Jim McDivitt, real name James McDivitt, passed away last week. He was 93 years old at the time of his death. Read on to learn how did Jim McDivitt die, what happened to him, and what was the cause of his death.
McDivitt was a renowned ex-NASA astronaut who had an integral role in making America’s first spacewalk and moon landing possible. NASA confirmed the tragic news of his passing.
Who was Jim McDivitt?
Jim McDivitt, born James Alton McDivitt on June 10, 1929, in Chicago was a famous astronaut who commanded the Gemini IV and Apollo 9 missions for NASA. He graduated from Kalamazoo Central High School in Michigan.
He went on to receive a Bachelor of Science degree in Aeronautical Engineering from the University of Michigan, graduating first in his class in 1959. McDivitt joined the Air Force in 1951 and retired with the rank of Brig. General.
He flew 145 combat missions during the Korean War in F-80 and F-86 aircraft. He was a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Experimental Test Pilot School and the U.S. Air Force Aerospace Research Pilot course.
McDivitt also served as an experimental test pilot at Edwards Air Force Base, California. He completed more than 5,000 flying hours during his piloting career.
Jim McDivitt had a Prestigious Career in Space Missions
James McDivitt was selected as an astronaut by NASA in September 1962 as part of its second astronaut class. He first flew in space as commander of the Gemini IV mission in June 2016 and was joined by fellow Air Force pilot Ed White.
McDivitt became the first American to venture outside his spacecraft for what officially is known as extravehicular activity (EVA) or spacewalk during his mission. This skill allowed Apollo explorers to walk on the Moon and paved the way to build the International Space Station.
McDivitt’s second spaceflight came as the commander of Apollo 9 where he played a critical role in landing the first humans on the Moon. The mission launched from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center on March 3, 1969.
Jim McDivitt logged more than 14 days in space during his prestigious career. He retired from the U.S. Air Force and left NASA in 1972. McDivitt then took the position of executive vice president, of corporate affairs for Consumers Power Company.
How did Jim McDivitt die?
Jim McDivitt a.k.a James A. McDivitt died on Thursday, October 13, 2022, at the age of 93. He passed away peacefully in his sleep surrounded by his family and friends in Tucson, Arizona.
The grieving news of his death was announced by NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) in a press release. The organization paid respect to the former astronaut who played key roles on numerous missions.
McDivitt is remembered as the winner of the following awards and medals:
•NASA Distinguished Service Medals x2
•NASA Exceptional Service Medal
•NASA Exceptional Service Medal x2
•Distinguished Flying Crosses x4
•U.S. Air Force Astronaut Wing
•Chong Moo Medal from South Korea
•U.S. Air Force Systems Command Aerospace Primus Award
•Arnold Air Society JFK Trophy
•Sword of Loyola
•Michigan Wolverine Frontiersman Award
He was a man who’ll always be a part of space history.
Jim McDivitt dies at 93: What was his cause of death?
Jim McDivitt reportedly died of natural causes. He was 93 years and his old age has been catching up to him recently. However, his family hasn’t confirmed the specific cause of death.
The press release announcing James A. McDivitt a.k.a Jim McDivitt’s death only mentioned that he “passed away peacefully in his sleep,” which likely refers to a natural demise.
Jim McDivitt Obituary: Funeral Arrangements and Tributes
The funeral arrangements of Jim McDivitt are pending at the time of writing. His family hasn’t shared the details yet. We’ll keep you posted when more information is released.
Tributes have emerged on social media for the former astronaut who’ll always be a part of the modern books of history.
Our deepest condolences go out to the people who were close to him. May God let his soul rest in peace.