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Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center

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Captain James A. Lovell, Retired Naval Officer and NASA Astronaut

portrait of James Lovell


"I cannot imagine a greater honor than to have my name attached to this medical facility dedicated to the wellbeing of active military and the Veterans of our armed services.”  


Captain James A. Lovell was selected as a NASA Astronaut in September 1962. On Dec. 4, 1965, he and Frank Borman were launched into space on the history-making Gemini 7 mission, lasting 330-hours and 35-minutes and the first rendezvous of two-manned maneuverable spacecraft. The Gemini 12 mission, commanded by Lovell with Pilot Edwin Aldrin, began Nov. 11, 1966. This 4-day, 59-revolution flight brought the Gemini program to a successful close. Lovell served as command module pilot and navigator on the epic six-day journey of Apollo 8: Man’s maiden voyage to the moon from Dec. 21-27, 1968. During this mission, Lovell, Frank Borman and William A. Anders, became the first humans to leave the Earth’s gravitational influence. He completed his fourth mission as spacecraft commander of the Apollo 13 mission, April 11-17, 1970, becoming the first man to journey twice to the moon. Apollo 13 was programmed for ten days; however, the original flight plan was modified en route to the moon due to a failure of the service module cryogenic oxygen system. Lovell and fellow crewmen John L. Swigert and Fred W. Haise working closely with Houston ground controllers, converting their lunar module “Aquarius”  into an effective lifeboat. Their emergency activation and operation of lunar module systems conserved both electrical power and water in sufficient supply to assure their safety and survival while in space and for the return to earth. Captain Lovell retired from the Navy and from the space program on March 1, 1973.

“I am honored and deeply humbled to have my name associated with this institution.  Throughout my life, I have had many opportunities, but only a few that I treasure: 

• When orbiting on Apollo 8 in 1968, I was fortunate to be one of the first human beings to see the earth as it truly is -- a grand oasis in a vastness of space.
• On Apollo 13, I had the good fortune of working alongside a team of people -- on the ground and in space -- whose initiative, ingenuity, innovation and teamwork resolved the many life-threatening problems we were having on board providing me with the opportunity to be here today.  Over 40 years later, those same attributes -- initiative, ingenuity, innovation and teamwork -- can be found at this federal health care center."