This article is for quizzes on Tuesday August 30th...
James Arthur "Jim" Lovell, Jr. (born March 25, 1928) is a former NASA astronaut and a retired captain in the United States Navy, most famous as the commander of the Apollo 13 mission, which suffered a critical failure en route to the Moon but was brought back safely to Earth by the efforts of the crew and mission control. Lovell was also the command module pilot of Apollo 8, the first Apollo mission to enter lunar orbit. He is a recipient of the Congressional Space Medal of Honor and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. He is one of only 24 people to have flown to the Moon, the first of only three people to fly to the Moon twice, and the only one to have flown there twice without making a landing. Lovell was also the first person to fly in space four times.
Jeffrey Kluger, Lovell wrote a book about the Apollo 13 mission, Lost Moon: The Perilous Voyage of Apollo 13. This book was the basis for the later Ron Howard movie Apollo 13. Lovell's first impression on being approached about the film was that Kevin Costner would be a good choice to portray him, given the physical resemblance, but Tom Hanks was cast in the role. In order to prepare, Hanks visited Lovell and his wife at their house in Texas and even went for a ride with Lovell in his private airplane.
In the film, Lovell has a cameo as the captain of the USS Iwo Jima, the naval vessel that led the operation to recover the Apollo 13 astronauts after their successful splashdown. Lovell can be seen as the naval officer shaking Hanks' hand, as Hanks speaks in voice-over, in the scene in which the astronauts come aboard the Iwo Jima. Filmmakers initially offered to make Lovell's character an admiral aboard the ship (presumably Rear Admiral Donald C. Davis, Commander Task Force 130 (CTF 130), who was the senior officer aboard and welcomed them home). However, Lovell stated "I retired as a Captain and a Captain I will be", and thus he was cast as the ship's skipper, Captain Leland E. Kirkemo. Along with his wife, Marilyn, who also has a cameo in the film, he also provided a commentary track on both the single disc and the two-disc special edition DVD.