Astronaut Ken Mattingly passed away on {2023-10-31}; + some Apollo moon stats

I did not see a dedicated thread on this but it may have been mentioned in other threads like the death pool. My search did not find any recent posts about him. Astronaut Ken Mattingly was depicted by actor Gary Sinise in the movie Apollo 13.

Some interesting statistics were passed on Facebook about the Apollo moon missions. I’ve pasted them below.

Rest in Peace, Ken Mattingly.

What follows is verbatim from a Facebook post in the Space Hipsters group. I did not confirm all the info here, but at a brief glance I did not spot any egregious errors. The link is pasted at the end. The “I just did…” in the next line is from the FB poster, not me.


With the passing of astronaut TK Mattingly, I just did some stats related to the remaining Apollo astronauts.

Of 24 individual astronauts who went to the Moon (three flew twice out to the Moon), nine are still with us (Borman, Lovell, Anders, Stafford, Aldrin, Haise, Scott, Duke, and Schmitt.

Of the 12 Moonwalkers, four are still living (Aldrin, Scott, Duke, Schmitt).

From the nine Apollo lunar flights, four Commanders are still alive (Borman - Apollo 8, Stafford - Apollo 10, Lovell - Apollo 13, Scott - Apollo 15).

From the six successful lunar landing missions, only one Commander is still living (David Scott - Apollo 15).

With the passing of Mattingly, there are now no Command Module Pilots alive from the six successful lunar landing missions, but from those missions there are three Lunar Module Pilots (LMPs) still with us from Apollo 11 (Aldrin), 16 (Duke) & 17 (Schmitt). Fred Haise, still very much active, was the Apollo 13 LMP, but didn’t get to land on the Moon.

The only full Apollo crew still alive is that from the Apollo 8 mission to orbit the Moon: Frank Borman (95), James Lovell (95 - 11 days younger than Borman), and William Anders (90).

Of the 11 Apollo missions flown with crews (Apollo 7 to 17), no crew members are left from Apollo 7, 12 or 14.

Oldest Apollo astronaut - Frank Borman - 95 (actually, the oldest space traveler still living).

Youngest Apollo lunar mission astronaut - Charlie Duke - 88

Youngest Apollo astronaut - Russell Schweickart (Apollo 9 Earth-orbital mission) - 88 (22 days younger than Charlie Duke)

Source: Space Hipsters | Ken Mattingly, astronaut w... | Facebook

More surprisingly for me, I missed that my second favorite astronaut, John Young, died. I am reading his book now. Maybe he mentions it at the end. :slight_smile:

Ken looked more like Tom Hanks (or Bruce Willis) than Gary Sinese.

This dates from 2012:

And is surprisingly accurate. Right now the survivorship is running towards the high end of the 95th percentile; The lunar walkers are lasting 3-4 years longer than expected. The 5 to 4 survivor transition was expected in ~2019. We “should” be down to about 2-1/2 by now. Although that’s base on actuarial tables for mere mortals, not folks who once passed an astronaut physical and have had lifetime medical care.

I don’t know anything about how well Aldrin, Scott, Duke or Schmitt are doing here in 2023. We might be about to catch up to the trendline. Sadly.

Those guys are very healthy. And we’re well screened before entering the astronaut corps. I chuckle when I remember the testing scenes from The Right Stuff movie.

“My name… Jose Jimenez…”

Modulo of course the mongo dose of radiation they got whenever they were in space, whether in the Apollo missions or previously or subsequently.

After Apollo, Mattingly commanded a couple of shuttle flights and there was some real comedy gold associated with the classified missions. I remembered this article from Smithsonian’s Air & Space Magazine, and thankfully it’s available online:

Apparently space radiation didn’t harm the astronauts or shorten their lives.

I still remember our elementary school gathering all the kids to watch the first Moon Landing.

My family watched a lot of the early rocket liftoffs. Cheering the astronauts.

RIP Ken Mattingly

I suspect NASA astronauts are all study subjects for determining the health hazards of space travel. The required exams (and early discovery of other illnesses) probably contribute to a longer lifespan.

Not so fast…

Oh wow. Oh no…

I hope the last 50 years haven’t been too anticlimactic for these guys.