Jim Lovell Quotes
[narrating] Our mission was called "a successful failure," in that we returned safely but never made it to the Moon. In the following months, it was determined that a damaged coil built inside the oxygen tank sparked during our cryo stir and caused the explosion that crippled the Odyssey. It was a minor defect that occured two years before I was even named the flight's commander. Fred Haise was going back to the moon on Apollo 18, but his mission was cancelled because of budget cuts; he never flew in space again. Nor did Jack Swigert, who left the astronaut corps and was elected to Congress from the state of Colorado. But he died of cancer before he was able to take office. Ken Mattingly orbited the moon as Command Module Pilot of Apollo 16, and flew the Space Shuttle, having never gotten the measles. Gene Kranz retired as Director of Flight Operations just not long ago. And many other members of Mission Control have gone on to other things, but some are still there. As for me, the seven extraordinary days of Apollo 13 were my last in space. I watched other men walk on the Moon, and return safely, all from the confines of Mission Control and our house in Houston. I sometimes catch myself looking up at the Moon, remembering the changes of fortune in our long voyage, thinking of the thousands of people who worked to bring the three of us home. I look up at the Moon and wonder, when will we be going back, and who will that be?
Houston, we have a problem.
Congressman: Now Jim, people in my state keep asking why we're continuing to fund this program now that we've beaten the Russians to the Moon.
Jim Lovell: Imagine if Christopher Columbus had come back from the New World and no one returned in his footsteps.
Jack Swigert: Now wait a minute... all I did was stir those tanks...
Fred Haise, Sr.: What was that gauge reading before you hit the switch?
Jack Swigert: Hey, don't tell me how to fly the damned CM, all right? They brought me in here to do a job, they asked me to stir the damned tanks, and I stirred the tanks!
Fred Haise, Sr.: You didn't know what you were doing, do you?
Jim Lovell: Jack, quit kicking yourself in the ass.
Jack Swigert: This is NOT MY FAULT!
Jim Lovell: No one is saying it is. If I'm in the left-hand seat when the call comes up, I stir the tanks.
Jack Swigert: Yeah, well, tell HIM that.
Jim Lovell: Freddo, how long does it take to power up the LEM?
Fred Haise, Sr.: Three hours by the checklist.
Jim Lovell: We don't have that much time.
Fred Haise: It hurts when I urinate.
Jim Lovell: Well, you're not getting enough water.
Fred Haise: No, I'm drinkin' my rations, same as you... I think old Swigert gave me the clap. Been pissin' in my relief tube.
Jim Lovell: Well, that'd be a hot one at the debriefing for the flight surgeons... Another first for America's spacemen.
Ken Mattingly: 13, this is Houston, do you read?
Jim Lovell: Roger that, Ken. Are the flowers blooming in Houston?
Ken Mattingly: That's a negative, Jim. I do not have the measles.
Jim Lovell: Gentlemen, what are your intentions?
[Jack Swigert and Fred Haise turn around]
Jim Lovell: I'd like to go home.
Gentlemen, it's been a privilege flying with you.
Reporter: So... the number 13 doesn't bother you?
Fred Haise, Sr.: Only if it's a Friday, Phil.
Reporter: Apollo 13 - lifting off at 1300 hours and 13 minutes, and, entering the moon's gravity on April 13th.
Jim Lovell: Uh, Ken Mattingly has been doing some... scientific experiments regarding that very phenomenon, haven't you?
Ken Mattingly: Well, uh, yes, well I uh, had a black cat walk over a broken mirror under the lunar module ladder, didn't seem to be a problem.
Fred Haise, Sr.: We also consider a real helpful letter we got from a fellow who said we ought to take a pig up with us for good luck.
Jim Lovell: Uh, Houston, we are ready for the beginning of PTC, and I think once we're in that barbecue roll, Jack and I will eat.
Fred Haise, Sr.: Hey, I'm hungry.
Jim Lovell: Are you sure?
Fred Haise, Sr.: I could eat the ass out of a dead rhinoceros.
Patty: How do you go to the bathroom in space?
Jim Lovell: Well, um... I tell you it's a very complicated procedure that involves cranking down the window and looking for a gas station.