National Space Society mourns passing of NASA's Apollo 15 commander

National Space Society has announced the passing of NASA astronaut Al Worden, a member of the 5th class of NASA astronauts and the Command Module Pilot for the Apollo 15 flight to the Moon, the society said.

Worden served on backup crews for Apollo 9 and Apollo 12 before being selected to fly on Apollo 15. During that flight, Worden spent almost three days alone in orbit around the Moon while fellow astronauts David Scott and James Irwin explored the lunar surface.

After the Apollo 15 mission, Worden worked at NASA´s Ames Research Center in California, retired from NASA in 1975 and served in senior executive roles for a number of aerospace firms before becoming the chairman of the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation. He founded other youth scholarship programs in subsequent years.

The National Space Society was founded in 1987 via a merger of the National Space Institute, founded by NASA´s Wernher von Braun, and the L5 Society, based on the work of space settlement pioneer Gerard K. O´Neill.