The Full Wiki

Jim Lovell: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Jim Lovell
James Lovell.jpg
NASA Astronaut
Status Retired
Born March 25, 1928 (1928-03-25) (age 81)
Cleveland, Ohio
Other occupation Test Pilot
Rank Captain, USN
Time in space 29d 19h 03m
Selection 1962 NASA Group
Missions Gemini 7, Gemini 12, Apollo 8, Apollo 13
Mission insignia
Ge07Patch orig.png Gemini 12 insignia.png Apollo-8-patch.png Apollo 13-insignia.png

James "Jim" Arthur Lovell, Jr., (born March 25, 1928) is a former NASA astronaut and a retired captain in the United States Navy, most famous as the commander of the Apollo 13 mission, which suffered an explosion en route to the Moon but was brought back safely to Earth by the efforts of the crew and mission control. Lovell was also the command module pilot of Apollo 8, the first Apollo mission to enter lunar orbit. Lovell is a recipient of the Congressional Space Medal of Honor and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. He is one of only 24 people to have flown to the Moon, and the only person to have flown to the Moon twice without making a landing. Lovell was also the first American to fly in space four times.




Youth and education

Born in Cleveland, Ohio to a Czech mother, Lovell's family moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where he graduated from Juneau High School and became an Eagle Scout.[1][2][3] His father died in a car accident when Jim was young and, for about two years, he resided with a relative in Terre Haute, Indiana. Later he attended the University of Wisconsin–Madison for two years, joining the Alpha Phi Omega fraternity. He continued on to the United States Naval Academy and, after graduating in 1952, entered the United States Navy where he served in the Korean War. He spent four years as a test pilot at the Naval Air Test Center (now the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School) in Patuxent River, Maryland, using the call sign "Shaky" (a nickname given him by Pete Conrad). Lovell was considered for the Mercury Seven but was ultimately turned down due to a medical technicality later deemed insignificant. He was then selected in 1962 for the second group of NASA astronauts.

NASA career

Lovell was the backup pilot for Gemini 4, and his first spaceflight was as pilot of Gemini 7 in December 1965, which was the first flight to spend a fortnight in space, and also conducted the first space rendezvous with Gemini 6A. Lovell was originally scheduled to be the backup commander of Gemini 10, but after the deaths of Elliot See and Charles Bassett, he became backup commander of Gemini 9A, and in November 1966 made his second flight into space as commander of Gemini 12 riding beside Buzz Aldrin. After these two flights, Lovell had spent more time in space than any other human.

He was then made command module pilot on the original backup crew for Apollo 9 along with Neil Armstrong (Commander) and Buzz Aldrin (Lunar Module Pilot). He later replaced Michael Collins, who was the command module pilot on the prime crew, when Collins needed to have surgery for a bone spur on his spine. Shortly after this the Apollo 8 and Apollo 9 crews swapped places in the flight schedule due to the re-assignment of Apollo 8 as a solo lunar orbital flight and delays in construction of the Lunar Module. Along with Frank Borman and William Anders, Lovell flew on Apollo 8 in December 1968, the first manned mission to travel to the Moon. It was that crew swap that allowed the Neil Armstrong crew to attempt the first landing. Had they not changed flights, the Charles Conrad Apollo 12 crew would have flown the first lunar landing mission while Armstrong would have landed in the Ocean of Storms aboard Apollo 12.

Lovell was backup commander of Apollo 11 and was scheduled to command Apollo 14, but he and his crew swapped missions with the crew of Apollo 13, as it was felt the commander of the other crew, Alan Shepard, needed more time to train after having been grounded for a long period. On April 11, 1970, Lovell took off on Apollo 13 with Fred Haise and Jack Swigert, planning to land on the Moon along with Haise. But on April 13, while in Earth-Moon transit, a damaged heater coil in a cryogenic oxygen tank sparked during a routine tank stir. This in turn triggered an explosion in the Service Module that crippled the Command Module "Odyssey." This is when he repeated Swigert's transmission, "Houston, we've had a problem." Venting oxygen from the damaged system, Odyssey quickly lost most of both its breathable air supply and its power supply, which was fed by fuel cells that used oxygen as a reactant.

Problems listening to this file? See media help.

In the aftermath of the explosion, Apollo 13's lunar landing mission was aborted and the goal became simply survival. Using the lunar module's engine, oxygen and power, Lovell and his crew swung around the Moon on a free return trajectory. Based on calculations made on Earth, Lovell had to adjust the course two times by manually controlling the Lunar Module's thrusters and engine using his watch for timing. Apollo 13 returned safely to Earth on April 17. Lovell is one of only three men to travel to the Moon twice, but unlike John Young and Eugene Cernan, he never walked on it.

His four flights made him the record holder for time in space (over 715 hours) and he had seen more sunrises from space than any human who had ever lived until the Skylab missions. Due to the free return trajectory, it is probable that Lovell, Haise, and Swigert hold the record for the farthest distance that humans have ever travelled from Earth.[4]

In October 2010, near Naval Station Great Lakes, the only basic training facility for the U.S. Navy, the merger of Naval Health Clinic Great Lakes and the North Chicago Veterans Affairs Medical Center will be complete. The facility will be named the Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center and will be located in North Chicago, Illinois, on the VA grounds. At this facility, veterans and active duty military, their families and retirees from the surrounding areas will be treated.

Later career

He retired from the Navy and the space program in 1973 and went to work at the Bay-Houston Towing Company in Houston, Texas, becoming CEO in 1975. He became president of Fisk Telephone Systems in 1977, and later worked for Centel, retiring as an executive vice president on January 1, 1991. Lovell, a recipient of the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award,[5] later served as the President of the National Eagle Scout Association in the mid-1990s. He was also recognized by the Boy Scouts of America with their prestigious Silver Buffalo Award.

Along with Jeffrey Kluger, Lovell wrote a book on the Apollo 13 mission, Lost Moon: The Perilous Voyage of Apollo 13.[6] This book was the basis for the later Ron Howard movie Apollo 13 starring Tom Hanks as Lovell. In order to prepare for the role, Hanks visited Lovell and his wife at their house in Texas and even went for a ride with Lovell in his private airplane. In the film, Lovell has a cameo as the captain of the USS Iwo Jima, the naval vessel which led the operation to recover the Apollo 13 astronauts after their successful splashdown. Lovell can be seen as the naval officer shaking Hanks' hand, as Hanks speaks in voice-over, in the scene in which the astronauts come aboard the Iwo Jima. Filmmakers initially offered to make Lovell's character an admiral aboard the ship (presumably Rear Admiral Donald C. Davis, Commanding Officer of Task Force 130, who was the senior officer aboard and welcomed them home), but Lovell stated "I retired as a captain and a captain I will be", and he was so cast as the ship's skipper, Captain Leland E. Kirkemo.[7] Along with his wife, Marilyn, who also has a cameo in the film, he also provided a commentary track on both the single disc and the two-disc special edition DVD.

In 1999, Lovell, along with his family, opened "Lovells of Lake Forest", a fine dining restaurant in Lake Forest, Illinois. The restaurant displays many artifacts from Lovell's time with NASA, as well as from the filming of Apollo 13. Lovell's son Jay (short for James) is the executive chef.

Lovell also visits colleges and universities where he gives speeches on his experiences as an astronaut and businessman. He strongly urges students to get involved in science and the space program and he credits NASA in the 1960s with bringing much of the country together for a common goal.

In 2006, the Adler Planetarium in Chicago opened its "Shoot for the Moon" exhibit based on the life of Jim Lovell, along with the Gemini and Apollo programs; the exhibit features his Gemini 12 spacecraft and an extensive collection of his personal space artifacts. Many of his momentos and spacesuit elements have long been displayed at Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry, along with his Apollo 8 command module.

Lovell is known for being a supporter of Congressman Mark Kirk, who named the Capt. James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center in North Chicago, Illinois after him. The hospital is located on Great Lakes Naval Station, and is minutes north of the Lovells' home of Lake Forest.

A street has been named in honor of James A. Lovell in downtown Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

He married Marilyn Gerlach in 1952 and they have four children - Barbara (born in 1953), James (1955), Susan (1958), and Jeffrey (1966).

Formal education

Awards and decorations

Captain Lovell's awards and decorations include[8][9][10][11]:

Military awards

Other awards

Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport is also called Lovell Field.

Lovell (crater) on the far side of the moon.

7th Street in Downtown Milwaukee, Wisconsin is now called "North James Lovell Street".

Capt. Lovell is a Fellow in the Society of Experimental Test Pilots and a member of the prestigious Golden Eagles.

In media

About a month after the return to Earth of Apollo 13, Lovell and his crewmates, Fred Haise and Jack Swigert, appeared on The Tonight Show with host Johnny Carson. The introduction of this segment of the show is featured on "A Successful Failure: The Triumph of Apollo 13" on the single disk DVD version of the movie.

In 1976, Lovell made a cameo appearance in the Nicolas Roeg movie The Man Who Fell to Earth.

In 1995, actor Tom Hanks portrayed Lovell in the hit movie Apollo 13, based on Lovell's book Lost Moon. Lovell himself makes a cameo in this movie, playing the captain of the USS Iwo Jima at the end of the film.

In 1998, actor Tim Daly portrayed Lovell in portions of the HBO miniseries From the Earth to the Moon. The film depicts Lovell during his missions aboard Gemini 12, Apollo 8, and Apollo 13, though he is not seen on screen during the latter mission.

Lovell is one of the astronauts featured in the book and documentaries In the Shadow of the Moon and When We Left Earth.

On November 13, 2008, Lovell and fellow Apollo 8 crew members Frank Borman and Bill Anders appeared on the NASA TV channel to discuss the Apollo 8 mission. The three former astronauts later appeared together for a panel discussion centering on Apollo 8 at the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library on April 23, 2009, a discussion which was videotaped by C-SPAN.


  1. ^ "Newsletter Spring 2000: Notable Americans with Czech Roots". Retrieved 2007-11-29.  
  2. ^ Townley, Alvin (26 December 2006). Legacy of Honor: The Values and Influence of America's Eagle Scouts. New York: St. Martin's Press. pp. 80–86. ISBN 0-312366531.  
  3. ^ Ray, Mark (2007). "What It Means to Be an Eagle Scout". Scouting Magazine. Boy Scouts of America. Retrieved 2007-01-05.  
  4. ^ Salgado, José Francisco (30 June 2006). "Captain James A. Lovell, Jr. Timeline" (.PDF). Adler Planetarium & Astronomy Museum. Retrieved 2007-10-04.  
  5. ^ "Distinguished Eagle Scouts". Troop & Pack 179. Retrieved 2006-03-02.  
  6. ^ Lovell, Jim; Kluger, Jeffrey (1995). Apollo 13: Lost Moon. New York: Pocket Books. ISBN 0671534645.  
  7. ^ NASA photographic archive
  8. ^ [1]
  9. ^ [2]
  10. ^ [3]
  11. ^ [4]

External links

Simple English

Astronaut Jim Lovell

Jim Lovell (born March 25, 1928) is a former Astronaut. He was commander of the Apollo 13 mission. Crew of Apollo 13 mission failed to land on Moon because of loss of electric power and failure of both oxygen tanks due to technical problem arised on the way to the Moon. Because of efforts of crew and ground control room, all 3 Astronauts aboard Apollo 13 returned to Earth safely.


Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address