Jim Lovell

Jim Lovell


3/25/1928, Cleveland, Ohio, USA

Birth Name

James Arthur Lovell Jr.


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Trivia and Quotes

  • Trivia

    • The Command Module of Apollo 13 was named Odyssey. During a television broadcast, Lovell played the theme from the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey on a tape recorder. He said it was rather odd to see the tape recorder floating in Odyssey while playing this piece of music.

    • When Lovell first started training with NASA, astronaut Pete Conrad nicknamed him "Shaky" because he had a great deal of nervous energy. In 1968, TIME magazine mentioned this nickname but added, "He has since proved that he is nerveless in space."

    • Ron Howard said, referring to the making of the Apollo 13 film, "Everybody in our offices at Imagine Films, you know, they've had all the biggest stars in Hollywood walk in there. They were more excited about Jim Lovell."

    • The Apollo 8 mission took place over Christmas. On Christmas Eve, the crew did a broadcast where they read some passages from the Bible and wished everyone on earth a Merry Christmas. The following day, Lovell jokingly told Mission Control that he had seen Santa Claus.

    • He had a brief cameo appearance in the movie Apollo 13 as the Captain of the USS Iwo Jima. He shook hands with Tom Hanks, who played him in the movie.

    • Jim Lovell received the Presidential Medal of Freedom after the Apollo 13 mission, along with his fellow crew members and the Mission Control team.

    • His book Lost Moon: The Perilous Voyage of Apollo 13, was used as a basis for the movie Apollo 13.

    • Lovell was one of only three men to travel to the Moon twice. However, unlike John Young and Eugene Cernan, he never walked on it.

    • Lovell is most famous for his command of the Apollo 13 mission.

    • Lovell won the AIAA Haley Astronautics Award in 1970.

    • Captain Lovell held the record for time in space with a total of 715 hours and 5 minutes, until it was later passed by Skylab flights.

    • Lovell and his fellow crewmen, Frank Borman and William A. Anders, became the first humans to leave the Earth's gravitational influence.

    • The Gemini 12 mission was commanded by Lovell with Pilot Edwin Aldrin.

    • 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.

    • Captain Lovell was selected as an astronaut by NASA in September 1962.

    • Lovell was the backup pilot for Gemini 4.

    • Jim was a member of four missions into space: Gemini 7, Gemini 12, Apollo 8, and Apollo 13.

    • Jim spent a total of 29 days, 19 hours, and 3 minutes in space.

    • Jim entered the United States Navy where he served in the Korean War.

    • Jim attended the U.S. Naval Academy.

    • Jim attended the University of Wisconsin.

    • Jim was a test pilot at Naval Air Test Center in Patuxent River, Maryland.

  • Quotes

    • Jim Lovell: The flight of Apollo 13 was a high point of American imagination and ingenuity and motivation and teamwork.

    • Jim Lovell: Be thankful for problems. If they were less difficult, someone with less ability might have your job.

    • Jim Lovell: Houston, we've had a problem. (after Apollo 13 Service module explosion)

    • Jim Lovell: The moon is essentially gray, no color. It looks like plaster of Paris, like dirty beach sand with lots of footprints in it.

    • Jim Lovell: There are people who make things happen, there are people who watch things happen, and there are people who wonder what happened. To be successful, you need to be a person who makes things happen.