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  5/23: NASA's Ambassador of Exploration Award ceremony: Jack Swigert (Denver)

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Author Topic:   5/23: NASA's Ambassador of Exploration Award ceremony: Jack Swigert (Denver)
Robert Pearlman

Posts: 27327
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 05-21-2008 03:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA release
NASA Honors Apollo 13 Astronaut John Swigert

NASA will honor the late astronaut John "Jack" L. Swigert, Jr., with the presentation of an Ambassador of Exploration Award for his involvement in the U.S. space program. During a ceremony with Apollo 13 spacecraft commander James Lovell on Friday, May 23, Swigert's sister Virginia will accept the award at and present it for display to the Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum in Denver, Colo. The award presentation will highlight the opening of the museum's new exhibit on Colorado's Astronauts.

NASA is giving the Ambassador of Exploration Award to the first generation of explorers in the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo space programs for realizing America's goal of going to the moon. The award is a moon rock encased in Lucite and mounted for public display. The rock is part of the 842 pounds of lunar samples collected during the six Apollo expeditions from 1969 to 1972.

Swigert was born in Denver and received a received a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Colorado in 1953. Swigert was the command module pilot for the Apollo 13 mission. He was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in November 1982, but died the following month before taking office.

For more information about the Ambassador of Exploration award, see: NASA honoring astronauts, others with moon rocks


Posts: 1906
From: MA, USA
Registered: Sep 2002

posted 05-22-2008 10:03 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for BMckay   Click Here to Email BMckay     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It is my understanding that there will be items lent to the museum from shuttle astronauts for their new exhibit.

Lola Morrow

Posts: 40
From: Denver Co USA
Registered: Jun 2006

posted 07-05-2008 06:36 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Lola Morrow   Click Here to Email Lola Morrow     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It was a very interesting evening. At the VIP reception, I visited with Patty and Scott Carpenter, Laura and Fred Churchley who has just flown in from London and came straight to the Museum. Virginia and Betty Swigert, Jack's sisters and many of Jack's nieces and cousins were so excited to see so many of Jack's friends. Jim Lovell was chatting it up with all.

Scott gave the opening speech and he was so gracious and elegant in discussing space in general. I admire him greatly and think he is one of the best speakers among the guys.

Jim, after acknowledging all, opened his speech with "I want to set the record straight, Jack said 'Houston, we have a problem' first. There was a glitch in transmission and Houston asked to repeat and then I repeated Jack's words 'Houston, we have a problem.'"

He spoke about how Jack helped make the successful landing of Apollo 13. Jim related several humorous stories about Jack's adventurous spirit during their Apollo 13 after flight trip to several European countries. Jim had the audience roaring... it was so much fun to hear all.

There were a few shuttle astronauts there but they did not speak. The emphasis was on Scott and Jim.

The Wings Over the Rockies Museum's focus is on vintage aircraft. President Gregg Thompson is hoping to add to the new space wing more artifacts to accompany the Moon Rock exhibit.

Lou Chinal

Posts: 946
From: Staten Island, NY
Registered: Jun 2007

posted 07-06-2008 12:09 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Lou Chinal   Click Here to Email Lou Chinal     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Lola, thanks so much for telling us (those who were not there) what it was like.

I always knew that Scott Carpenter is a gifted speaker and Jim Lovell can deliver one liners with the best of them.

I'm sure it was an evening well remembered.


Posts: 2488
From: Titusville, FL USA
Registered: Feb 2005

posted 07-06-2008 01:47 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for KSCartist   Click Here to Email KSCartist     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Lola, good to see your post. I'm sure it was a wonderful evening sharing memories with dear friends.

Thank you for sharing.


Posts: 2488
From: Titusville, FL USA
Registered: Feb 2005

posted 07-09-2008 03:06 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for KSCartist   Click Here to Email KSCartist     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Were any other cS'ers present that night who maybe can add to what Lola has shared with us?

Or maybe there are others who have a special memory of Jack Swigert they would like to share. I'll start:

In 1982 while serving as a member of my hometown's Bicentennial Committee, I learned that Jack Swigert had lived a short distance from my house, had been a test pilot for Pratt & Whitney and a member of the CT Air National Guard. He also earned two Masters degrees while in CT: one in Science at Renslear Polytechnic and Business at the University of Hartford.

Well as far as I was concerned he was an adopted son of my hometown and I received the support of the Committee to invite him to one of our events planned for our Bicentennial Year, 1983. Sadly, he passed away in December, 1982.

On the 13th anniversary of the launch of Apollo 13 we held a tribute in his honor. While Jim Lovell and Fred Haise couldn't attend, (Jim Lovell did write me a letter to read to those attending) guests included friends of Swigert's from PWA as well as the Air Guard.

I painted a portrait that was unveiled that night and once I sent all of the photographs and newspaper clippings to his family I received a warm hand written note from Virginia Swigert.

Jack Swigert will always hold a special place to me because I had the opportunity to thank him for his service to my hometown, my state and my country.


Posts: 3593
From: Midwest, USA
Registered: Jul 2005

posted 07-09-2008 04:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mjanovec   Click Here to Email mjanovec     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Great story Tim. Thanks for sharing it!

Jurg Bolli

Posts: 520
From: Albuquerque, NM
Registered: Nov 2000

posted 07-15-2008 12:58 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jurg Bolli   Click Here to Email Jurg Bolli     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I was in Denver 10 days ago and would like to share photos from:
  1. the Wings over the Rockies Museum with Swigert's moonrock presentation etc.
  2. Swigert's grave at Mt. Olivet cemetery in Wheat Ridge, a suburb in the west of Denver.

uk spacefan

Posts: 96
From: London
Registered: Jan 2007

posted 07-25-2008 05:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for uk spacefan   Click Here to Email uk spacefan     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Lola thank you for sharing the details of what must have been a wonderful evening.

All times are CT (US)

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