James Benson "Jim" Irwin ( born March 17, 1930 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; † August 8, 1991 in Glenwood Springs, Colorado, United States) was an American astronaut and pilot of the lunar module on the Apollo 15 mission. He was the eighth person to walk on the moon.
Irwin grew up in Utah, where he attended high school in Salt Lake City. He then studied at the U.S. Naval Academy in 1951 and received a bachelor's degree in marine engineering. He joined the Air Force and was a pilot training in Texas. At the University of Michigan, he studied aerospace and instrument technology, and in 1957 was awarded a Master's degree.
After that he had initially advertised in vain for NASA astronaut group. In 1963, he was ultimately selected as the Military Astronaut Class 4. In April 1966, he was eventually selected as one of 19 astronauts from NASA. After Apollo 10, the dress rehearsal for the first manned moon landing, served in the Support Department, he was, along with Commander David Scott and Apollo spaceship pilot Alfred Worden, part of the backup crew of Apollo 12, in which he served as Lunar pilot.
With the Apollo 15 mission, the crew consisted of the backup crew of Apollo 12, Irwin entered on July 31 as the eighth man on the moon. Again he was the pilot of the Lunar Module and spent a total of 66 hours and 56 minutes on the moon. Apollo 15 was the first mission to the moon with a moon car and Irwin became the first passenger of this vehicle that because Scott was the driver.
Shortly after landing, the entire crew of Apollo 15 had been assigned as backup crew for the final flight to the moon Apollo 17. In the course of the following year but their involvement in the stamp affair of Apollo 15 was known. Scott, Worden and Irwin had taken with envelopes for their flights, which were not specifically approved and which were later sold by a German dealer. Against the team disciplinary proceedings have been initiated, and on May 23, 1972, she was sold as a backup crew for Apollo 17. It was clear that there would be no further space flight for the three, but they were neither condemned nor excluded from the astronaut corps, or even of NASA. Then Irwin voluntarily resigned on 31 July 1972 at the NASA from.
From 1973, under the influence of his trip to the moon, he was a Christian preacher. Irwin made several trips to Turkey to Mount Ararat to find Noah's ark.
On 8 August 1991, died James Benson Irwin, who had long suffered from heart problems. Against a heart attack during a concert tour with his friend Siegfried Fietz by the U.S. He is survived by his wife Mary Ellen and five children.