Ed White was an American test pilot and astronaut. He became the first American to take a spacewalk. He was born on November 14, 1930 in San Antonio, Texas. His complete name was Edward Higgins “Ed” White II. His father also served in the United States Air Force.
Ed went up in an old T-6 trainer with his father when he was just twelve years old. In 1952, Edward graduated from West Point with a Bachelor of Science degree and got enlisted in the U.S. Air Force. He was commissioned as a second lieutenant.
Quick Facts: –
- Ed White received his M.S. in aeronautical engineering from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor in 1959.
- He was selected to join James A. McDivitt on the four-day orbital flight of Gemini 4 which was launched on June 3, 1965.
- Edward flew into space as pilot of Gemini 4. This was the second trip by astronauts in NASA’s Project Gemini.
- During this mission, White floated in space for about 20 minutes, and became the first person to walk in space with a maneuvering unit.
- The mission included the study of cabin depressurization, the opening of cabin doors and 12 scientific and medical experiments.
- After this, he was selected as senior pilot for the first Apollo mission on March 21, 1966.
- He died along with fellow astronauts Gus Grissom and Roger Chaffee during a test for the Apollo 1 mission.
- This unfortunate event took place on January 27, 1967 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida. Ed White was 36 years old at that time.