James A. Lovell piloted Gemini 7, commanded Gemini 12, orbited the moon on Apollo 8 and commanded the aborted Apollo 13 moon flight.
He was born in Cleveland, Ohio, on March 25, 1928. He attended the University of Wisconsin, received a Bachelor of Science degree from the United States Naval Academy in 1952 and completed the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School in 1971.
Lovell attended the Test Pilot School at the Naval Air Test Center, Patuxent River, Md., and spent four years at the center as a test pilot, serving as program manager for the F4H Phantom Fighter. He graduated from the Aviation Safety School of the University of Southern California and was assigned as safety engineer with Fighter Squadron 101 at the Naval Air Station, Oceana, VA.
NASA selected him as an astronaut in 1962. On Dec. 4, 1965, he and Frank Borman began a then-record 14-day space trip in Gemini 7. During the flight, Gemini 6 astronauts Wally Schirra And Tom Stafford were launched and executed the first rendezvous in space of two manned spacecraft, with the two ships maneuvering to within one foot of each other. The Gemini 12 mission with pilot Buzz Aldrin began Nov 11, 1966, and featured a linkup with an Agena satellite and a space walk by Aldrin. The flight was the final in the Gemini series.
Lovell and Borman were back in space again, with Bill Anders, on Dec. 21, 1968, on Apollo 8, man's maiden voyage to the moon. This was the first crew to be launched by the giant Saturn V rocket. Borman, Lovell and Anders orbited the moon on Christmas Eve and captivated a television audience of millions by beaming pictures of the rugged lunar surface while reading from the Bible's Book of Genesis. Lovell was on his way to the moon again, this time to make the Apollo program's third lunar landing, on April 11, 1970. But as Apollo 13 neared the moon, an oxygen tank in the Service Module ruptured and he and crewmates Jack Swigert and Fred Haise had to battle for more than three days to get safely back home. With most of their command Module power gone, they worked with ground controllers to convert their still-attached Lunar Module into a lifeboat. By conserving electricity and other supplies, they made it back to earth after a hair-raising six-day trip.
Lovell and co-author Jeffrey Kluger wrote about the Apollo 13 adventure in "Lost Moon", published in 1994 by Houghton Mifflin. The book became a major motion picture in the summer of 1995. Titled "Apollo 13", it starred Academy Award-Winner Tom Hanks as Lovell. It was directed By Ron Howard and released By Universal Studios.
Lovell retired from the Navy in 1973 with the rank of captain and entered the business world. Today he is president of his own company, Lovell Communications.
Fred W. Haise Jr. was a member of the Apollo 13 crew that struggled for more than three days to return to Earth after an oxygen tank explosion aboard the spacecraft aborted the mission as it approached the moon in 1970.
Haise was born in Biloxi, Mississippi, on November 14, 1933. He received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors in aeronautical engineering from the University of Oklahoma in 1959, and an honorary Doctorate of Science from Western Michigan University in 1970.
He began a military career in October 1962 as a naval aviation cadet at the Naval Air Station in Pensacola, Florida. He had assignments with the Navy Advanced Training Command at Kingsville, Texas, as a Marine Corps fighter pilot at Cherry Point, North Carolina, and as a fighter interceptor pilot in the Oklahoma National Guard. He was the Aerospace Research Pilot School's outstanding graduate of Class 64A and served with the Air Force in 1961 and 1962 as a tactical fighter pilot. NASA then tapped him as a research pilot at its Flight Research Center at Edwards, California, and at its Lewis Research Center in Cleveland.
Haise was one of 19 selected by NASA in its fifth class of astronauts in April 1966. He was backup Lunar Module pilot for the Apollo 8 and Apollo 11 missions before being named to that slot on the Apollo 13 crew with Commander Jim Lovell and Command Module pilot Jack Swigert. Lovell and Haise were to have explored the moon's Fra Mauro highlands in April 1970, but they never made it there. As they neared the moon, an oxygen tank in the Service Module ruptured, robbing the Command Module of most of its power. They retreated to their still working Lunar Module, and, working closely with ground controllers, they devised means of conserving electrical and other supplies and made it safely back to Earth after a harrowing trip.
Between 1973 and 1976, Haise was technical assistant to the manager of the Space Shuttle Orbiter Project. He was commander of one of the two-man crews which piloted Space Shuttle approach and landing test flights in 1977. These flights evaluated the shuttle's capabilities after the test ship Enterprise was ejected from the back of a Boeing 747 jet high above the California Desert.
Haise retired from NASA in June 1979 and held several managerial positions with Grumman Aerospace Corporation before retiring in 1996.
John L. "Jack" Swigert Jr. was a late addition to the Apollo 13 crew that struggled for more than three days to return safely to Earth after an oxygen tank explosion aboard the spacecraft aborted the mission as it approached the moon in 1970.
Swigert was born August 30, 1931, in Denver, Colorado. He earned a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering from University of Colorado in 1953; Master of Science in aerospace science from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1965, and Master of Business Administration from the University of Hartford in 1967.
He served with the Air Force from 1953 to 1956, including a tour as a fighter pilot in Japan and Korea. He then served with the Air National Guards of Massachusetts and Connecticut.
Swigert was one of 19 selected by NASA in its fifth astronaut class in April 1966. He was named backup Command Module pilot for Apollo 13, and just days before the mission he replaced the prime command pilot, Thomas K. Mattingly, following Mattingly's exposure to German measles. Swigert, Commander Jim Lovell and Lunar Module pilot Fred Haise blasted off for the moon on April 11, 1970. Lovell and Haise were to have explored the lunar Fra Mauro highlands while Swigert circled the moon in the Command Module. But they were forced to abort the mission as they neared the moon, more than 200,000 miles from Earth, when an oxygen tank in the Service Module ruptured, robbing the command ship of most of its power. They retreated to their still-functioning Lunar Module, and, working with ground controllers, converted it into a lifeboat. By conserving electrical and other supplies they made it safely back to Earth after a harrowing journey.
Swigert resigned from NASA and between 1973 and 1977 he was executive director of the Committee on Science and Technology in the U.S. House of Representatives. In 1978, he ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. Senate from Colorado. He then held positions with BDM Corporation and International Gold and Minerals, Ltd., before returning to the political wars.
On November 2, 1982, Swigert won the new seat to the U.S. House of Representatives from Colorado's Sixth Congressional District, receiving 64% of the vote. On December 27, 1982, a week before he would have taken his seat in Congress, Swigert died in Washington, DC, of complications from cancer. In 1997, the state of Colorado placed a statue of Swigert, in his Apollo space suit, in the Rotunda of the U.S. Capitol.