Jim Lovell

Past Global Perspectives Guest Speaker

Capt. Jim Lovell, astronaut and NASA legend, is one of only 24 people to have flown to the Moon. He is most well known as the commander of the courageous Apollo 13 mission (Houston, we have a problem.), which was safely brought back to Earth by the inspiring efforts of the crew and mission control.

Captain Lovell was chosen in September 1962 for the space program following extensive experience as a naval aviator and test pilot. Lovell executed various commands in the Gemini Mission Program, including serving as backup pilot for the Gemini 4 flight, and pilot on the history-making Gemini 7 flight that saw the first rendezvous of two manned spacecraft in 1965.

At the close of the Gemini program, Lovell became command module pilot and navigator for the epic six-day journey on Apollo 8, humanity's maiden voyage to the moon, during which he and his fellow crew were the first humans to leave the Earth's gravitational influence. His fourth and final flight was on the perilous Apollo 13 mission in 1970. As spacecraft commander, he and his crew successfully modified their lunar module into an effective lifeboat when their cryogenic oxygen system failed. Their emergency activation and operation of the lunar module systems conserved both electrical power and water in sufficient supply to ensure their survival in space and their safe return to Earth.

In 1973, Lovell left the space program. Today, he is president of Lovell Communications, a business devoted to disseminating information about the U.S. space program.

In 1994, Lovell and Jeff Kluger wrote Lost Moon, the story of Apollo 13. In 1995, the film version of the best-seller, Apollo 13, was released to rave reviews. Lovell also appeared in several segments of Tom Hanks' From the Earth to the Moon, the HBO documentary miniseries that aired in 1998.

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