Whatever Happened to the Apollo 13 Astronauts?
Jim Lovell: He was the Pilot of Gemini 7 with Command Pilot Frank Borman in December 1965. This flight set an endurance record of fourteen days in space. His first command was Gemini 12 in November 1966 with Pilot Buzz Aldrin.
He served as Command Module pilot aboard Apollo 8 which went into orbit around the Moon on Christmas Eve, 1968.
His fourth spaceflight was as the Commander of Apollo 13 in 1970. An oxygen tank in the spaceship exploded and the Moon mission was aborted. He never got to walk on the Moon.
He left NASA in 1973 and became a business executive. Lovell wrote a book about the Apollo 13 mission, Lost Moon: The Perilous Voyage of Apollo 13. This book was the basis for the later Ron Howard movie Apollo 13.
In 1999, Lovell, along with his family, opened “Lovell’s of Lake Forest”, a fine dining restaurant in Lake Forest, Illinois. The restaurant displays many artifacts from Lovell’s time with NASA, as well as from the filming of Apollo 13. Lovell’s son James “Jay” Lovell III is the executive chef. In 2006, the Adler Planetarium in Chicago opened its “Shoot for the Moon” exhibit based on the life of Jim Lovell, along with the Gemini and Apollo programs; the exhibit features his Gemini 12 spacecraft and an extensive collection of his personal space artifacts. Many of his mementos and spacesuit elements have long been displayed at Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry, along with his Apollo 8 command module. Age: 84.
Fred Haise: He flew as the lunar module pilot on the aborted Apollo 13 lunar mission in 1970. Due to the free return trajectory on this mission, Haise, Jim Lovell and Jack Swigert, the other two astronauts on Apollo 13, likely hold the record for the furthest distance from the Earth ever traveled by human beings.
Haise was also scheduled as to be Commander for the cancelled Apollo 19 mission.
He later flew five flights as the Commander of the space shuttle Enterprise, in 1977, for the Approach and Landing Tests Program at Edwards Air Force Base. Haise was also selected to command the original STS-2 mission to rescue the Skylab space station in 1979, but that got cancelled due to the long delays in the Shuttle’s development as well as the break-up of the Skylab in mid-1979.
Apollo 13 was Haise’s only spaceflight. Haise retired from NASA in June 1979, and became a manager with Grumman Aerospace, before retiring in 1996. Age: 79.
Jack Swigert Jr.: The pilot for Apollo 13 in 1970, he was a last-minute replacement after another astronaut came down with the measles.
The mission to Moon was aborted after an oxygen tank on the spaceship exploded.
He left NASA in 1977 and was elected to Congress in November 1982. He died of bone cancer the next month at age 51.