Friday, November 06, 2009

Live At KSC: Apollo 13 Astronauts Sign Autographs

Big weekend for Apollo memories and memorabilia:

The Astronaut Scholarship Foundation’s Astronaut Autograph & Memorabilia Show weekend will kick off with an astronaut hosted lunch with Apollo 13 crewmembers James Lovell and Fred Haise. The lunch is just one of several activities open to the public as part of this cosmic autograph show weekend at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. Show goers will meet legendary astronauts, obtain autographs and pose for photos.

Today from 11:30 a.m. to noon, Apollo 13 astronauts James Lovell and Fred Haise, seen on the left and right, respectively, in the Apollo-era NASA image, will be signing autographs in the Rocket Garden at the Visitor Complex. The lunch with the astronauts will be held from 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. at the Dr. Kurt H. Debus Conference Facility.

The ASF says more than 30 celebrities -- ranging from hero astronauts and space icons to cast members of "Star Trek: The Next Generation" -- will join James Lovell and Fred Haise signing at the world's largest Astronaut Autograph & Memorabilia Show.

Tickets to the autograph show are just $10 with admission into Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. Astronaut autographs are an additional fee. Proceeds will benefit the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation's mission of providing scholarships to top science and technology college students across the nation.

The astronauts also will be signing from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday.

Lovell is a veteran of four spaceflights: Gemini 7, Gemini 12, Apollo 8 and Apollo 13. He was commander of the ill-fated Apollo 13 mission and Haise was the Lunar Module pilot on that flight. As their spacecraft neared the moon, an oxygen tank in the Service Module ruptured.

With most of their Command Module power gone, they worked with ground controllers to convert their still-attached Lunar Module into a "lifeboat." By conserving electricity and other supplies, they made it back to earth after a hair-raising six-day trip. Due to the free return trajectory on this mission, Haise, Lovell and third crewmember Jack Swigert likely hold the record for the furthest distance from the Earth ever traveled by human beings.

Headquartered in Titusville, the nonprofit Astronaut Scholarship Foundation was established by the original Mercury astronauts in 1984 to aid the United States in retaining its world leadership in science and technology by providing college scholarships to students who exhibit motivation, imagination and exceptional performance in these fields.

Many of the Scholar alumni have pursued careers with NASA and its contractors, providing the space program with the very best young minds in our nation. The Foundation disburses nineteen $10,000 scholarships annually and has awarded $2.8 million in scholarships thus far to students nationwide. For more information, visit or call 321-455-7015.

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