We are pleased to announce our first Guest for Autographica 9:
Captain Jim Lovell: Gemini 4, 7, 9 & 12 and Apollo 8, 11 & 13
Captain Lovell will also be attending a Meet and Greet on Friday evening for 2 night Diamond pass holders. Plus, will be attending a Q and A session on Sunday, again for Diamond pass holders.
Lovell was one of the group of nine astronauts selected by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in September 1962 for the space program. This followed his extensive expertise as a naval aviator and test pilot. Lovell executed various commands in the Gemini Mission Program, including, backup pilot for the Gemini 4 flight, and pilot on the history making Gemini 7 flight which saw the first rendezvous of tow manned spacecraft in 1965. He was also the backup Commander for the Gemini 9 flight and in 1966 he commanded the Gemini 12 spacecraft to successfully conclude this phase of the space program.
At the close of the Gemini program, Lovell became Command Module Pilot and Navigator for the epic six-day journey on Apollo 8 -- man's maiden voyage to the moon where he and fellow crewmen were the first humans to leave the earth's gravitational influence. He then was backup commander to Neil Armstrong for the Apollo 11 lunar landing mission in 1969.
Lift off, Saturday, April 11, 1970 at 13:13 CST. Lovell's fourth and final flight was on Apollo 13 which became our space program's third lunar attempt. According to NASA, the mission was aborted because of a rupture of the service module oxygen tank. The mission was classified as a "successful failure." Through the strong leadership of Captain Lovell and the never-ending teamwork of mission control and fellow astronauts, John Swigert and Fred Haise, they overcame the impossible.
Lovell and his crew successfully modified their lunar module into an effective lifeboat when the cryogenic oxygen system failed. Their emergency activation and operation of the lunar module conserved both electrical power and water in sufficient supply to assure their survival in space and their safe return. Welcome home. April 17, 1970, 5 days, 22 hours, and 54 minutes later, the Lunar Module Aquarius safely splashed down near Somoa.