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 Stuart Allen Roosa

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Stuart Allen Roosa

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Astronaut. He is remembered as the pilot of the command module Kitty Hawk for the Apollo 14 mission that took place from January 31 to February 9, 1971 and was the third mission to land astronauts (Alan Shepard and Edgar Mitchell) on the Moon. Born in Durango, Colorado his family moved to Claremore, Oklahoma where he attended Claremore High School, graduating in 1951. He then attended Oklahoma State University at Stillwater, Oklahoma and the University of Arizona at Tucson, Arizona before graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in Aeronautical Engineering from the University of Colorado at Boulder, Colorado in 1960. He began his aviation career as a smokejumper with the US Forest Service, dropping into at least four active fires in Oregon and California during the 1953 fire season. He was a graduate of the Aviation Cadet Program at Williams Air Force Base, Arizona, where he received his flight training commission in the US Air Force. From July 1962 to August 1964 he was a maintenance flight test pilot at Olmstead Air Force Base, PA, flying F-101 Voodoo fighter aircraft. He was a fighter pilot at Langley Air Force Base, VA, where he flew the F-84F Thunderstreak and F-100 Super Sabre aircraft. Following graduation from the University of Colorado, under the Air Force Institute of Technology Program, he served as Chief of Service Engineering at Tachikawa Air Base, Japan (closed in September 1977) for two years. Additionally, he attended the Aerospace Research Pilots School and was an experimental test pilot at Edwards Air Force Base, California. In 1966 he was selected to become a NASA astronaut and served as a member of the astronaut support crew for the Apollo 9 mission. On Apollo 14, in early 1971, he spent 33 hours in solo orbit around the Moon, conducting an extensive series of experiments. He carried seeds from loblolly pine, sycamore, sweet gum, redwood, and Douglas fir trees as part of a joint US Forest Service/NASA project. The seeds were germinated on his return and planted throughout the US, becoming known as the "Moon Trees". Following Apollo 14 he became the backup command module pilot for Apollo 16 and Apollo 17, and based on crew rotations, would probably have commanded one of the last Apollo missions had it not been cancelled. He was assigned to the Space Shuttle program until his retirement from the US Air Force in February 1976 at the rank of colonel. During his military career he logged 5,500 hours of flying time, 5,000 of which were in jet aircraft, and also logged 217 hours in space. After his military retirement, he held a number of positions in international and U.S. businesses, and in 1981 he became owner and president of Gulf Coast Coors. He died of complications from pancreatitis at the age of 61. Among his awards and honors include the NASA Distinguished Service Medal, the Air Force Distinguished Service Medal, the Johnson Space Center Superior Achievement Award (1970), the Air Force Command Pilot Astronaut Wings, the Arnold Air Society's John F. Kennedy Award (1971), the City of New York Gold Medal (1971), the American Astronautical Society's Flight Achievement Award (1971), the Order of Tehad (1973), and the Order of the Central African Empire (1973). He also earned an honorary Doctor of Laws Degree from University of St. Thomas at Houston, Texas in 1971 and a Program for Management Development (PMD) degree from Harvard Business School, Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1973. He was portrayed by actor George Newbern in the 1998 HBO television miniseries "From the Earth to the Moon."

Bio by: William Bjornstad


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 1 Jan 2001
  • Find A Grave Memorial 1604
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Stuart Allen Roosa (16 Aug 1933–12 Dec 1994), Find A Grave Memorial no. 1604, citing Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Arlington County, Virginia, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .