Astronaut Fred Haise
Fred Haise grew up on Buck Rodgers and Flash Gordon and there was no NASA back then but in 1966, Fred was one of 19 new astronauts selected for NASA Astronaut Group 5. He had already been working with NASA for several years as a civilian research pilot. He was the first astronaut among his class to be assigned to a mission, serving as backup Lunar Module Pilot for both Apollo 8 and Apollo 11.
Haise flew as the Lunar Module Pilot on the aborted Apollo 13 lunar mission in 1970. Due to the free return trajectory on this mission, Haise, Jim Lovell and Jack Swigert, the other two astronauts on Apollo 13, likely hold the record for the farthest distance from the Earth ever travelled by human beings. Haise was slated to become the sixth human to walk on the Moon during Apollo 13.
Fred comments the Apollo 13 movie: “Given that the movie had to condense four days into two hours and given that the communications were sometimes rather tedious and technical, it was pretty accurate.” The aborted Apollo 13 mission is a legend and one might wonder what goes through the head at such precarious circumstance and Fred says, “We just kept putting off the worry as we focused on the next problem and how to solve it.”