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Northwest Missouri State University


News Release

Nov. 21, 2012

Apollo 13 astronaut to give Nov. 28 lecture at Northwest

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Fred Haise, who spent 20 years with NASA and was the astronaut portrayed by actor Bill Paxton in the blockbuster film “Apollo 13” depicting the ill-fated 1970 space mission, will appear at Northwest Missouri State University as part of the University’s Distinguished Lecture Series.

The lecture is 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 28, in the Ron Houston Center for the Performing Arts. Haise’s lecture, titled “Failure is Not an Option,” is free and open to the public.

Born in Biloxi, Miss., Haise began his NASA career as an aeronautical research pilot at Lewis Research Center in 1959. He performed further assignments as a research pilot at the NASA Flight Research Center in 1963 and as an astronaut at Johnson Space Center in 1966. He was a backup crew member for the Apollo 8, 11 and 16 missions and flew as the lunar module pilot on the aborted Apollo 13 lunar mission in 1970.

In 1973, Haise was involved in an aircraft crash of a BT-13 aircraft that had been modified for the “Tora! Tora! Tora!” movie by 20th Century Fox to look like a Japanese VAL dive-bomber. In the ensuing fire, he was burned on more than 65 percent of his body, and spent three months recovering. It took him 14 months to regain flight status in 1974, and he went on to fly five flights as the commander of the Space Shuttle Enterprise in 1977 for the Approach and Landing Program at Edwards Air Force Base.

In 1970, President Richard Nixon awarded Haise with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. His other honors include the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Haley Astronautics Award, the General Thomas D. White Space Trophy, the NASA Distinguished Service Medal, the NASA Exceptional Service Award, the NASA Special Achievement Award and induction into the Astronaut Hall of Fame.

The objective of the Distinguished Lecture Series is to enhance the academic environment through individual discipline and interdisciplinary topics. Supported by the Office of the Provost, the series offers the campus and Maryville communities opportunities to hear from extraordinary individuals who come from around the globe. Scholars, world travelers and leaders in their fields visit the Northwest campus to share their wisdom, insight and experiences.

The fourth and final lecture of Northwest’s Distinguished Lecture Series will feature Karen Arenson, education reporter for The New York Times, at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 16, 2013.


For more information, please contact:

Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
mhorn@nwmissouri.edu | 660.562.1704 | Fax: 660.562.1900

Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468