Captain James "Jim" A. Lovell, Jr. Navy (Ret) was a local in Horseshoe Bay when the film, APOLLO 13, premiered at the Uptown Theater in 1995. During that time, the building was still acting as the local movie theater. The film was based on his book, “Lost Moon: The Perilous Voyage of Apollo 13” which detailed his journey on the Apollo 13 mission in April of 1970. Two days into their journey to the moon, an oxygen tank exploded, severely injuring the command module. This is when Captain James A. Lovell, Jr. uttered the famous words "Houston, we've had a problem here." The explosion destroyed 2 out of the 3 fuel cells, which were the space craft's main source of electricity and half of the oxygen tanks. Lovell looked out one of the windows to find the last remaining oxygen tank leaking out the side into space. The impact of the explosion was so large, they were shifted off course and needed to correct their path in order to not miss earth completely on their return. This is when the engineers on the ground decided the crew needed to use the lunar module as a "lifeboat". To conserve energy, the temperature in the module was dropped down to below freezing. With calculations set, the decision to go around the moon and use its gravity to propel the ship towards earth was made. All power was shut off for 3 days while the crew floated towards earth. Flight controllers did months of engineering and calculations in only a few days in order to bring the crew safely to earth. As the lunar module disconnected from the counterparts and regained entry into earth, a communication black out was only supposed to last 3 minutes. 90 seconds past the 3 minute mark, "Ok, Joe" was heard by the command center. The crew successfully landed on the pacific ocean.
Captain Lovell graciously attended the premier in Marble Falls where we laid his hands and feet in freshly poured concrete to commemorate his bravery in Apollo 13.
James Arthur Lovell Jr. (born March 25, 1928) is an American retired astronaut, naval aviator, test pilot and mechanical engineer. In 1968, as command module pilot of Apollo 8, he became, with Frank Bormanand William Anders, one of the first three astronauts to fly to and orbit the Moon. He then commanded the Apollo 13lunar mission in 1970 which, after a critical failure en route, circled the Moon and returned safely to Earth.
A graduate of the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, in the class of 1952, Lovell flew F2H Banshee night fighters. This included a Western Pacific deployment aboard the aircraft carrier USS Shangri-La. In January 1958, he entered a six-month test pilot training course at the Naval Air Test Center at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland, with Class 20 and graduated at the top the class. He was then assigned to Electronics Test, working with radar, and in 1960 he became the McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II program manager. The following year he became a flight instructor and safety engineering officer at Naval Air Station Oceana in Virginia Beach, Virginia, and completed Aviation Safety School at the University of Southern California.
Lovell was not selected by NASA as one of the Mercury Seven astronauts due to a temporarily high bilirubin count but was accepted in September 1962 as one of the second group of astronauts, needed for the Gemini and Apollo programs. Prior to Apollo, Lovell flew in space on two Gemini missions, Gemini 7 (with Borman) in 1965 and Gemini 12 in 1966. He was the first person to fly into space four times. One of 24 people to have flown to the Moon, Lovell was the first to fly to it twice. He is a recipient of the Congressional Space Medal of Honor and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. He co-authored the 1994 book Lost Moon, on which the 1995 film Apollo 13, in which he appeared in a cameo, was based.