Lovell Jr., James A.

1974 TLS of the Gemini 7 & 12 and Apollo 8 & 13 astronaut

Price: $195.00

Description:
(b. 1928) USN (Ret.) captain and astronaut, most famous as commander of the Apollo 13 mission which suffered a critical failure en route to the Moon but returned safely to Earth by the efforts of the crew and mission control. He was also command module pilot of Apollo 8, 1st Apollo mission to enter lunar orbit. He is one of 24 people to have flown to the Moon, 1st of only 3 to fly to the Moon twice, and the only one to fly there twice without making a landing. Lovell was also the 1st to fly in space 4 times. Growing up in Milwaukee, he became an Eagle Scout, interested in rocketry, and built flying models. USNA 1952, designated a Naval Aviator 1954. In Jan. 1958, he entered a test pilot training course at the Naval Air Test Center (now the US Naval Test Pilot School) at Patuxent River, Md., his classmates including fellow future astronauts Pete Conrad & Wally Schirra. As F4H program manager, future astronaut John Young served under him. In 1962 he was accepted into NASA Astronaut Group 2 (The New Nine) with Conrad. Lovell was backup pilot for Gemini 4 and pilot for Gemini 7 with Command Pilot Frank Borman in Dec. 1965. The flight set an endurance record of 206 orbits; it was also the target vehicle for the 1st space rendezvous with Gemini 6A. He was backup commander of Gemini 9A and commanded Gemini 12 with Pilot Buzz Aldrin. This flight had 3 EVAs and made 59 orbits, achieved the 5th space rendezvous and 4th space docking with an Agena target vehicle. Lovell flew on Apollo 8 with Frank Borman & Bill Anders, the first to travel to the Moon. As CM Pilot, Lovell served as navigator. The craft entered lunar orbit on Christmas Eve and broadcast b&w TV pictures of the lunar surface back to Earth and read from the Biblical creation story in the Book of Genesis. He was Apollo 11 backup commander and lifted off aboard Apollo 13 on April 11, 1970, with CM Pilot Jack Swigert and LM Pilot Fred Haise, he and Haise to land on the Moon. A fire started inside an oxygen tank and LOX rapidly turned into a high-pressure gas which burst the tank and caused the leak of a 2nd oxygen tank. In 2 hours, all on-board oxygen was lost, disabling the hydrogen fuel cells providing electric power to the Command/Service Module “Odyssey” requiring an immediate abort of the mission; the sole objective now was to safely return to Earth. Using the LM as a "life boat" providing battery power, oxygen, and propulsion, Lovell and his crew re-established return trajectory and swung around the Moon, returning safely on April 17. Lovell retired from the Navy and NASA in 1973 than held other executive positions. A small crater on the far side of the Moon is named for him. He received the Congressional Space Medal, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and other awards. He was Chairman of the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports 1967-77. TLS on 10 x 8 letterhead as Chairman of The President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, Washington, March 26 1974, to Major Genl. DeWitt C. Smith Jr., US Army Asst. Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel. Lovell invites General Smith to a reception and preview showing of highlights of the US Army’s new public service sports TV series, “Limits of Man”. Lovell hopes Smith will attend the salute to the US Army Recruiting Command for making the program available, the series premiering in Washington on April 6. Above, General Smith has noted his acceptance of the invitation. DeWITT C. SMITH,JR. (1920 -1985) US Army officer for 38 years, former deputy Army Chief of Staff, two-time (and longest-serving) commandant of the Army War College 1974-77 & 1978-80. He was one of 49 generals and admirals who signed a public letter to President Bush in March 2004 urging him to postpone operational deployment of a ground-based strategic mid-course ballistic missile defense system. He signed petitions against the use of land mines and publicly raised concerns about the conduct of the war in Iraq. He attended Oberlin College but, alarmed by Hitler's rise in Europe, joined the Canadian army before US entry in WW II, enlisting under an assumed name; his father discovered what he had done and had him discharged. In 1942, he joined the US Army and was sent to NCO school, then Officer Candidate School. Commissioned a 2nd lieutenant, he went overseas with the 4th Armored Division, serving in combat after Normandy until the end of the War. General Smith was wounded 3 times in action and awarded the Silver Star, 2 Bronze Stars for Valor, and 3 Purple Hearts. Discharged in 1946, he graduated from the University of Maryland, returning to active duty for the Korean War and stayed in the military. He was an aide to Chief of Staff Gen. Maxwell D. Taylor, served in the "Old Guard" at Fort Myer, and was a battalion executive officer and commander in Germany. He served in staff positions at the Pentagon before going to the Army War College. He commanded a combat brigade of the First Infantry Division in Vietnam and came under fire in the Dominican Republic while on the staff of the Secretary of Defense in the mid-1960s. In 1970, under his leadership, Fort Carson in Colorado was made an initial test site for the modern volunteer Army concept. Gen. Smith established a Racial Harmony Council, because of several racial incidents at or near the base. After his stints at the War College, he retired in 1980.

Condition: Very good
Type:Letter






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