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May the Fourth Be With You: 10 Space Travelers Who Served in the U.S. Navy

A long time ago, in a cockpit far, far away….

Today is the unofficial holiday/celebration of the Star Wars film franchise.  Here are 10 men and women “space travelers” that served in the U.S. Navy. Luke may have had the force, but did he successfully bring his “space ship” safely home after catastrophic failure? Who has the force now? Enjoy the day!

1. Alan Shepard

RANK: Rear Admiral, USN (Ret.)
MISSIONS: MR-3, Apollo 14
NOTABLE: First American in Space

2. Neil Armstrong603px-Neil_Armstrong_pose

RANK: Lieutenant (junior grade), USN (Ret.)
MISSIONS: Gemini 8, Apollo 11
NOTABLE: First Person to Walk on Moon

3. Charles “Pete” Conrad215355-charles-conrad

RANK: Captain, USN (Ret.)
MISSIONS: Gemini 5, Gemini 11, Apollo 12, Skylab 2
NOTABLE: Third Person to Walk on Moon (Ocean of Storms)

4. Ken MattinglyKen_Mattingly

RANK: Rear Admiral, USN (Ret.)
MISSIONS: Apollo 16, STS-4, STS-51-C
NOTABLE: 1 of 24 Astronauts to Walk on Moon

5. Jim Lovelljim-lovell-commanded-apollo-13-pic-corbis-257047798

RANK: Captain, USN (Ret.)
MISSIONS: Gemini 7, Gemini 12,Apollo 8, Apollo 13
NOTABLE: First to Fly in Space Four Times

6. Wally SchirraMercury_Astronaut_Wally_Schirra_-_GPN-2000-001351

RANK: Captain, USN (Ret.)
MISSIONS: Mercury-Atlas 8, Gemini 6A, Apollo 7
NOTABLE: Mercury Seven Astronaut

7. Kathryn Sullivan201434main_rs_image_feature_932_946x710

RANK: Captain, USNR (Ret.)
NOTABLE: First Woman to Walk in Space

8. Wendy Lawrence613px-Wendy_Lawrence_NASA_STS114

RANK: Captain, USNR (Ret.)
MISSIONS: STS-67, STS-86, STS-91, STS-114
NOTABLE: First Female USNA Grad to Fly in Space

9. Sunita Williams661347main_jsc2012e094942_1600_946-710

RANK: Captain, USN (Ret.)
MISSIONS: STS-116, Expedition 14, Expedition 15, STS-117, Soyuz TMA-05M, Expedition 32, Expedition 33
NOTABLE: Longest Single Spaceflight by a Woman (Record)

10. Christopher Cassidy1200px-STS-127_EVA3_Cassidy

RANK: Commander, USN
MISSIONS: STS-127, Expedition 35/36 (Soyuz TMA-08M)
NOTABLE: Astronaut and Navy Seal

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  1. RADM William M. Narva MC USN (ret)

    ……somewhat surprised you did not include CDR Scott Carpenter USN…one of the “original” Mercury Seven astronauts!!

    • RADM William M. Narva MC USN (ret)

      ……somewhat surprised you did not include CDR Scott Carpenter USN…..who was one of the “original” Mercury Seven astronauts!!

  2. Mike

    Great list! Seems like the USN producds some of the finest is NASA’s history.

    One note though, (not trying to be a troll!!) Ken Mattingly was the CMP on Apollo 16 and remained in lunar orbit, while John Young and Charlie Duke landed/walked on the moon. Though still a space pioneer, as not only was he one of only a handful of humans to leave the grasp of Mother Earth, Mattingly was the first (and I believe only) person to perform a “deep space” EVA, (about 170,000 miles from Earth) to retrieve experiments in the service module.

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