Monday, April 19, 2010

Cosmosphere's 40th Anniversary Celebration for Apollo 13

Saturday was our celebration to honor the Apollo 13 mission. It was 40 years to the day since Jim Lovell, Fred Haise and Jack Swiggert returned to Earth after an oxygen tank ruptured on their way to the Moon and they had to abort their mission to be the third lunar landing.

The two surviving astronauts, Lovell (left) and Haise, peered inside Odyssesy, the Apollo 13 Command Module housed at the Cosmosphere. It was the first time Haise had seen it since he got out of it in 1970.

Earlier in the day, eight mission controllers from Apollo 13, along with pad leader Guenter Wendt and author Andrew Chaikin, had a panel discussion.

It was one of the highlights of the day as far as I was concerned. One of the really interesting things said was when they were asked if they were wondering if they could get the men home. The answer was, "No, our training didn't allow for that kind of thinking." One of them mentioned that early in his career at NASA he said that he couldn't do something. A co-worker pulled him aside and told him not to say that again, that that kind of attitude was not allowed at NASA.

Saturday kicked off with a rocket launch, where I met this lovely family from Kansas City.

I asked Flight Director, Milt Windler, to pose with them, which he graciously did.

It was an amazing day. I was very busy and didn't get a chance to take many photos. It was incredible just to be in the same room with these gentleman. I felt lucky to be there.

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