Listen Live

Baylor Medicine offers a wide variety of healthcare specialties and services to our patients in order to deliver care that is competent, caring, and convenient. https://www.bcm.edu/healthcare

WASHINGTON – NASA astronaut James A. McDivitt, commander of the Apollo 9 mission in 1969, has died at age 93, the agency announced Monday.

>> Read more trending news

According to The Associated Press, McDivitt died Thursday in Tucson, Arizona. NASA, which took to social media to share the news, did not specify what caused his death.

“With heavy hearts, we mourn the recent passing of Korean War veteran, former test pilot, aeronautical engineer and NASA astronaut Jim McDivitt,” the agency wrote in a Facebook post. “McDivitt was selected to be part of NASA’s second group of astronauts and went on to command the Gemini IV mission in 1965 and Apollo 9 in 1969. Rest in peace, national hero.”

See the post here

McDivitt, an Air Force veteran and aeronautical engineering graduate from the University of Michigan, was selected to join NASA’s second class of astronauts in 1962, the AP reported. He was named the commander of the Gemini 4 mission, which featured the first U.S. spacewalk by fellow astronaut Ed White in 1965, according to the news agency.

Four years later, McDivitt was the commander of Apollo 9, “an Earth-orbital engineering test of the first crewed lunar module,” NASA said on its website. The successful March 1969 mission was a significant step toward the Apollo 11 moon landing months later, according to The New York Times.

McDivitt went on to serve as the manager of NASA’s lunar landing operations and the Apollo Spacecraft Program for the Apollo 12, 13, 14, 15 and 16 missions, NASA reported. He left the agency in 1972.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.