KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (March 25, 2010) – The celebration of the 40th Anniversary of the Apollo Program continues as Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex remembers the launch of Apollo 13 – the lunar landing mission termed “the successful failure.” Forty years ago, the eyes of the world were on the crew of Apollo 13 as astronauts Jim Lovell, Jack Swigert and Fred Haise bravely endured an onboard explosion en route to the moon. Guests at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex will have the opportunity to hear stories from the fearless Apollo 13 astronauts first-hand during a celebration commemorating the successful return of the mission on Friday, April 9 and Saturday, April 10, 2010.
The celebration begins with backup Lunar Module Pilot for Apollo 13 and Apollo 16 astronaut Charlie Duke signing copies of his book “Moonwalker” at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex on Friday, April 9 at 3:30 p.m. While serving as the backup Lunar Module Pilot, Duke caught the German measles and inadvertently exposed astronaut Ken Mattingly to the disease. Mattingly, who was scheduled to be the Command Module Pilot aboard Apollo 13, did not have immunity to the disease. He was replaced by Jack Swigert three days prior to the launch. In 1972, Duke flew to the moon aboard Apollo 16, along with Mattingly, and became the tenth man to walk on the moon. Books will be available for purchase at The Space Shop.
Guests at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex will have the opportunity to come face-to-face with the heroic crew of Apollo 13 during a special Astronaut Encounter on Saturday, April 10 at 10:30 a.m. Veteran NASA astronauts Jim Lovell and Fred Haise will be reunited at Kennedy Space Center – only a few miles away from where they launched 40 years ago on that unforgettable journey. Lovell and Haise survived four days in space using the Lunar Module Aquarius as their lifeboat and journeyed almost 250,000 miles as they rounded the far side of the moon on their harrowing voyage home, making them the furthest-traveled humans from Earth. The astronauts will share their inspirational stories of spaceflight, including their experience aboard Apollo 13.
The book signing and the special Astronaut Encounter are included with admission to Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.KennedySpaceCenter.com or call 321-449-4400.
About Apollo 13
On April 11, 1970, three astronauts launched from Kennedy Space Center on a mission which was to be the third manned moon landing. Two days later, a faulty electrical system led to an explosion and loss of all power to the Command Service Module’s oxygen tanks. During this time, the words of the crew would become an infamous phrase in history, “Houston, we’ve had a problem here.” Due to the dedication and ingenuity of Mission Control on the ground, along with the bravery of the crew in space, a rescue effort was successfully carried out, and the crew returned safely back to Earth on April 17, 1970.
About KennedySpaceCenter Visitor Complex
Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex opens at 9 a.m. Closing times vary by season. The Visitor Complex is open daily except December 25 and certain launch days. Admission includes the new Shuttle Launch Experience, Kennedy Space Center Tour, 3D IMAX® space films, Astronaut Encounter, all exhibits, and the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame®, featuring historic spacecraft, simulator rides and the world's largest collection of personal astronaut memorabilia. Admission is $38 + tax for adults and $28 + tax for children ages 3-11. The Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex Commander’s Club Annual Pass is $50 + tax for adults and $40 + tax for children ages 3-11. For more information, call 321-449-4444 or visit www.KennedySpaceCenter.com.