Minute 016: The Door

July 16, 2018

Guest: Jennifer Levasseur,
Curator, National Air & Space Museum, Washington, DC


In Jeff Lovell’s bedroom, Jim Lovell is talking to his son about the Lunar Module.

“– only holds two people.  It’s just for landing on the Moon. And I take the controls, and I steer it around, and I fly it down, adjusting it here, the attitude there, ” says Jim, steering a model LM, “pitch, roll – – for a nice, soft landing on the Moon.” He sets the LM model down on a table. “Better than Neil Armstrong,” says Jim Lovell, “way better than Pete Conrad.”

“Dad…” says Jeff, hesitantly, “Did you know the astronauts in the fire?”

“Yeah, yeah I did know the astronauts in the fire,” replies Jim. “All of them.”

“Could that happen again?” asks Jeff.

“Well, I’ll tell you something about that fire,” says Jim, “Um, a lot of things went wrong. The door – – it’s called the hatch? — They couldn’t get it open when they needed to get out, that was one thing.”


Jim Lovell: Tom Hanks
Marilyn Lovell : Kathleen Quinlan
Jeff Lovell: Miko Hughes

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