James Arthur Lovell
(Capt, USN, Ret.)
(1928 – )
Missions: Gemini 7, Gemini 12, Apollo 8, Apollo 13
Time in Space: 715 hours, 5 minutes
NASA astronaut James Arthur “Jim” Lovell was born on March 25, 1928, in Cleveland, Ohio. He attended the University of Wisconsin before transferring to the United States Naval Academy, graduating in 1952. Lovell subsequently completed flight and test pilot training, flying F4H Phantom fighter planes.
Lovell began his career with NASA in September 1962 when he was selected to join the second group of astronauts, also known as the New Nine. He flew four space missions: as Pilot for Gemini 7 in December 1965, the passive target for the first manned space rendezvous; as Pilot for Gemini 12 in November 1966, the last mission of the Gemini program; as Command Module Pilot for Apollo 8 in December 1968, the first manned lunar-orbital mission; and as Commander of the Apollo 13 in April 1970, making Lovell the first person to journey to the Moon twice. In total, Lovell logged 715 hours and five minutes in space. President Richard Nixon awarded him and his Apollo 13 crewmates the Presidential Medal of Freedom for the actions they took to safely return to Earth.
Lovell retired from NASA and the Navy in 1973 to pursue a career in business, joining the Bay-Houston Towing Company in Houston, Texas. His 1994 book, Lost Moon: The Perilous Voyage of Apollo 13, served as the basis for Ron Howard’s 1997 motion picture about the mission.