James B. Irwin



March 17, 1930 - August 8, 1991

Colonel, U.S. Air Force (Retired)
Born March 17, 1930, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
BS in naval science from U.S. Naval Academy
MS in aeronautical engineering and instrumentation engineering from University of Michigan.

About the Man

Irwin, an Air Force Colonel, was commissioned in the Air Force upon graduation from the Naval Academy in 1951. He received his flight training at Hondo Air Base and Reese Air Force Base, Texas.

Prior to reporting for duty at the Manned Spacecraft Center, he was assigned as Chief of the Advanced Requirements Branch at Headquarters Air Defense Command. He graduated from the Air Force Aerospace Research Pilot School in 1963 and from the Air Force Experimental Test Pilot School in 1961.

He also served 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.

During his military career, he accumulated more than 7,015 hours flying time, 5,300 hours in jet aircraft. Colonel Irwin was one of the 19 astronauts selected by NASA in April 1966. He was crew commander of lunar module (LTA-8)-this vehicle finished the first series of thermal vacuum tests on June 1, 1968. He also served as a member of the astronaut support crew for Apollo 10 and as backup lunar module pilot for the Apollo 12 flight.

About the Spaceflight

Apollo 15

July 26 - August 7, 1971

The Apollo 15 crew was the first to carry orbital sensors in the service module. The amount of scientific payload landing on the Moon doubled with the flight of Apollo 15.

Apollo 15's landing site was the Hadley-Apennine region near theApennine Mountains. They performed three EVAs of 10 hours and 36 minutes.

Duration: 12 Days, 17 hours, 12 min, seconds

Colonel Irwin's cumulative hours of space flight were more than 2952.

HIs cumulative EVA time was more than 18 hours. Sadly, Colonel Irwin passed away on August 8, 1991.


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Click on the mission patch to read more about the historic flight of Apollo 15.

The Original Seven
Honoring America's First Astronauts

NASA's 2nd Group of Astronauts
A Second Group is Chosen

NASA's 3rd Group of Astronauts
Another Group Is Needed

NASA's 4th Group of Astronauts
Eureka! NASA finds its 4th group!

NASA's 5th Group of Astronauts
Pilot Astronauts