Encyclopedia Astronautica
Lovell



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Lovell
Credit: www.spacefacts.de - www.spacefacts.de
Lovell, James Arthur Jr 'Shaky' (1928-) American test pilot astronaut. Flew on Gemini 7, Gemini 12, Apollo 8, Apollo 13. Member of first crew to rendezvous in space, and first to orbit the moon. Altitude (401,056 km) record.

Educated Annapolis.

NAME: James A. Lovell

BIRTHPLACE AND DATE: Lovell was born in Cleveland, Ohio, on March 25, 1928.

EDUCATION: Attended the University of Wisconsin. Bachelor of Science degree from the United States Naval Academy in 1952. Completed Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School in 1971.

Lovell attended the Test Pilot School at the Naval Air Test Center, Patuxent River, Maryland., and spent four years at the center as a test pilot, serving as program manager for the F4H Phantom Fighter. He graduated from the Aviation Safety School of the University of Southern California and was assigned as safety engineer with Fighter Squadron 101 at the Naval Air Station, Oceana, Virginia.

NASA selected him as an astronaut in 1962. On Dec. 4, 1965, he and Frank Borman began a record 14-day space flight in Gemini 7. During the flight, Gemini 6 astronauts Wally Schirra and Tom Stafford were launched and executed the first rendezvous in space of two manned spacecraft, with the two ships manoeuvring to within a metre of each other. In November 1966 Lovell commanded the final Gemini flight, Gemini 12, with pilot Buzz Aldrin. This flight capped the Gemini project with flawless dockings with the Agena target vehicle and space walks by Aldrin.

Lovell returned to space with Frank Borman and Bill Anders aboard Apollo 8. A last minute decision was made to send Apollo 8, only the second manned Apollo flight, into lunar orbit in order to beat the Russians. On December 21, 1968, the Apollo 8 crew became the first humans to reach escape velocity as their Saturn V put them on a trans-lunar trajectory. Early on Christmas Eve, the Apollo 8 command-service module braked into lunar orbit. In an unforgettable Christmas message to the world, Borman, Lovell and Anders read the story of creation from the first ten verses of the Bible's Book of Genesis, while sending a vivid televised image of the stark lunar surface rolling by below. On Christmas Day, Apollo 8's engines pushed the crew out of lunar orbit and back toward Earth to a landing in the Pacific Ocean.

Lovell was given command of his own lunar landing mission on Apollo 13 with Lunar Module Pilot Fred Haise and Command Module pilot Jack Swigert. Lovell and Haise were to have explored the moon's Fra Mauro highlands in April 1970, but en route, an oxygen tank in the Service Module exploded, resulting in loss of all Command Module oxygen and electric power. The crew used their still-attached Lunar Module as a lifeboat. Together with ground controllers, they made several manual manoeuvres using the Lunar Module engine and made it safely back to Earth after a harrowing trip.

Lovell retired from the Navy in 1973 with the rank of captain and entered the business world. He was later President of his own company, Lovell Communications.

Lovell and Jeffrey Kluger wrote of the Apollo 13 mission in "Lost Moon", published in 1994. The book was the basis of the 1995 movie, "Apollo 13", with Tom Hanks playing Lovell, and Lovell himself in a cameo performance as the commander of the recovery carrier.


Birth Place: Cleveland, Ohio.
Status: Inactive.


Born: 1928.03.25.
Spaceflights: 4 .
Total time in space: 29.79 days.

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
See also
  • Astronaut Category of persons, applied to those trained for spaceflight outside of Russia and China. More...

Associated Flights
  • Gemini 4 Crew: McDivitt, White. First American space walk. First American long-duration spaceflight. Astronaut could barely get back into capsule after spacewalk. Failure of spacecraft computer resulted in high-G ballistic re-entry. Backup crew: Borman, Lovell. More...
  • Gemini 7 Crew: Borman, Lovell. Record flight duration (14 days) to that date. Incredibly boring mission, made more uncomfortable by the extensive biosensors. Monotony was broken just near the end by the rendezvous with Gemini 6. Backup crew: Collins, White. More...
  • Gemini 9 Crew: Cernan, Stafford. Third rendezvous mission of Gemini program. Agena target blew up on way to orbit; substitute target's shroud hung up, docking impossible. EVA almost ended in disaster when astronaut's face plate fogged over; barely able to return to spacecraft. Backup crew: Aldrin, Lovell. More...
  • Gemini 12 Crew: Aldrin, Lovell. First completely successful space walk. Final Gemini flight. Docked and redocked with Agena, demonstrating various Apollo scenarios including manual rendezvous and docking. Successful EVA without overloading suit by use of suitable restraints. Backup crew: Cernan, Cooper. More...
  • Apollo 8 Crew: Anders, Borman, Lovell. First manned flight to lunar orbit. Speed (10,807 m/s) and altitude (378,504 km) records. Mission resulted from audacious decision to send crew around moon to beat Soviets on only second manned Apollo CSM mission and third Saturn V launch. Backup crew: Aldrin, Armstrong, Haise. More...
  • Apollo 11 Crew: Aldrin, Armstrong, Collins. First manned lunar landing. The end of the moon race and public support for large space programs. The many changes made after the Apollo 204 fire paid off; all went according to plan, virtually no problems. Backup crew: Anders, Haise, Lovell. More...
  • Apollo 13 Crew: Haise, Lovell, Swigert. Altitude (401,056 km) record. Fuel cell tank exploded en route to the moon, resulting in loss of all power and oxygen. Only through use of the still-attached LM as a lifeboat could the crew survive to return to earth. Backup crew: Duke, Mattingly, Young.Support crew: Brand, Lousma, Kerwin. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • USN American agency overseeing development of rockets, spacecraft, and rocket engines. USN Joint Task Force 7, USA. More...

Associated Programs
  • Apollo The successful US project to land a man on the moon. More...
  • Gemini Gemini was conceived as an 'upgraded Mercury' to test essential orbital manoeuvring, rendezvous, docking, lifting re-entry, and space walking techniques in the four years between the last Mercury flight and the first scheduled Apollo flight. If fulfilled this mission, and numerous variants that never reached production would have serviced manned space stations and taken Americans around and to the moon - at lower cost and earlier than Apollo. More...

Lovell Chronology


1962 April 18 - .
  • NASA announced that applications would be accepted for additional astronauts until June 1, 1962. - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Armstrong; Borman; Conrad; Lovell; McDivitt; See; Stafford; White; Young. Spacecraft: Gemini. NASA planned to select five to ten astronauts to augment the seven-member Mercury astronaut team. The new pilots would participate in support operations in Project Mercury and would join the Mercury astronauts in piloting the two-man Gemini spacecraft. To be chosen, the applicant must (1) be an experienced jet test pilot and preferably be presently engaged in flying high-performance aircraft; (2) have attained experimental flight test status through military service, aircraft industry, or NASA, or must have graduated from a military test pilot school; (3) have earned a degree in the physical or biological sciences or in engineering; (4) be a United States citizen under 35 years of age at the time of selection, six feet or less in height; and (5) be recommended by his parent organization. Pilots meeting these qualifications would be interviewed in July and given written examinations on their engineering and scientific knowledge. Selected applicants would then be thoroughly examined by a group of medical specialists. The training program for the new astronauts would include work with design and development engineers, simulator flying, centrifuge training, additional scientific training, and flights in high-performance aircraft.

1962 September 11 - .
  • NASA Astronaut Training Group 2 selected. - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Borman; Conrad; Lovell; McDivitt; See; Stafford; White; Young. The group was selected to provide pilots for the Gemini program and early Apollo missions.. Qualifications: Test pilot status (either military, NASA, or aircraft industry), qualified jet pilot with minimum 1,000 flight-hours, under 35 years old, under 183 cm height, excellent health. US citizen.. 253 applicants survived initial NASA screening of their records. Following physical and psychiatric tests, nine were selected. Eight made it to space (See was killed in a T-38 crash before his first spaceflight). This was generally considered the highest quality group of astronauts ever selected. They would command the missions during the glory days of the American space program - Gemini, Apollo, and Skylab. Young was the only astronaut to fly Gemini, Apollo, and the Shuttle program. Armstrong was the only one to fly the X-15, Gemini, and Apollo. Conrad was the only one to fly Gemini, Apollo, and Skylab.

1962 September 17 - .
  • Nine new astronauts named - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Armstrong; Borman; Conrad; Lovell; McDivitt; See; Stafford; White; Young. Program: Gemini. Spacecraft: Gemini. NASA's nine new astronauts were named in Houston, Tex., by Robert R. Gilruth, MSC Director. Chosen from 253 applicants, the former test pilots who would join the original seven Mercury astronauts in training for Projects Gemini and Apollo were: Neil A. Armstrong, NASA civilian test pilot; Maj. Frank Borman, Air Force; Lt. Charles Conrad, Jr., Navy; Lt.Cdr. James A, Lovell, Jr., Navy; Capt. James A. McDivitt, Air Force; Elliot M. See, Jr., civilian test pilot for the General Electric Company; Capt. Thomas P. Stafford, Air Force; Capt. Edward H. White II, Air Force; and Lt. Cdr. John W. Young, Navy.

1963 January 26 - .
  • Manned Spacecraft Center announced specialty areas for the nine new astronauts. - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Armstrong; Borman; Conrad; Lovell; McDivitt; See; Stafford; White; Young. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini ECS. Manned Spacecraft Center announced specialty areas for the nine new astronauts: trainers and simulators, Neil A. Armstrong; boosters, Frank Borman; cockpit layout and systems integration, Charles Conrad, Jr.; recovery systems, James A. Lovell, Jr.; guidance and navigation, James A. McDivitt; electrical, Sequential, and mission planning, Elliot M. See, Jr.; communications, instrumentation, and range integration, Thomas P. Stafford; flight control systems, Edward H White II; and environmental control systems, personal and survival equipment, John W Young.

1963 January 26 - .
  • New assignments for the seven original astronauts - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Cooper; Grissom; Slayton; Carpenter; Shepard; Schirra; Glenn; Armstrong; Borman; Conrad; Lovell; McDivitt; See; Stafford; White; Young. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Gemini. MSC announced new assignments for the seven original astronauts: L. Gordon Cooper, Jr., and Alan B. Shepard, Jr., would be responsible for the remaining pilot phases of Project Mercury; Virgil I. Grissom would specialize in Project Gemini; John H. Glenn, Jr., would concentrate on Project Apollo; M. Scott Carpenter would cover lunar excursion training; and Walter M. Schirra, Jr., would be responsible for Gemini and Apollo operations and training. As Coordinator for Astronaut Activities, Donald K. Slayton would maintain overall supervision of astronaut duties.

    Specialty areas for the second generation were: trainers and simulators, Neil A. Armstrong; boosters, Frank Borman; cockpit layout and systems integration, Charles Conrad, Jr.; recovery system, James A. Lovell, Jr.; guidance and navigation, James A. McDivitt; electrical, sequential, and mission planning, Elliot M. See, Jr.; communications, instrumentation, and range integration, Thomas P. Stafford; flight control systems, Edward H. White II; and environmental control systems, personal equipment, and survival equipment, John W. Young.


1965 June 3 - . 15:16 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC19. LV Family: Titan. Launch Vehicle: Titan II GLV. LV Configuration: Titan II GLV GT-4 / 62-12559.
  • Gemini 4 - . Call Sign: American Eagle / Little Eva. Crew: McDivitt; White. Backup Crew: Borman; Lovell. Payload: Gemini SC4. Mass: 3,574 kg (7,879 lb). Nation: USA. Related Persons: McDivitt; White; Borman; Lovell. Agency: NASA Houston. Program: Gemini. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Flight: Gemini 4. Spacecraft: Gemini. Duration: 4.08 days. Decay Date: 1965-06-07 . USAF Sat Cat: 1390 . COSPAR: 1965-043A. Apogee: 281 km (174 mi). Perigee: 162 km (100 mi). Inclination: 32.5000 deg. Period: 88.80 min. The second manned and first long-duration mission in the Gemini program. Major objectives of the four-day mission were demonstrating and evaluating the performance of spacecraft systems in a long-duration flight and evaluating effects on the crew of prolonged exposure to the space environment. Secondary objectives included demonstrating extravehicular activity (EVA) in space, conducting stationkeeping and rendezvous maneuvers with the second stage of the launch vehicle, performing significant in-plane and out-of-plane maneuvers, demonstrating the ability of the orbit attitude and maneuver system (OAMS) to back up the retrorockets, and executing 11 experiments. The stationkeeping exercise was terminated at the end of the first revolution because most of the OAMS propellant allocated for the exercise had been used; further efforts would jeopardize primary mission objectives and could mean the cancellation of several secondary objectives. No rendezvous was attempted. The only other major problem to mar the mission was the inadvertent alteration of the computer memory during the 48th revolution in an attempt to correct an apparent malfunction. This made the planned computer-controlled reentry impossible and required an open-loop ballistic reentry. All other mission objectives were met. The flight crew began preparing for EVA immediately after terminating the stationkeeping exercise. Although preparations went smoothly, McDivitt decided to delay EVA for one revolution, both because of the high level of activity required and because deletion of the rendezvous attempt reduced the tightness of the schedule. Ground control approved the decision. The spacecraft hatch was opened at 4 hours 18 minutes into the flight and White exited 12 minutes later, using a hand-held maneuvering gun. White reentered the spacecraft 20 minutes after leaving it. The hatch was closed at 4 hours 54 minutes ground elapsed time. Drifting flight was maintained for the next two and one-half days to conserve propellant. The spacecraft landed in the Atlantic Ocean about 725 km east of Cape Kennedy - some 65 km from its nominal landing point. The crew boarded a helicopter 34 minutes after landing and was transported to the prime recovery ship, the aircraft carrier Wasp. Spacecraft recovery was completed at 2:28 p.m., a little more than 100 hours after Gemini 4 had been launched. Gemini 4 was the first mission to be controlled from the mission control center in Houston.

    The space walk was hurriedly included after the Russian first in Voskhod 2. White seemed to have a lot more fun than Leonov and McDivitt took the pictures that came to symbolize man in space. With this flight the US finally started to match Russian flight durations.


1965 December 4 - . 19:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC19. LV Family: Titan. Launch Vehicle: Titan II GLV. LV Configuration: Titan II GLV GT-7 / 62-12562.
  • Gemini 7 - . Call Sign: Gemini 7. Crew: Borman; Lovell. Backup Crew: Collins; White. Payload: Gemini SC7. Mass: 3,663 kg (8,075 lb). Nation: USA. Related Persons: Borman; Lovell; Collins; White. Agency: NASA Houston. Program: Gemini. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Flight: Gemini 6; Gemini 7. Spacecraft: Gemini. Duration: 13.77 days. Decay Date: 1965-12-18 . USAF Sat Cat: 1812 . COSPAR: 1965-100A. Apogee: 318 km (197 mi). Perigee: 217 km (134 mi). Inclination: 28.9000 deg. Period: 89.90 min. Primary objectives of the mission were demonstrating manned orbital flight for approximately 14 days and evaluating the physiological effects of a long-duration flight on the crew. Among the secondary objectives were providing a rendezvous target for the Gemini VI-A spacecraft, stationkeeping with the second stage of the launch vehicle and with spacecraft No. 6, conducting 20 experiments, using lightweight pressure suits, and evaluating the spacecraft reentry guidance capability. All objectives were successfully achieved with the exception of two experiments lost because of equipment failure. Shortly after separation from the launch vehicle, the crew maneuvered the spacecraft to within 60 feet of the second stage and stationkept for about 15 minutes. The exercise was terminated by a separation maneuver, and the spacecraft was powered down in preparation for the 14-day mission. The crew performed five maneuvers during the course of the mission to increase orbital lifetime and place the spacecraft in proper orbit for rendezvous with spacecraft No. 6. Rendezvous was successfully accomplished during the 11th day in orbit, with spacecraft No. 7 serving as a passive target for spacecraft No. 6. About 45 hours into the mission, Lovell removed his pressure suit. He again donned his suit at 148 hours, while Borman removed his. Some 20 hours later Lovell again removed his suit, and both crewmen flew the remainder of the mission without suits, except for the rendezvous and reentry phases. With three exceptions, the spacecraft and its systems performed nominally throughout the entire mission. The delayed-time telemetry playback tape recorder malfunctioned about 201hours after liftoff, resulting in the loss of all delayed-time telemetry data for the remainder of the mission. Two fuel cell stacks showed excessive degradation late in the flight and were taken off the line; the remaining four stacks furnished adequate electrical power until reentry. Two attitude thrusters performed poorly after 283 hours in the mission. Retrofire occurred exactly on time, and reentry and landing were nominal. The spacecraft missed the planned landing point by only 10.3 km miles, touching down on December 18. The crew arrived at the prime recovery ship, the aircraft carrier Wasp, half an hour later. The spacecraft was recovered half an hour after the crew.

    Far surpassing the Gemini 5 flight, Gemini 7 set a manned spaceflight endurance record that would endure for years. The incredibly boring mission, was made more uncomfortable by the extensive biosensors. This was somewhat offset by the soft spacesuits (used only once) and permission to spend most of the time in long johns. The monotony was broken just near the end by the rendezvous with Gemini 6.


1965 December 18 - .
  • Landing of Gemini 7 - . Return Crew: Borman; Lovell. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Borman; Lovell. Program: Gemini. Flight: Gemini 7. Summary: Gemini 7 landed at 14:05 GMT only 11.8 km from the target point after a record 14 day mission...

1966 June 3 - . 13:39 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC19. LV Family: Titan. Launch Vehicle: Titan II GLV. LV Configuration: Titan II GLV GT-9 / 62-12564.
  • Gemini 9 - . Call Sign: Gemini 9. Crew: Cernan; Stafford. Backup Crew: Aldrin; Lovell. Payload: Gemini SC9. Mass: 3,668 kg (8,086 lb). Nation: USA. Related Persons: Cernan; Stafford; Aldrin; Lovell. Agency: NASA Houston. Program: Gemini. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Flight: Gemini 9. Spacecraft: Gemini. Duration: 3.01 days. Decay Date: 1966-06-06 . USAF Sat Cat: 2191 . COSPAR: 1966-047A. Apogee: 272 km (169 mi). Perigee: 269 km (167 mi). Inclination: 28.8000 deg. Period: 89.90 min. At the first launch attempt, while the crew waited buttoned up in the spacecraft on the pad, their Agena docking target field blew up on the way to orbit. NASA decided to use an Atlas to launch an Agena docking collar only. This was called the Augmented Target Docking Adapter. Ths was successfully launched and the Gemini succeeded in rendezvousing with it. However, the ATDA shroud had not completely separated, thus making docking impossible. However three different types of rendezvous were tested with the ATDA. Cernan began his EVA, which was to include flight with a USAF MMU rocket pack but the Gemini suit could not handle heat load of the astronaut's exertions. Cernan's faceplate fogs up, forcing him to blindly grope back into the Gemini hatch after only two hours.

    Seventh manned and third rendezvous mission of the Gemini program. Major objectives of the mission were to rendezvous and dock with the augmented target docking adapter (ATDA) and to conduct extravehicular activities (EVA). These objectives were only partially met. After successfully achieving rendezvous during the third revolution - a secondary objective - the crew discovered that the ATDA shroud had failed to separate, precluding docking - a primary objective - as well as docking practice - another secondary objective. The crew was able, however, to achieve other secondary objectives: an equi-period rendezvous, using onboard optical techniques and completed at 6 hours 36 minutes ground elapsed time; and a rendezvous from above, simulating the rendezvous of an Apollo command module with a lunar module in a lower orbit (completed at 21 hours 42 minutes ground elapsed time). Final separation maneuver was performed at 22 hours 59 minutes after liftoff. EVA was postponed because of crew fatigue, and the second day was given over to experiments. The hatch was opened for EVA at 49 hours 23 minutes ground elapsed time. EVA was successful, but one secondary objective - evaluation of the astronaut maneuvering unit (AMU) - was not achieved because Cernan's visor began fogging. The extravehicular life support system apparently became overloaded with moisture when Cernan had to work harder than anticipated to prepare the AMU for donning. Cernan reentered the spacecraft, and the hatch was closed at 51 hours 28 minutes into the flight. The rest of the third day was spent on experiments.


1966 November 11 - . 20:46 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC19. LV Family: Titan. Launch Vehicle: Titan II GLV. LV Configuration: Titan II GLV GT-12 / 62-12567.
  • Gemini 12 - . Call Sign: Gemini 12. Crew: Aldrin; Lovell. Backup Crew: Cernan; Cooper. Payload: Gemini SC12. Mass: 3,763 kg (8,295 lb). Nation: USA. Related Persons: Aldrin; Lovell; Cernan; Cooper. Agency: NASA Houston. Program: Gemini. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Flight: Gemini 12. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini Radar. Duration: 3.94 days. Decay Date: 1966-11-15 . USAF Sat Cat: 2566 . COSPAR: 1966-104A. Apogee: 289 km (179 mi). Perigee: 250 km (150 mi). Inclination: 28.8000 deg. Period: 89.90 min. Two very serious astronauts get it all right to end the program. Docked and redocked with Agena, demonstrating various Apollo scenarios including manual rendezvous and docking without assistance from ground control. Aldrin finally demonstrates ability to accomplish EVA without overloading suit by use of suitable restraints and careful movement.

    Major objectives of the mission were to rendezvous and dock and to evaluate extravehicular activities (EVA). Among the secondary objectives were tethered vehicle evaluation, experiments, third revolution rendezvous and docking, automatic reentry demonstration, docked maneuvering for a high-apogee excursion, docking practice, systems tests, and Gemini Agena target vehicle (GATV) parking. The high-apogee excursion was not attempted because an anomaly was noted in the GATV primary propulsion system during insertion, and parking was not attempted because the GATV's attitude control gas was depleted. All other objectives were achieved. Nine spacecraft maneuvers effected rendezvous with the GATV. The onboard radar malfunctioned before the terminal phase initiate maneuver, but the crew used onboard backup procedures to calculate the maneuvers. Rendezvous was achieved at 3 hours 46 minutes ground elapsed time, docking 28 minutes later. Two phasing maneuvers, using the GATV secondary propulsion system, were accomplished, but the primary propulsion system was not used. The first of two periods of standup EVA began at 19 hours 29 minutes into the flight and lasted for 2 hours 29 minutes. During a more than two-hour umbilical EVA which began at 42 hours 48 minutes, Aldrin attached a 100-foot tether from the GATV to the spacecraft docking bar. He spent part of the period at the spacecraft adapter, evaluating various restraint systems and performing various basic tasks. The second standup EVA lasted 55 minutes, ending at 67 hours 1 minute ground elapsed time. The tether evaluation began at 47 hours 23 minutes after liftoff, with the crew undocking from the GATV. The tether tended to remain slack, although the crew believed that the two vehicles did slowly attain gravity-gradient stabilization. The crew jettisoned the docking bar and released the tether at 51 hours 51 minutes. Several spacecraft systems suffered problems during the flight. Two fuel cell stacks failed and had to be shut down, while two others experienced significant loss of power. At 39 hours 30 minutes ground elapsed time, the crew reported that little or no thrust was available from two orbit attitude and maneuver thrusters.


1966 November 15 - .
  • Landing of Gemini 12 - . Return Crew: Aldrin; Lovell. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Aldrin; Lovell. Program: Gemini. Flight: Gemini 12. Retrofire occurred 94 hours after liftoff. Reentry was automatically controlled. The spacecraft landed at 19:20 GMT less than 5 km from the planned landing point on November 15. The crew was picked up by helicopter and deposited 28 minutes later on the deck of the prime recovery ship, the aircraft carrier Wasp. The spacecraft was recovered 67 minutes after landing.

1968 April 5-7 - .
  • A 48-hour delayed-recovery test with Apollo CSM 007 - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Lovell; Roosa; Duke. Program: Apollo. Astronauts James A. Lovell, Jr., Stuart A. Roosa, and Charles M. Duke, Jr., participated in a recovery test of spacecraft 007, conducted by the MSC Landing and Recovery Division in the Gulf of Mexico. The test crew reported that while they did not "recommend the Apollo spacecraft for any extended sea voyages they encountered no serious habitability problems during the 48-hour test. Additional Details: here....

1968 August 19 - . LV Family: Saturn V. Launch Vehicle: Saturn V.
  • Changes in planning for Apollo flights - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Borman; Lovell; Anders. Program: Apollo. Flight: Apollo 8. Spacecraft: Apollo LM; Apollo Lunar Landing; CSM SPS. In a Mission Preparation Directive sent to the three manned space flight Centers, NASA Apollo Program Director Samuel C. Phillips stated that the following changes would be effected in planning and preparation for Apollo flights:

    Apollo-Saturn 503
    • Assignment of Saturn V 503, CSM 103, and LM-3 to Mission D was canceled.

    • Saturn V 503 would be prepared to carry CSM 103 and LTA (LM test article)-B on a manned CSM-only mission to be designated the C prime mission.

    • The objectives and profile of the C prime mission would be developed to provide maximum gain consistent with standing flight safety requirements. Studies would be carried out and plans prepared so as to provide reasonable flexibility in establishing final mission objectives.

    • All planning and preparations for the C prime mission would proceed toward launch readiness on December 6, 1968.
    Apollo-Saturn 504
    Saturn V 504, CSM 104, and LM-3 were assigned to the D mission, scheduled for launch readiness no earlier than February 20, 1969. The crew assigned to the D mission would remain assigned to that mission. The crew assigned to the E mission (Frank Borman, James A. Lovell, Jr., and William Anders) would be reassigned to the C prime mission. Training and equipping the C prime crews and operational preparations would proceed as required to meet mission requirements and to meet the newly established flight readiness date.
    Additional Details: here....

1968 December 21 - . 12:51 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC39A. LV Family: Saturn V. Launch Vehicle: Saturn V. LV Configuration: Saturn V SA-503.
  • Apollo 8 - . Call Sign: Apollo 8. Crew: Anders; Borman; Lovell. Backup Crew: Aldrin; Armstrong; Haise. Payload: Apollo CSM 103 / LTA-B / S-IVB-503N. Mass: 28,833 kg (63,565 lb). Nation: USA. Related Persons: Anders; Borman; Lovell; Aldrin; Armstrong; Haise. Agency: NASA Houston. Program: Apollo. Class: Moon. Type: Manned lunar spacecraft. Flight: Apollo 8. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM. Duration: 6.13 days. Decay Date: 1968-12-27 . USAF Sat Cat: 3626 . COSPAR: 1968-118A. Apogee: 185 km (114 mi). Perigee: 185 km (114 mi). Inclination: 32.5000 deg. Period: 88.19 min. Apollo 8 (AS-503) was launched from KSC Launch Complex 39, Pad A, at 7:51 a.m. EST Dec. 21 on a Saturn V booster. The spacecraft crew was made up of Frank Borman, James A. Lovell, Jr., and William A. Anders. Apollo 8 was the first spacecraft to be launched by a Saturn V with a crew on board, and that crew became the first men to fly around the moon.

    All launch and boost phases were normal and the spacecraft with the S-IVB stage was inserted into an earth-parking orbit of 190.6 by 183.2 kilometers above the earth. After post-insertion checkout of spacecraft systems, the S-IVB stage was reignited and burned 5 minutes 9 seconds to place the spacecraft and stage in a trajectory toward the moon - and the Apollo 8 crew became the first men to leave the earth's gravitational field.

    The spacecraft separated from the S-IVB 3 hours 20 minutes after launch and made two separation maneuvers using the SM's reaction control system. Eleven hours after liftoff, the first midcourse correction increased velocity by 26.4 kilometers per hour. The coast phase was devoted to navigation sightings, two television transmissions, and system checks. The second midcourse correction, about 61 hours into the flight, changed velocity by 1.5 kilometers per hour.

    The 4-minute 15-second lunar-orbit-insertion maneuver was made 69 hours after launch, placing the spacecraft in an initial lunar orbit of 310.6 by 111.2 kilometers from the moon's surface - later circularized to 112.4 by 110.6 kilometers. During the lunar coast phase the crew made numerous landing-site and landmark sightings, took lunar photos, and prepared for the later maneuver to enter the trajectory back to the earth.

    On the fourth day, Christmas Eve, communications were interrupted as Apollo 8 passed behind the moon, and the astronauts became the first men to see the moon's far side. Later that day , during the evening hours in the United States, the crew read the first 10 verses of Genesis on television to earth and wished viewers "goodnight, good luck, a Merry Christmas and God bless all of you - all of you on the good earth."

    Subsequently, TV Guide for May 10-16, 1969, claimed that one out of every four persons on earth - nearly 1 billion people in 64 countries - heard the astronauts' reading and greeting, either on radio or on TV; and delayed broadcasts that same day reached 30 additional countries.

    On Christmas Day, while the spacecraft was completing its 10th revolution of the moon, the service propulsion system engine was fired for three minutes 24 seconds, increasing the velocity by 3,875 km per hr and propelling Apollo 8 back toward the earth, after 20 hours 11 minutes in lunar orbit. More television was sent to earth on the way back.


1968 December 27 - .
  • Landing of Apollo 8 - . Return Crew: Anders; Borman; Lovell. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Anders; Borman; Lovell. Program: Apollo. Flight: Apollo 8. On the sixth day, the crew prepared for reentry and the SM separated from the CM on schedule. Parachute deployment and other re-entry events were normal. The Apollo 8 CM splashed down in the Pacific, apex down, at 15:51 GMT - 147 hours and 42 seconds after liftoff. As planned, helicopters and aircraft hovered over the spacecraft and pararescue personnel were not deployed until local sunrise, 50 minutes after splashdown. The crew was picked up and reached the recovery ship U.S.S. Yorktown at 17:20 GMT. All mission objectives and detailed test objectives were achieved, as well as five that were not originally planned.

    The crew was in excellent condition, and another major step toward the first lunar landing had been accomplished.


1969 July 16 - . 13:32 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC39A. LV Family: Saturn V. Launch Vehicle: Saturn V. LV Configuration: Saturn V SA-506.
  • Apollo 11 - . Call Sign: Columbia. Crew: Aldrin; Armstrong; Collins. Backup Crew: Anders; Haise; Lovell. Payload: Apollo CSM 107 / Apollo LM 5 / EASEP / S-IVB-506. Mass: 28,800 kg (63,400 lb). Nation: USA. Related Persons: Aldrin; Armstrong; Collins; Anders; Haise; Lovell. Agency: NASA Houston. Program: Apollo. Class: Moon. Type: Manned lunar spacecraft. Flight: Apollo 11. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM. Duration: 8.14 days. Decay Date: 1969-07-24 . USAF Sat Cat: 4039 . COSPAR: 1969-059A. Apogee: 186 km (115 mi). Perigee: 183 km (113 mi). Inclination: 32.5000 deg. Period: 88.19 min. First landing on moon. Apollo 11 (AS-506) - with astronauts Neil A. Armstrong, Michael Collins, and Edwin E. Aldrin, Jr., aboard - was launched from Pad A, Launch Complex 39, KSC, at 9:32 a.m. EDT July 16. The activities during earth-orbit checkout, translunar injection, CSM transposition and docking, spacecraft ejection, and translunar coast were similar to those of Apollo 10.

    At 4:40 p.m. EDT July 18, the crew began a 96-minute color television transmission of the CSM and LM interiors, CSM exterior, the earth, probe and drogue removal, spacecraft tunnel hatch opening, food preparation, and LM housekeeping. One scheduled and two unscheduled television broadcasts had been made previously by the Apollo 11 crew.

    The spacecraft entered lunar orbit at 1:28 p.m. EDT on July 19. During the second lunar orbit a live color telecast of the lunar surface was made. A second service-propulsion-system burn placed the spacecraft in a circularized orbit, after which astronaut Aldrin entered the LM for two hours of housekeeping including a voice and telemetry test and an oxygen-purge-system check.

    At 8:50 a.m. July 20, Armstrong and Aldrin reentered the LM and checked out all systems. They performed a maneuver at 1:11 p.m. to separate the LM from the CSM and began the descent to the moon. The LM touched down on the moon at 4:18 p.m. EDT July 20. Armstrong reported to mission control at MSC, "Houston, Tranquillity Base here - the Eagle has landed." (Eagle was the name given to the Apollo 11 LM; the CSM was named Columbia.) Man's first step on the moon was taken by Armstrong at 10:56 p.m. EDT. As he stepped onto the surface of the moon, Armstrong described the feat as "one small step for man - one giant leap for mankind."

    Aldrin joined Armstrong on the surface of the moon at 11:15 p.m. July 20. The astronauts unveiled a plaque mounted on a strut of the LM and read to a worldwide TV audience, "Here men from the planet earth first set foot on the moon July 1969, A.D. We came in peace for all mankind." After raising the American flag and talking to President Nixon by radiotelephone, the two astronauts deployed the lunar surface experiments assigned to the mission and gathered 22 kilograms of samples of lunar soil and rocks. They then reentered the LM and closed the hatch at 1:11 a.m. July 21. All lunar extravehicular activities were televised in black-and-white. Meanwhile, Collins continued orbiting moon alone in CSM Columbia.

    The Eagle lifted off from the moon at 1:54 p.m. EDT July 21, having spent 21 hours 36 minutes on the lunar surface. It docked with the CSM at 5:35 p.m. and the crew, with the lunar samples and film, transferred to the CSM. The LM ascent stage was jettisoned into lunar orbit. The crew then rested and prepared for the return trip to the earth.

    The CSM was injected into a trajectory toward the earth at 12:55 a.m. EDT July 22. Following a midcourse correction at 4:01 p.m., an 18-minute color television transmission was made, in which the astronauts demonstrated the weightlessness of food and water and showed shots of the earth and the moon.


1970 April 11 - . 19:13 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC39A. LV Family: Saturn V. Launch Vehicle: Saturn V. LV Configuration: Saturn V SA-508.
  • Apollo 13 - . Call Sign: Odyssey. Crew: Haise; Lovell; Swigert. Backup Crew: Duke; Mattingly; Young. Support Crew: Brand; Lousma; Kerwin. Payload: Apollo CSM 109 / Apollo LM 7 / ALSEP / S-IVB-508. Mass: 28,790 kg (63,470 lb). Nation: USA. Related Persons: Haise; Lovell; Swigert; Duke; Mattingly; Young; Brand; Lousma; Kerwin. Agency: NASA Houston. Program: Apollo. Class: Moon. Type: Manned lunar spacecraft. Flight: Apollo 13. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM Fuel Cell. Duration: 5.95 days. Decay Date: 1970-04-17 . USAF Sat Cat: 4371 . COSPAR: 1970-029A. Apogee: 186 km (115 mi). Perigee: 184 km (114 mi). Inclination: 32.5000 deg. Period: 88.31 min. Apollo 13 (AS-508) was launched from Pad A, Launch Complex 39, KSC, at 2:13 p.m. EST April 11, with astronauts James A. Lovell, Jr., John L. Swigert, Jr., and Fred W. Haise, Jr., aboard. The spacecraft and S-IVB stage entered a parking orbit with a 185.5-kilometer apogee and a 181.5-kilometer perigee. At 3:48 p.m., onboard TV was begun for five and one-half minutes. At 4:54 p.m., an S-IVB burn placed the spacecraft on a translunar trajectory, after which the CSM separated from the S-IVB and LM Aquarius. (The crew had named lunar module 7 Aquarius and CSM 109 Odyssey.) The CSM then hard-docked with the LM. The S-IVB auxiliary propulsion system made an evasive maneuver after CSM/LM ejection from the S-IVB at 6:14 p.m. The docking and ejection maneuvers were televised during a 72-minute period in which interior and exterior views of the spacecraft were also shown.

    At 8:13 p.m. EST a 217-second S-IVB auxiliary propulsion system burn aimed the S-IVB for a lunar target point so accurately that another burn was not required. The S-IVB/IU impacted the lunar surface at 8:10 p.m. EST on April 14 at a speed of 259 meters per second. Impact was 137.1 kilometers from the Apollo 12 seismometer. The seismic signal generated by the impact lasted 3 hours 20 minutes and was so strong that a ground command was necessary to reduce seismometer gain and keep the recording on the scale. The suprathermal ion detector experiment, also deployed by the Apollo 12 crew, recorded a jump in the number of ions from zero at the time of impact up to 2,500 shortly thereafter and then back to a zero count. Scientists theorized that ionization had been produced by 6,300 K to 10,300 K (6,000 degrees C to 10,000 degrees C) temperature generated by the impact or that particles had reached an altitude of 60 kilometers from the lunar surface and had been ionized by sunlight.

    Meanwhile back in the CSM/LM, the crew had been performing the routine housekeeping duties associated with the period of the translunar coast. At 30:40 ground elapsed time a midcourse correction maneuver took the spacecraft off a free-return trajectory in order to control the arrival time at the moon. Ensuring proper lighting conditions at the landing site. The maneuver placed the spacecraft on the desired trajectory, on which the closest approach to the moon would be 114.9 kilometers.

    At 10:08 p.m. EST April 13, the crew reported an undervoltage alarm on the CSM main bus B, rapid loss of pressure in SM oxygen tank No. 2, and dropping current in fuel cells 1 and 3 to a zero reading. The loss of oxygen and primary power in the service module required an immediate abort of the mission. The astronauts powered up the LM, powered down the CSM, and used the LM systems for power and life support. The first maneuver following the abort decision was made with the descent propulsion system to place the spacecraft back in a free-return trajectory around the moon. After the spacecraft swung around the moon, another maneuver reduced the coast time back to earth and moved the landing point from the Indian Ocean to the South Pacific.


1970 April 17 - .
  • Landing of Apollo 13 - . Return Crew: Haise; Lovell; Swigert. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Haise; Lovell; Swigert. Program: Apollo. Flight: Apollo 13. About four hours before reentry on April 17, the service module was jettisoned and the crew took photographs and made visual observations of the damaged area. About one hour before splashdown the command module was powered up and the lunar module was jettisoned. Parachutes were deployed as planned, and the Odyssey landed in the mid-Pacific 6.4 kilometers from the recovery ship U.S.S. Iwo Jima at 1:07 p.m. EST (18:07 GMT). The astronauts were picked up by helicopter and transported to the recovery ship less than an hour after splashdown.

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