James Alton McDivitt lived a full and long life and today is celebrated, as he sadly passed away at the age of 93.

James was a test pilot, United States Air Force pilot, aeronautical engineer, and NASA astronaut who flew in the Gemini and Apollo programs and grew up in Kalamazoo. The Air Zoo in Portage recently learned of his passing and shared their thoughts on Facebook:

We are sad to learn about the passing of former NASA astronaut Jim McDivitt. McDivitt grew up in Kalamazoo and graduated from Kalamazoo Central High School in 1947. He commanded the Gemini 4 mission in 1965, becoming the first-ever NASA rookie to command a mission. In 1969, McDivitt commanded Apollo 9, a 10-day shakeout mission that involved testing the Apollo Lunar Module. Four months after his mission, NASA would successfully land humans on the moon. The Air Zoo's CTE Classroom in the Flight Discovery Center is proudly named after him.
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After he graduated from Kalamazoo, he transferred over to Jackson College in Jackson, Michigan where he went to school from 1948 to 1950, and a year later he joined the Air Force. He's still immortalized at Jackson Junior College where James McDivitt Hall is located where the now-closed Michigan Space Center once was, and also at U of M with the McDivitt-White Plaza located outside West Hall.
McDivitt was inducted into the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame in 1993 and will be remembered as one of the most prominent residents to ever come from Kalamazoo. Today we tip our hat to a pioneer of the final frontier. Rest In Peace good sir.

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