We are saddened to report the death of Jim McDivitt. He was an astronaut who played an important role in making America’s first spacewalk and moon landing possible. According to reports, Jim took his last breath on Thursday at the age of 93. NASA confirmed the astronaut’s death to NPR on Monday and added that he was surrounded by family and friends. Tributes have poured in for the astronaut ever since the saddening piece of news surfaced all over the internet. Here, check what was his cause of death and how did he die.
As per reports, McDivitt commanded two of the most crucial flights in the early race including Gemini 4 and Apollo 9. Growing up in Kalamazoo, Mich, McDivitt graduated from the University of Michigan. The astronaut joined the Air Force and fought during the Korean War. He flew a total of 145 combat missions. The Gemini 4 mission was the first time the U.S. performed a spacewalk and the longest that a U.S spaceflight had remained in the Earth’s orbit: 4 days. The mission was considered NASA’s most ambitious flight at the time in 1965.
McDivitt led Apollo 9, a shakeout mission that orbited the Earth in March 1969 for ten days in order to test the lunar landing spacecraft, four years later. Four months later, in July 1969, NASA was able to successfully land people on the moon as a result. He made his final space flight on Apollo 9. Despite playing a crucial part in accelerating NASA’s lunar landing, McDivitt himself never made it there. McDivitt opted to take on a managerial position rather than command a lunar landing mission, according to spaceflight historian Francis French.
According to McDivitt, the success of the program as a whole was more significant than his own moon landing. In May 1969, McDivitt was appointed head of the Lunar Landing Operations, and in August of the same year, he was appointed manager of the Apollo Spacecraft Program. He oversaw the program for Apollo flights 12 through 16. French remarked that McDivitt distinguished himself as a leader by achieving the ideal harmony between humor, wit, and seriousness.
French observed that it is quite rare to come across someone who is both humorous and genuinely committed to their work. “This guy was one of those exceptional examples of both,” she remarked. He retired from NASA and the Air Force, where he had been given the rank of brigadier general, in 1972. He went on to work in executive roles in manufacturing companies. McDivitt was also inducted into the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame in 1993. Follow Social Telecast for more updates.