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Jim Lovell to Introduce 'Apollo 13' Movie July 27 at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh's Fly-In Theater

 

EAA AVIATION CENTER, OSHKOSH, Wis. - (March 19, 2007) — Capt. James Lovell, who commanded the near-disastrous Apollo 13 moon mission that became a model of crisis ingenuity and teamwork, will be a featured guest at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2007, "The World's Greatest Aviation Celebration," which will be held July 23-29 at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh, Wis.

Lovell, a longtime EAA member and aviator, will be in Oshkosh on Friday, July 27, to introduce Apollo 13, the popular movie based on Lovell's book about the mission that stars Tom Hanks as Capt. Lovell. The movie will be shown at the EAA Fly-In Theater, the giant outdoor theater on the grounds, which is sponsored by Ford Motor Company and Eclipse Aviation.

"We are always honored to welcome Jim Lovell to EAA AirVenture, as he has been an active participant in EAA activities over the past two decades," said Tom Poberezny, EAA president and AirVenture chairman. "This event is something quite special, however, as he provides unique insight into the Hollywood version of the true-life drama that was the Apollo 13 space mission."

The Fly-In Theater activities begin at approximately 8:30 p.m. on July 27 with Lovell's introduction, with the movie shown on the five-story-high outdoor screen beginning at about 9 p.m. The presentation, as with all EAA Fly-In Theater events, is included with AirVenture admission. Those attending are encouraged to bring lawn chairs or blankets for seating on the large grassy area near the screen.

Lovell's Apollo 13 adventure in April 1970 was the final chapter in an impressive career as a NASA astronaut that began in 1962. He piloted the Gemini 7 space flight in 1965 that included the first rendezvous of two manned spacecraft, and commanded the Gemini 12 mission in 1966 that perfected extra-vehicular operations for astronauts. In December 1968, he was command module pilot and navigator for the historic six-day Apollo 8 mission, which became the first manned flight to orbit the moon.

In April 1970, Lovell was commanding Apollo 13, which was to be the third manned lunar landing, when the spaceship's oxygen system failed, causing an explosion in the command module. Lovell and crewmates Jack Swigert and Fred Haise, along with a massive engineering and logistical effort on the ground, where able to successfully nurse the crippled spacecraft back to Earth.

After retiring from NASA, Lovell became a successful businessman and advocate for space exploration. He has also remained popular on the speaking circuit for more than 30 years.

After Lovell's book about the Apollo 13 mission, originally titled Lost Moon, was published in 1994, Academy Award-winning director Ron Howard developed a major motion picture starring Hanks, Ed Harris and Kevin Bacon. The movie has grossed more than $400 million worldwide since its release in 1995.

The Apollo 13 presentation is one of seven planned for the EAA Fly-In Theater during AirVenture 2007. EAA will announce the schedule for remaining films, including the publicly voted "Greatest Aviation Movie of All Time," in the coming weeks.

EAA AIRVENTURE OSHKOSH is The World's Greatest Aviation Celebration and EAA's yearly membership convention. EAA members receive lowest prices on admission rates. For more information on EAA and its programs, call 1-800-JOIN-EAA (1-800-564-6322) or visit www.eaa.org. EAA AirVenture information is also available through the World Wide Web at www.airventure.org.

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