Biography of American Astronauts: David Scott

About the United States astronaut David Scott, history of the NASA space program and biography of the man.

An Earthy Look at the American Astronauts

David Scott. When David Scott landed on the moon in Apollo 15, he was carrying 398 unauthorized envelopes in the pocket of his spacesuit. Scott had been approached prior to the flight by Horst Eiermann, a former Cape Canaveral contractor's representative. He encouraged Scott to take along these envelopes, called "postal covers" by stamp collectors. In return for the postal covers, Eiermann promised to establish $7,000 trust funds for not only Scott's children but also those of James Irwin and Alfred Worden, his fellow astronauts on the flight. Some of these unauthorized covers were sold in Germany for $1,500 apiece.

When NASA later found out about the scheme, it officially reprimanded the crew. Scott and the others returned the trust fund money, and NASA admitted its embarrassment over the astronauts who "clearly broke the verbal understanding we had against this sort of thing."

The Apollo 15 mission was Scott's 3rd space flight. He had previously joined Neil Armstrong in Gemini 8, in 1966, for the 1st docking in space, and he was a crew member in the orbital flight of Apollo 9.

After the scandal of Apollo 15 broke, Scott remained in the space program, but no further flights were planned for him.

The New York Times quoted Edgar Mitchell as saying that other astronauts had done similar things, but the Apollo 15 crew were made sacrificial lambs. "The Apollo 15 fellows were crucified," Mitchell said. "It was a political year, and NASA was headline-grabbing so as not to spoil the Boy Scott image."

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