Apollo 13 Astronauts And Flight Director To Speak In Fayetteville

Apollo 13 crew (from left) Commander James Lovell, Command Module pilot John Swigert, and Lunar Module pilot Fred Haise.

Photo courtesy NASA

Two astronauts from the Apollo 13 crew and the flight director who helped return them safely to Earth will speak about NASA’s most famous “successful failure” at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 23, in Bud Walton Arena.

Apollo 13 launched on April 11, 1970. It was to be the third mission to land on the moon, but an explosion in one of the oxygen tanks crippled the spacecraft during flight which forced the crew to orbit the moon.

James Lovell and Fred Haise were part of the three-man crew stranded aboard the spacecraft some 200,000 miles from Earth. Flight director Gene Krantz worked with the crew and a team of NASA engineers and astronauts to solve a series of critical problems on the craft, including limited power, loss of cabin heat, shortage of clean water, and the need to repair the carbon dioxide removal system. Their efforts were successful, as Apollo 13 completed a splashdown landing on April 17.

The drama unfolded on televisions across the world in 1970, and was retold in 1995 in Ron Howard’s Oscar-winning film Apollo 13 starring Tom Hanks, Bill Paxton, and Ed Harris.

Lovell, Haise and Kranz will recount their experiences, explore the lessons of Apollo 13 and discuss the future of NASA and the U.S. space program during their visit to the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville.

The event, sponsored by the UA student Distinguished Lecture Series, is free and open to the public. No tickets are required.

Apollo 13 – Original Theatrical Trailer