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Speaking in a 1997 interview for Nasa’s oral history program, Mitchell said that he was drawn to spaceflight after president John F Kennedy’s call to send astronauts to the Moon.

In a condolence message, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden expressed his condolences to the bereaved family and friends of Mitchell.

The astronaut’s family confirmed his death at a hospice in West Palm Beach, Florida.

Mitchell died in West Palm Beach, Florida, on Thursday, on the eve of the 45th anniversary of the lunar landing, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration said.

Apollo 14 astronaut and moon walker Edgar Mitchell has died. They returned to Earth on February 9. Mitchell’s crewmates on the mission in 1971 were Alan Shepard and Stuart Roosa. In total, both of them spent 33 hours on the moon.

Mitchell and Shepard set a new record by walking on the lunar surface for over nine hours. He affirmed that the experience he had was Samadhi, which in the ancient Sanskrit means a feeling of overwhelming joy at seeing the Earth from that perspective.

It was also in 1957, with the former Soviet Union’s launch of the world’s first satellite, that Mitchell knew he wanted to be an astronaut.

He said two of the four recipients got 51 correct answers out of the possible 200 – versus the 40 that would be expected through chance – and that the experiment “persuaded me that ESP could happen”.

Mitchell also spoke about his conviction that alien life has visited Earth, including in July 1947 outside Roswell, New Mexico, near where he lived.

Only 12 people have ever accomplish the feat. “We’re still looking for that”, Mitchell said.

“None of those statements were originated by me”, he told the Huffington Post.

With that in mind, following his military and government service, Mitchell founded the Institute of Noetic Sciences in 1973, which sponsored and conducted research into the nature and powers of consciousness and engaged a global learning community to explore human potential. In addition, he was co-founder of the Association of Space Explorers, an organization for space travelers.

On this spacecraft were Astronaut Edgar Mitchell and Apollo 14 commander Alan Shephard, Jr. The stoic Texas-born test pilot and Navy veteran, who had a doctorate from MIT, turned his life upside down as he embarked on a decades-long quest to reconcile the contradictory worlds of science and metaphysics, interstellar exploration and personal growth. The camera had been bolted to the l lunar module and would have been left on the moon if Mitchell hadn’t removed it.

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