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James Benson Irwin Status: Deceased. Trained as: Astronaut. Profession: Pilot. Sex: Male. Marital Status: Married. Children: Four. Birth Date: 17 March 1930. Birth City: Pittsburgh. Birth State: Pennsylvania. Birth Country: USA. Nationality: American. Date of Death: 08 August 1991. Cause of Death: Natural causes - Heart attack. Group: 1966 NASA Group. Date Selected: 04 April 1966. Departed: 1972. Number of Flights: 1. Total Time: 12.30 days. Number of EVAs: 5. Total EVA Time: 19.25 hours.

NAME: James B. Irwin

BIRTHPLACE AND DATE: Irwin was born March 17, 1930 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

EDUCATION: Bachelor of Science in naval science from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1951. Master of Science in aeronautical engineering and instrumentation engineering from the University of Michigan in 1957.

EXPERIENCE: Upon graduation from the Naval Academy, Irwin was commissioned in the U.S. Air Force and received his flight training at Hondo Air Force Base and Reese Air Force Base, Texas. He later assisted in development of the Mach-3 YF-12A interceptor, serving with the F-12 Test Force at Edwards Air Force Base, California, and with the AIM-47 Project Office at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. He was graduated from the Experimental Test Pilot School in 1961 and from the Aerospace Research Pilot School in 1963. He then became Chief of the Advanced Requirements Branch at Headquarters Air Defense Command.

NASA selected Irwin as an astronaut in April 1966. He was backup Lunar Module pilot for Apollo 12. He flew as Lunar Module Pilot on Apollo 15, launched on July 26, 1971,. Irwin and David R. Scott flew their Lunar Module to the moon's surface while Alfred M. Worden waited in the Command Module in lunar orbit. This was the first extended scientific expedition to the moon and the first to use the Lunar Rover. In three separate excursions over three days they explored the most spectacular Apollo landing site, a narrow valley hemmed in on three sides by the 4,500 m Apennine Mountains and on the fourth by a 2 km wide canyon, Hadley Rille. They returned with 77 kg of rocks, having left behind an ALSEP science station for continued monitoring of the lunar environment.

Irwin retired from NASA and from the Air Force, with the rank of colonel, in 1972. A very religious person, he founded the High Flight Foundation, a non-profit organisation devoted to sharing Irwin's faith in God through speaking engagements, publications and retreats. He made several trips to Turkey's Mount Ararat in an unsuccessful quest for Noah's Ark. Irwin served as chairman and president of the foundation until his death from a heart attack on August 8, 1991, in Glenwood Springs, Colorado.

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