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Got any questions for Apollo 13 commander Jim Lovell?

Posted By:
Hal Bryan
#1 Posted: 7/12/2011 16:15:59

Come September we’ve got a few surprises in store for Sport Aviation, one of them being a Q&A with famous aviation types we’re calling “Heroes & Legends,” and we’d like to give you the opportunity to ask the questions! First up we’ll be talking with Capt. Jim Lovell, commander of Apollo 13.

So bring it on: What would you ask Jim Lovell if you had the chance?

Online Community Manager - EAA
Paul Dowgewicz
Young Eagles Pilot or Volunteer
#2 Posted: 7/13/2011 09:24:38

That's a tough one. What hasn't been asked about Mr. Lovell since he became an astronaut in 1962?

Probably been asked before, but I'm interested.

He was training for Gemini 10, but got reassigned to Gemini 9A.
He was training for Apollo 9, but got reassigned to Apollo 8
He was training for Apollo 14, but got reassigned to Apollo 13.

How much of the training was specific to a particular mission that needed to be quickly relearned, versus standard systems and procedures that could be applied to most flights?

Harry Conover
Homebuilder or Craftsman
#3 Posted: 7/15/2011 18:15:46

Bill Anders (Apollo 8) is a friend of mine, so I would ask Jim Lovell what it was like being with Anders and the rest of the astronauts.

-Harry Conover
#4 Posted: 7/15/2011 18:43:46 Modified: 7/15/2011 18:51:39

Dear Captain Lovell:

Was there ever a moment looking out the command module's window during the coast between the Earth and the Moon that, all of a sudden, the depths and limitlessness of Space suddenly became "palpable" or "tangible" ?  ... akin to looking into the black depths of a bottomless pit and then - all of a sudden - realizing the "pit" is "all around you" and goes on in "all directions forever" ? ... and then you were able to "feel and comprehend it" in a way never before possible without your Lunar flight ?

Do you remember what that moment was like ? Is the "quality of dark" viewed from the Apollo spacecraft's such that it enables you to "feel the depth" of space ?

Thanks so much for your time !





Matthew Recupito
#5 Posted: 7/15/2011 19:20:17

Being too young to have lived through the Apollo 13 incident, my pop culture introduction to it was the Tom Hanks movie.  I wonder what Jim Lovell thought of this movie.  Is it an accurate depecition of the events he experienced? What would he have changed?  What story would he want to have told?

Chad Jensen
IAC MemberVintage Aircraft Association MemberWarbirds of America MemberYoung Eagles Pilot or VolunteerHomebuilder or CraftsmanAirVenture Volunteer
#6 Posted: 7/19/2011 15:50:16

I would love to know how Jim is involved with EAA?  Or how we can get him MORE involved...

Do you currently fly?  What do you fly?  Ever built or wanted to build a homebuilt airplane?  Do you go to AirVenture every year?

Astronaut stuff is cool and all, but I'd like to know how his flying is going today!

Jim Cunningham
Vintage Aircraft Association MemberYoung Eagles Pilot or VolunteerHomebuilder or Craftsman
#7 Posted: 7/19/2011 20:20:43

 Advances in computing power are bringing affordable capabilities to GA cockpits that were undreamed of just a couple of decades ago in the forms of integrated glass panel systems, even for older airplanes and inexpensive homebuilts. Some more experienced pilots believe this is dangerous in that newer pilots are losing touch with the basics, while others say that the newer systems add considerable levels of safety. What are your thoughts on this subject?

Jim Cunningham Normal IL CFII
Hal Bryan
#8 Posted: 7/20/2011 13:23:19 Modified: 7/20/2011 13:27:04

Thanks for the great responses so far, everyone! The discussion now continues here:


(On our brand new forum site ... the word is spreading as we transition!)

Online Community Manager - EAA