Apollo 13 – 45th Anniversary To Be Celebrated at San Diego Air & Space Museum

President Richard Nixon speaks before awarding the Apollo 13 astronauts the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

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PRESS RELEASE – Celebrating the 2015 Centennial of the Pan American Exposition through one of the most memorable space flights in history, the Apollo 13 crew, astronauts Jim Lovell and Fred Haise, join the San Diego Air & Space Museum Saturday, March 21st for a rare 45th Anniversary Celebration appearance and personal recap of their historic mission. The celebration also honors the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo race to the moon and those people who made it happen.During five tension-filled days in the spring of 1970, the Apollo 13 crew, Jim Lovell, Fred Haise and Jack Swigert, struggled to survive in a crippled, nearly uninhabitable ‘Odyssey’ Command Module. They were on their way to the moon, it was to be America’s third lunar landing, when a disastrous oxygen tank explosion not only canceled their plans, but survival became uncertain. Short on power, heat, water, and breathable air, their odds to survive were slim to none. However, with a determined team on the ground who performed ingenious engineering miracles to keep them alive and their own skilled actions, they returned to earth safely.

The San Diego Air & Space Museum is offering a special and rare opportunity to meet the Apollo 13 crew, key people on the ground who directed the efforts to help save the astronauts from certain death, and others from the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo programs to hear how they triumphed over great adversity.”March 21st we honor the Apollo 13 mission and the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo legacy, events in history which truly demonstrated failure was never an option in space,” said Jim Kidrick, Museum president. “This is the opportunity for those attending to retrace the many successes, and sometimes tragedies, which accompanied the acceptance of President Kennedy’s challenge to land on the moon within a decade. This very special evening recounts firsthand the true saga of ingenuity, risk and triumph from America’s heroes. There’s no better time than this, during our 2015 Centennial, to bring so many history makers together in one location… right here in San Diego, home of the Atlas rocket and so many other contributions to space excellence.”

Confirmed VIP Guests range from the first two astronauts to reach and orbit the moon in Apollo 8, Bill Anders and Jim Lovell, to Gene Cernan the last man to walk on the moon in Apollo 17. Also confirmed are the four primary flight directors for many historic space flights: they would rotate the “Lead” position for each mission, and for Apollo 13 Gene Kranz was the White Team and Lead Flight Director, Glynn Lunney the Black Team, Milt Windler the Maroon Team and Gerry Griffin the Gold Team.The astronauts and flight directors each have unique and spellbinding stories to tell, and when they talk to an audience as a group, they often share tales they never tell alone. You’ll gain a first-hand, intimate insight into how the best-of-the-best worked together under the most arduous conditions… taking risk to a new level.

President Richard Nixon speaks before awarding the Apollo 13 astronauts the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
President Richard Nixon speaks before awarding the Apollo 13 astronauts the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Confirmed attendees as of this press alert: Jim Lovell and Fred Haise (the surviving Apollo 13 Crew–Jack Swigert has since passed away), Bill Anders (Gemini 11 backup, Apollo 8 crew, Apollo 11 backup), Gene Cernan (Gemini 9-A crew, Gemini 12 backup, Apollo 7 backup, Apollo 10 crew, Apollo 14 backup, Apollo 17 crew—last man to walk on the moon), Glynn Lunney (Flight Director), Al Worden (Apollo 9 support crew, Apollo 12 backup, Apollo 15 crew, Apollo 17 backup), Walt Cunningham (Apollo 1/204 backup, Apollo 7 crew), Gerry Griffin (Flight Director), Joe Engle (Apollo 10 backup, Apollo 14 backup, Apollo 17 backup, STS-1 backup, STS-2 crew, STS-51I crew), Rusty Schweickart (Apollo 1/204 backup, Apollo 9 crew, Skylab 2 backup), Gene Kranz (Flight Director), Milt Windler (Flight Director).

Invited awaiting response: Buzz Aldrin (Apollo 11), Alan Bean (Apollo 12, Skylab), Frank Borman (Apollo 8), Vance Brand (Apollo-Soyuz), Michael Collins (Apollo 11), Charlie Duke (Apollo 16), Dick Gordon (Apollo 12), Ken Mattingly (Apollo 16), Jim McDivitt (Apollo 9), Harrison Schmitt (Apollo 17), David Scott (Apollo 9, Apollo 15), Tom Stafford (Apollo 10, Apollo-Soyuz), John Young (Apollo 10, Apollo 16), John Glenn (Mercury 7), Jack Lousma (Skylab), Chris Kraft (Flight Director).

Mission Control celebrates the successful splashdown of Apollo 13.
Mission Control celebrates the successful splashdown of Apollo 13.

For more information, ticket prices on this event and the San Diego Air & Space Museum please visit www.sandiegoairandspace.org

The San Diego Air & Space Museum is California’s official air and space museum and education center. The Museum is an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution and it was the first aero-themed Museum to be accredited by the American Association of Museums. New special exhibition opening January 31st: 2theXtreme–MathAlive! Showcases how math plays a role from daily life to extreme sports—math has never been so sweet! The Museum is located at 2001 Pan American Plaza, Balboa Park, San Diego, CA 92101. The Museum and gift store are open daily from 10:00am to 4:30pm with admissions until 4:00pm. Closed Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.

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