Stuart A. Roosa, who piloted the command module that orbited the moon during the third lunar landing mission in 1971, died Monday at Fairfax Hospital at age 61. The cause of death was not disclosed.
Roosa, who was president and owner of Gulf Coastal Coors Inc. in Gulfport, Miss., a beer distributor, served for 10 years in NASA's astronaut corps, logging all of his space flight time on the Apollo 14 lunar mission.Born in Durango, Colo., Roosa received his undergraduate degree in aeronautical engineering from the University of Colorado.
He served in the Air Force from 1953 to 1976, retiring as a colonel. Before joining the National Aeronautics and Space Administration in 1966, he was an experimental test pilot at Edwards Air Force Base.
Roosa was a member of the support crew for the Apollo 9 space flight before he flew his sole mission on Apollo 14 from Jan. 31-Feb. 9, 1971. He piloted the command module that orbited the moon while astronauts Alan Shepard and Edgar Mitchell landed on the lunar surface.
Later, he served as backup command pilot for the Apollo 16 and 17 missions and was assigned to the Space Shuttle Program until he retired in 1976.
Roosa held several executive positions in the private sector before becoming president and owner of the Coors distributorship in 1981.