James Alton McDivitt (June 10, 1929 – October 13, 2022) was an American test pilot, United States Air Force (USAF) pilot, aeronautical engineer, and NASA astronaut who flew in the Gemini and Apollo projects. He joined the USAF in 1951 and flew 145 combat missions during the Korean War. After graduating top in his class with a Bachelor of Science degree in Aeronautical Engineering from the University of Michigan via the U.S.
James McDivitt completed the Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT) program, certified as a test pilot at the Air Force Experimental Flight Test Pilot School (Class 59C) and Aerospace Research Pilot School (Class I), and joined the Manned Spacecraft Operations Branch.
By September 1962, McDivitt had recorded over 2,500 flight hours, more than 2,000 of which were in jet aircraft. This included flying as a chase pilot for Robert M. White’s North American X-15 flight on July 17, 1962, in which White reached an altitude of 59.5 miles (95.8 km) and became the first X-15 pilot to be granted Astronaut Wings.
NASA chose McDivitt for Astronaut Group 2 in 1962. He oversaw the Gemini 4 mission, during which Ed White made the first U.S. spacewalk, and the Apollo 9 voyage, which was the first crewed flight test of the Apollo lunar module and the entire set of Apollo flying gear.
When Did James McDivitt Die?
James McDivitt died on October 13, 2022