WTAMU Centennial Convocation to Feature Apollo 13’s Lovell and Kranz
Apollo 13 Mission Commander James Lovell and Flight Director Gene Kranz will be the keynote speakers at West Texas A&M University’s Centennial Convocation at 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 12 at the First United Bank Center. The event will close out a year of special WTAMU Centennial events as Lovell and Kranz, who just celebrated the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 13 mission, share their experiences on that historic spaceflight.
Lovell was flying his fourth mission for NASA in April 1970 when as spacecraft commander of the Apollo 13 flight, he calmly reported to mission control, “Houston, we’ve had a problem.” That simple statement changed the course of history for Apollo 13. The mission was quickly aborted, and Lovell and his fellow astronauts John L. Swigert and Fred W. Haise worked with mission control to overcome the failure of the oxygen system for a safe return home.
And on the ground, Kranz said, “Failure is not an option,” as he helped guide the crippled Apollo 13 spacecraft back home. The Apollo 13 mission was a failure in every sense of the word, but the mission also proved to be a success in terms of team work and diligence in getting the crew back to Earth. Apollo 13 landed safely in the Pacific Ocean on April 17, 1970. The mission attracted the attention of millions and is legendary in the history of human spaceflight.
WTAMU’s Centennial Convocation is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Dr. Amy Andersen at