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  Jim Lovell's "relocated" flight assignments

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Author Topic:   Jim Lovell's "relocated" flight assignments
RichieB16
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Posts: 304
From: Oregon
Registered: Feb 2003

posted 07-04-2008 04:22 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for RichieB16   Click Here to Email RichieB16     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I read in a thread the other day (that I cannot find again now) that Lovell was basically "relocated" into all of his missions. Basically, all his flight assignments involved some kind of a change that dropped him into the mission. I sat down and thought about it, and this is what I came up with.

Gemini XII
The original Gemini IX crew of See/Bassett was replaced by there backup crew (Stafford/Cernan) upon their death. The new backup crew was Lovell/Aldrin. Had See/Bassett not been killed, Lovell/Aldrin would have been backup on Gemini X (based on what I read in "First Man") and therefore been in line to command Gemini XIII rather than Gemini XII. Of course, there never was a Gemini XIII.

Apollo 8
Michael Collins originally chosen to be the Apollo 8 CMP, replaced by Lovell because of spinal surgery.

Apollo 13
As Apollo 11 backup CDR, Lovell was in line to command Apollo 14 but was bumped to Apollo 13 when Alan Shepard was not approved for A13.

So, this is my understanding of things. Is this about correct?

If so, what I am wondering is was there any similar story behind his assignment to Gemini VII? That other thread implied that all his flights had some kind of relocated... so I was wondering if there was something about Gemini VII I did not know.

I know that Borman/Lovell were the backup crew for Gemini IV and therefore inline for the Gemini VII prime crew. I get the feeling that the G7 flight was a "normal assignment" but I'm not 100% sure.

FFrench
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Posts: 3093
From: San Diego
Registered: Feb 2002

posted 07-04-2008 04:53 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for FFrench     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by RichieB16:
I read in a thread the other day (that I cannot find again now) that Lovell was basically "relocated" into all of his missions. Basically, all his flight assignments involved some kind of a change that dropped him into the mission.... That other thread implied that all his flights had some kind of relocated.
If it is the one I am thinking of, the other thread says "just about all," and not "all"...

...but it could be argued that Lovell was all set to fly the fifth manned Gemini mission to launch, but actually flew the fourth...

Delta7
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Posts: 1153
From: Ossian IN USA
Registered: Oct 2007

posted 07-04-2008 06:19 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Delta7   Click Here to Email Delta7     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The only difference in Lovell's original Gemini 4 assignment was that he was originally paired with Pete Conrad as Command Pilot of the backup crew (Conrad/Lovell backing up McDivitt/White). When Al Shepard was grounded and removed from Gemini 3, it set off a series of assignment changes. One result was Conrad being re-assigned as Pilot with Gordon Cooper on Gemini 5, and Frank Borman moving from Grissom's Pilot on Gemini 5 to backup Command Pilot of Gemini 4. Borman and Conrad essentially traded places, for whatever reason. Lovell never moved from that original Gemini 4 backup slot.

It's interesting to speculate that had Lovell not replaced Collins on Apollo 8, he likely would have flown as CMP on Apollo 11. Then, there's an excellent chance he would have gone on to serve as backup CDR Apollo 14, then CDR of Apollo 17.

Max Q
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Posts: 381
From: Whyalla South Australia
Registered: Mar 2007

posted 07-04-2008 06:29 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Max Q   Click Here to Email Max Q     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I mentioned that just about all of Lovell's flights where relocated from his assigned mission. I also said that I look upon Lovell as my favorite Astronaut. Its for just that reason I feel that Jim showed flexibility in his craft like no other (But that is just my opinion).

RichieB16
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Posts: 304
From: Oregon
Registered: Feb 2003

posted 07-04-2008 08:48 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for RichieB16   Click Here to Email RichieB16     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
OK, thats kind of what I thought. I couldn't find the thread in question so I didn't have a chance to reread it.

robsouth
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Posts: 607
From: West Midlands, UK
Registered: Jun 2005

posted 07-08-2008 09:08 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for robsouth     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
According to Slayton's book, 'Deke', his thinking on the early Gemini crews was,

GT3 Shepard Stafford 18 orbit flight backups Grissom Borman (GT6) 14 day flight.

GT4 McDivitt White 7 day flight with SEVA and station keeping exercises backups Conrad Lovell (GT7).

GT5 Schirra Young first rendezvous flight.

The Gemini Agena Target Vehicle was delayed until GT6. Schirra Young moved to GT3 backups and Grissom Borman moved to GT5.

October 1963 - Shepard removed from GT3 and astronaut flight status due to Menieres Syndrome.

Grissom moved to GT3 with Young, Stafford removed from GT3 and teamed with Schirra on GT6 for the rendezvous mission whilst Cooper is made commander on GT5. Conrad is moved from the GT4 back-up slot to the GT5 prime crew. Borman moved to the GT4 back-up crew to join Lovell who will now fly on GT7. Grissom and Young are also pencilled in for the GT6 back-up crew.

Who'd wanna be Deke for a day!!!!

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