HOUSTON – James Lovell was a backup Commander in Apollo 11. Here is what you need to know about Lovell and his journey in Apollo 11, according to NASA.gov.
Born in Cleveland, Ohio, on March 25, 1928. Married to the former Marilyn Gerlach, of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. They have four children.
University of Wisconsin; United States Naval Academy, bachelor of science, 1952; Test Pilot School, NATC, Patuxent River, Maryland, 1958; Aviation Safety School, University of Southern California, 1961; Advanced Management Program, Harvard Business School, 1971; honorary doctorates from
Rockhurst college, Illinois Wesleyan University, Western Michigan University, Mary Hardin-Baylor College and Milwaukee School of Engineering.
Eagle Scout; Sam Houston Area Council 1976 Distinguished Eagle Scout Award; Presidential Medal for Freedom, 1970; NASA Distinguished Service Medal; two Navy Distinguished Flying Crosses; 1967 FAI De Laval and Gold Space Medals (Athens, Greece); the American Academy of Achievement Golden Plate Award; City of New York Gold Medal in 1969; City of Houston Medal for Valor in 1969; the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences special Trustees Award, 1969; the Institute of Navigation Award, 1969; the University of Wisconsin's Distinguished Alumni Service Award, 1970; co-recipient of the American Astronautical Society Flight Achievement Awards, 1966 and 1968; the
Harmon International Trophy, 1966, 1967 and 1969; the Robert H. Goddard Memorial Trophy, 1969; the H. H. Arnold Trophy, 1969; General Thomas D. White USAF Space Trophy, 1969; Robert J. Collier Trophy, 1968; Henry G. Bennett Distinguished Service Award; and the AIAA Haley Astronautics Award, 1970.
Trustee of the National Space Institute; Fellow of the Society of Experimental Test Pilots; member
Explorers Club; Fellow - American Astronautical Society; Captain Lovell is on the Board of Directors of the Federal Signal Corporation; Astronautics Corporation of America; Astronaut Memorial Foundation; Captain Lovell is also on the Sports Medicine Advisory Board at Rush Presbyterian - St. Lukes Medical Center. He is a regent emeritus for the Milwaukee School of Engineering; on the board of trustees of Lake Forest College; a trustee of the National Space Institute, the Association of Space Explorers; and the Chairman of the National Eagle Scouts Association.
During his Naval career he has had numerous aviator assignments, including a 4-year tour as a test pilot at the Naval Air Test Center, Patuxent River, Maryland. While there he served as Program Manager for the F4H "Phantom" Fighter. A graduate of the Aviation Safety School of the University of Southern California, he also served as Safety Engineer with the Fighter Squadron 101 at the Naval Air Station, Oceana, Virginia. He has logged more than 7,000 hours flying time--more than 3,500 hours in jet aircraft.
Captain Lovell was selected as an Astronaut by NASA in September 1962. He has since served as
backup pilot for the Gemini 4 flight and backup Commander for the Gemini 9 flight, as well as backup Commander to Neil Armstrong for the Apollo 11 lunar landing mission. On December 4, 1965, he and Frank Borman were launched into space on the history-making Gemini 7 mission. The flight lasted 330 hours and 35 minutes and included the first rendezvous of two manned maneuverable spacecraft. The Gemini 12 mission, commanded by Lovell with Pilot Edwin Aldrin, began on November 11, 1966. This 4-day, 59-revolution flight brought the Gemini program to a successful close. Lovell served as Command Module Pilot and Navigator on the epic six-day journey of Apollo 8 - man's maiden voyage to the moon - December 21-27, 1968. Apollo 8 was the first manned spacecraft to be lifted into near-earth orbit by a 7-1/2 million pound thrust Saturn V launch vehicle; and Lovell and fellow crewmen, Frank Borman and William A. Anders, became the first humans to leave the Earth's gravitational influence. He completed his fourth mission as Spacecraft Commander of the Apollo 13 flight, April 11-17, 1970, and became the first man to journey twice to the moon. Apollo 13 was programed for ten days. However, the original flight plan was modified en route to the moon due to a failure of the Service Module cryogenic oxygen system. Lovell and fellow crewmen, John L. Swigert and Fred W. Haise, working closely with Houston ground controllers, converted their lunar module "Aquarius" into an effective lifeboat. Their emergency activation and operation of lunar module systems conserved both electrical power and water in sufficient supply to assure their safety and survival while in space and for the return to earth. Captain Lovell held the record for time in space with a total of 715 hours and 5 minutes until surpassed by the Skylab flights. On March 1, 1973, Captain Lovell retired from the Navy and from the Space Program to join Bay-Houston Towing Company in Houston, Texas. Bay-Houston Towing company is a diversified company involved in harbor and coastwise towing, mining and marketing of peat products for the lawn and garden industry, and ranching. He was promoted to the position of President and Chief Executive Officer on March 1, 1975.
On January 1, 1977, Captain Lovell became President of Fisk Telephone Systems, Inc. in
Houston, Texas (marketing business communications equipment) in the southwestern United States. On January 1, 1981, he was appointed Group Vice President, Business Communications Systems, a Centel Corporation. He retired from Centel Corp as Executive Vice President and member of Board of Directors on January 1, 1991.
President Lyndon B. Johnson appointed Captain Lovell as his consultant for Physical Fitness
and Sports in June, 1967. When the Physical Fitness Council was revised under President Nixon in 1970, Captain Lovell was assigned the additional duty of Chairman of the Council. After eleven years of performing his dual role with the Council, he relinquished these positions in 1978. However, he is still a Consultant to the Council and is presently assisting the Council in achieving its objective of making all citizens aware of the importance of being physically fit. The office of the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports is located in Washington, D.C.
Federal Signal Corporation, Chicago Astronautics Corp. of America, Milwaukee.