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#TBT: Apollo 13

Jim Lovell commanded the Appolo 18 mission 45 years ago. Know any Badger who’s gone farther than him?

Saturday, April 11, will be the 45th anniversary of the launch of Apollo 13, likely the most famous moon mission to never land on the moon. The Commander of that mission was Jim Lovell, a Badger and Wisconsin native.

Lovell grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and graduated from Juneau High School. He began his college studies at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and was a member of the Alpha Phi Omega fraternity.

As depicted in the movie Apollo 13, a fire inside an oxygen tank destroyed the Command Module's air supply, forcing the crew to abandon their planned moon landing. The crew managed to survive the trip back to Earth in the Lunar Module, with Lovell manually controlling the ship's engines. (Lovell is also the co-author of Lost Moon: The Perilous Voyage of Apollo 13 which was the basis of the Ron Howard movie.)


Lovell had earlier piloted the Apollo 8 mission around the moon, and as of 1966 had spent more time in space than any other human. Despite being the first person to fly to the moon twice, he never did get to participate in a lunar landing. He does have a crater on the moon named after him though.

Can you think of a Badger who's traveled farther?

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