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Thursday 13 June, 2024
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Apollo Astronaut James McDivitt Dead at 93, Cause of Death

BY Anas Shah Oct 18, 2022. 12:09 pm UPDATED: Oct 18, 2022. 12:09 pm

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James A. McDivitt, a former NASA astronaut who oversaw the Gemini IV and Apollo 9 missions, passed away on October 13. In Tucson, Arizona, McDivitt died away quietly while sleeping in the company of his loved ones. Age-wise, he was 93.

On June 10th, 1929, McDivitt was born in Chicago. After completing his high school education at Kalamazoo Central High School in Kalamazoo, Michigan, he attended the University of Michigan and graduated first in his class in 1959 with a Bachelor of Science in aeronautical engineering.

He enlisted in the Air Force in 1951, and he retired as a Brigadier General. During the Korean War, he piloted 145 combat missions in F-80 and F-86 aeroplanes. He had a degree from the U.S. the U.S. Air Force Experimental Test Pilot School At Edwards Air Force Base in California, he completed the Air Force’s Aerospace Research Pilot course and performed experimental test flights. During his tenure as a pilot, he accumulated more than 5,000 flying hours.

As a member of NASA’s second astronaut class, McDivitt was chosen for selection as an astronaut in September 1962.

As the Gemini IV mission’s commander in June 1965, he made his first space flight. On the program’s most challenging trip to date, Ed White, a fellow Air Force pilot, flew with McDivitt. White would do the first extravehicular activity (EVA), or spacewalk as it is now commonly known, during Gemini IV, making him the first American to leave his spacecraft. It was a talent that, in the years that followed, enabled the Apollo explorers to set foot on the Moon and American astronauts and their international collaborators to construct the International Space Station. The four-day mission’s duration roughly doubled.

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