Former Astronaut Captain James A. Lovell Named To The Board Of Directors Of The National Museum Of The American Sailor Foundation
The National Museum of the American Sailor Foundation (NMASF) appointed Captain James A. Lovell, U.S. Navy (retired) and former NASA astronaut, to the Foundation's board of directors. NMASF is working to create the only museum dedicated exclusively to the enlisted sailor.
"I am joining the board because it is time to honor the American Sailor. The enlisted sailor does much of the work in the U.S. Navy and is sometimes overlooked," says Captain Lovell. "It is appropriate that the museum be placed next to Recruit Training Command Great Lakes, which is the only boot camp the Navy has today."
The new 40,000-square-foot museum will be immediately adjacent to the Recruit Training Command where approximately 38,000 men and women each year spend nine weeks of basic training.
It will be located within the Sheridan Crossing Cultural, Hospitality and Entertainment District in the City of North Chicago.
"Captain Lovell is an American Hero, and we are honored that he has agreed to join our board to make the National Museum of the American Sailor a reality," says Ken Tucker, board president.
Lovell believes that the museum can be used to educate younger citizens about the many benefits of the Navy and incorporate STEM education in real life situations.
"The Navy is a good beginning for young people," says Captain Lovell. "It helps them become confident, responsible, technologically adept, and is an incentive for kids to follow a STEM (Science, Technology Engineering, Mathematics) education. And you can see the world."
Born in Cleveland, Ohio, on March 25, 1928, Captain Lovell grew up captivated by flight. "I grew up in the 1930s, and Charles Lindbergh was my hero," Captain Lovell recalls. "And my uncle graduated from the Naval Academy and was an early naval aviator who flew in World War I. I'd listen to his stories when he'd visit and was fascinated by his aviation experience."
Lovell joined the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) at the University of Wisconsin where he was accepted in the Naval Aviation Holloway Plan after graduating high school. He reported for preflight training at Pensacola, Florida.
He received an appointment to the Naval Academy in 1948 and after graduation, Captain Lovell returned to Pensacola for flight training in September 1952. Upon completion of his flight training, his first assignment was to Moffett Field California.
In January 1958 Captain Lovell entered Navy Test Pilot School at Patuxent River Maryland. He finished first in his class and after graduation became the Project Manager for the Navy's F4H jets.
In October 1962, Jim Lovell was selected as one of the second group of astronauts to the National Aeronautic and Space Administration (NASA). During the next eleven years he made four space flights and was back up on three more. On Gemini 7 with Frank Borman they set the world space flight endurance record; participated in the first rendezvous with Gemini 6 and conducted 21 medical experiments. As Commander of Gemini 12, he and Buzz Aldrin perfected spacecraft docking techniques and developed Extra Vehicular Activity (EVA) procedures necessary for the later flights of the Apollo program.
Captain Lovell was navigator on the historic Apollo 8 mission -- man's first flight to the moon. He was the first Naval Officer to reach the moon and successfully evaluated the navigation system while looking for suitable landing sites for future missions. Lovell's last flight was Apollo 13 -- the third lunar landing mission. He was the first person to fly to the moon a second time. Two hundred thousand miles from earth an explosion on the spacecraft forced him to bring home the crippled spacecraft, successfully. During this crisis he established the absolute altitude record of 148,655 miles.
In total, Captain Lovell saw a total of 269 sunrises in space and logged over 715 hours. He retired from the U.S. Navy in 1973 and spent the next 18 years in private industry, retiring in 1991. He and his wife Marilyn raised four children.
In 1994, Lovell and Jeff Kluger wrote "Lost Moon", the story of the courageous mission of Apollo 13. In 1995, the film version of the best-seller, "Apollo 13" was released to rave reviews
The National Museum of the American Sailor Foundation is the official 501(c)(3) corporation established to implement development of the Museum. The NMASF will undertake the formal design, fundraising, construction, and ongoing operation of the National Museum of the American Sailor. Upon completion of construction, the NMASF will continue its mission and assist with ongoing operations and where necessary future fundraising initiatives in support of the Museum.