Astronaut Jim Lovell In the Command Module Simulator

James A. Lovell

Command Module Pilot & Commander

Born in Ohio on March 25th, 1928, Jim Lovell later became a Naval Aviator and test pilot, before joining NASA as an astronaut. He has logged more than 7,000 hours flying time, 3,500 of those hours in jet aircraft.

Captain Lovell was selected as an astronaut by NASA in September 1962. He served as backup pilot for the Gemini 4 flight, backup Commander for the Gemini 9 flight, and as the backup Commander to Neil Armstrong for the Apollo 11 moon landing mission. On December 4, 1965, Lovell and Frank Borman went on the Gemini 7 mission. A year later Lovell commanded the Gemini 12 mission with Pilot Edwin Aldrin in 1966.

Lovell then served as Command Module Pilot and Navigator on the epic six-day journey of Apollo 8 and became the first humans to orbit the moon along with his fellow crewmen, Frank Borman and William A. Anders

He completed his fourth and final mission as Spacecraft Commander of the Apollo 13 flight, in 1970. Apollo 13 was programmed for ten days, but an explosion in the Service Module cryogenic oxygen system caused an early and dramatic return home. Lovell and his crew, John L. Swigert and Fred W. Haise, worked with ground control to convert their lunar module into a lifeboat and all three astronauts were able to safely 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.