. During the Moon landing, he spent nine hours working on the lunar surface as the sixth person to walk on the Moon. The Apollo 14 experience was the only time Mitchell would fly into space. He remained with NASA until 1972, where he retired with a handful of honorary doctorates.

Alan Shepard

In addition to being an astronaut, Alan Shepard was a naval aviator, test pilot, and flag officer whose first achievement was to become the second person, and the first American, in space. Ten years later, he commanded the Apollo 14 mission and was the fifth person to walk on the Moon. Shepard would have visited the Moon sooner, as he was slated to command Apollo 13, but he needed corrective surgery for a medical diagnosis. He passed on the assignment so that he could train longer. Because of this, he swapped missions with the then crew of Apollo 14.

Before retiring from the United States Navy and NASA in 1974, Shepard also served as chief of the Astronaut Office and was promoted from captain to rear admiral. When he visited the Moon, Shepard is said to have completed the most accurate landing of the entire Apollo program. During their mission, the crew successfully broadcasted color television images from the surface of the Moon. One of the activities that Shephard completed while on the Moon was to use a Wilson six-iron head attached to a lunar sample scoop handle to drive golf balls.

The Apollo 15 Mission (David Scott and James Irwin)

David Scott and James Irwin landed on the Moon during a mission that lasted from July 26 to August 7, 1971.

Besides joining the NASA space program, David Scott was also an engineer and test pilot, who later became the seventh person to walk on the Moon. Before his astronaut days, he was a graduate of West Point Military Academy and a member of the United States Air Force. He eventually retired from the Air Force in 1975 as a colonel , logging in more than 5,600 hours of flying time. The Moon was not the first mission for Scott who was a pilot for the Gemini 8 mission with Neil Armstrong in 1966. He was also in orbit for 10 days aboard Apollo 9.

James Irwin was an engineer was the Lunar Module pilot for the Apollo 15 mission and the eighth person to walk on the Moon. His days in space were not smooth sailing, as he had to deal with health issues in flights. For example, while moving samples, such as rocks, Irwin started to exhibit signs of a heart condition (such as irregularities in the heart) that developed into a future heart attack. The heart attacks would continue to affect Irwin, eventually taking his life in 1991. With his death, he became the first of the 12 men who have walked the Moon to die.