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Apollo astronaut Jim Lovell to speak at ISU

Friday, November 7, 2003

- Astronaut best known for his work to safely bring the damaged Apollo 13 spacecraft back to earth from the moon; the story was made into the 1995 Tom Hanks movie, 'Apollo 13'.

Retired astronaut Jim Lovell, commander of the perilous Apollo 13 mission, will speak at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 19 in Hulman Center.

A reception and booksigning will immediately follow his address on the upper concourse.

Lovell's book, re-released under the name "Apollo 13," will be available for purchase.

The Indiana State University Permanent Art Gallery will present an exhibition of items related to the Apollo13 mission in the Gallery Lounge of Hulman Memorial Student Union through Nov. 21.

ISU's Cunningham Memorial Library will feature Lovell and the Apollo 13 mission in a multimedia exhibit during the month of November.

The movie "Apollo13" will be presented in the library's newly-remodeled browsing area. Photos, posters and book about space exploration and Apollo 13 will be displayed in the library's main floor lobby.

Lovell was selected in September 1962 for the space program following extensive experience as a naval aviator and test pilot.

He was extensively involved in the Gemini Mission Program -- serving as a backup pilot for Gemini 4, pilot of the history-making Gemini 7 mission, backup commander for Gemini 9 and commander of Gemini 12.

At the close of the Gemini program, Lovell became command module pilot and navigator for the epic six-day journey on Apollo 8, man's maiden voyage to the moon, during which he and his fellow crew were the first humans to leave the earth's gravitational influence.

He later served as backup commander to Neil Armstrong for the Apollo 11 lunar landing mission. His fourth and final flight was on the perilous Apollo 13 mission in 1970.

Lovell and his Apollo 13 crew were forced to modify their lunar module into an effective lifeboat when their cryogenic oxygen system failed.

The actions of Lovell and his crew enabled the lunar module to conserve enough electrical power and water to ensure their survival in space and their safe return to earth.

Once on solid ground, Lovell was catapulted into fame as an All-American hero.

His role on Apollo 13 earned him many honors, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Congressional Space Medal of Honor, The French Foreign Legion of Honor, the Navy Distinguished Service Medal and two Navy Distinguished Flying Crosses.

He retired from the Navy and the space program on March 1, 1973.

In 1994, Lovell and Jeff Kluger chronicled the courageous Apollo 13 mission in the book "Lost Moon."

In 1995, the film version of this bestseller, "Apollo 13," was released.

Lovell appeared in several segments of Tom Hanks' 1998 HBO documentary, "From the Earth to the Moon."

Today, he is president of Lovell Communications, a business devoted to disseminating information about the U.S. Space Program.

Both the Speaker Series presentation and art exhibit are free and open to the public.

Hours of the gallery exhibit are Monday through Friday 7:30 a.m. to midnight, Saturday 8 a.m. to midnight and Sunday 10 a.m. to midnight.

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