Photo courtesy of National Aeronautics and Space Administration, nasa.gov (accessed January 16, 2013).
Date of Birth: November 14, 1933
Oklahoma Connection: Joined the Oklahoma Air National Guard and attended the University of Oklahoma.
Fred Haise began his military career in 1952 and afterward joined the Oklahoma Air National Guard. Later he graduated from the University of Oklahoma. He then joined the US Air Force. NASA selected him as an astronaut in 1966. He was the Lunar Module Pilot for the Apollo 13 mission. The mission was supposed to last ten days, and they were to land on the moon. While on their way to the moon and just a few days into the mission, there was an explosion in the command module, and they noticed gas leaking into space. The service module oxygen tank had failed. This was very dangerous, and the astronauts were 200,000 miles from earth. They were not sure if they would make it home. The astronauts got out of the command module and into the lunar module, closing off the command module. They had to conserve electricity, food, and water to survive the rest of the way home. There were also problems with navigation systems, but Haise turned around and flew everyone back, where they landed on earth safely. Despite this heroism, Haise was disappointed that he did not make it to the moon. In total, Haise spent 142 hours and fifty-four minutes in space.
Apollo 13 crew (Fred Haise on far right) Photo courtesy of National Aeronautics and Space Administration, nasa.gov (accessed January 16, 2013).
The flight director watches Apollo 13 astronaut and lunar module pilot Fred Haise onscreen in the Mission Operations Control Room. Shortly after, an explosion occurred that risked the lives of the crew. Photo courtesy of National Aeronautics and Space Administration, nasa.gov (accessed January 16, 2013).