David Randolph Scott
(Col, USAF, Ret.)
(1932 – )
Missions: Gemini 8, Apollo 9, Apollo 15
Time in Space: 546 hours, 54 minutes
Eighth person to walk on the Moon
NASA astronaut David Randolph “Dave” Scott was born on June 6, 1932, at Randolph Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas. Graduating fifth in his class from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1954, Scott chose to serve in the United States Air Force. Following a tour of duty abroad, he returned to the United States to study at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, earning a Master of Science degree in aeronautics and astronautics as well as an Engineer in Aeronautics and Astronautics degree.
Scott began his career with NASA in October 1963 when he was selected to join the third group of astronauts. He flew three space missions: as Pilot for Gemini 8 in March 1966, during which he and Command Pilot Neil Armstrong performed the first successful docking of two vehicles in space; as Command Module Pilot for Apollo 9 in March 1969, the first mission to complete an earth-orbital qualification and verification test of all Apollo spacecraft and flight operations necessary for a lunar landing; and as Commander for Apollo 15 in July 1971, during which Scott became the eighth person to ever walk on the Moon. In total, he logged 546 hours and 54 minutes in space, of which 20 hours and 46 minutes were spent in extravehicular activity.
Scott left NASA in 1977, but maintained his ties to the space program, working in the commercial space sector and serving as a technical advisor for space-related media such as Ron Howard’s 1997 film, Apollo 13, and HBO’s Emmy-winning television series From the Earth to the Moon.