Minute 047: Spirit in the Sky

September 18, 2018

“Spirit in the Sky” by Norman Greenbaum begins to play. Haise spins the cassette player in zero gravity.

Fred Haise’s children, watching in the visitors’ gallery at Mission Control, laugh. Mary Haise smiles.

Jim Lovell looks displeased. “That was supposed to be the Theme to 2001, in honor of our Command Module, Odyssey, but there seems to be a last-minute change in the program.”

“When I go up there on Nineteen, I’m going to take my entire collection of Johnny Cash along,” says CAPCOM.

In a corner of the viewing room, PAO Henry Hurt is looking at a group of TV monitors. None are showing the broadcast, but are airing shows such as I Dream of Jeannie, Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In, Bewitched, and a game show.

“Where’s their broadcast?” asks Marilyn.

“Hey Marilyn,” replies Henry. “All the networks dumped us. One of them said we made going to the Moon as exciting as a trip to Pittsburgh.”

In a nursing home, Jim Lovell’s mom, Blanch,  is trying to watch the broadcast.

“My son is supposed to be on!” she says to another resident. “He’s in outer space.”

“This is all the channels we get, Mrs. Lovell,” explains an orderly, changing the channels but not finding any Apollo broadcasts.

“It’s that damned TV Guide again,” says Blanch. A Samsonite commercial featuring a gorilla throwing a suitcase around a cage appears on screen.

Meanwhile, Fred Haise is demonstrating orange juice in zero gravity.


Jim Lovell: Tom Hanks
Jack Swigert: Kevin Bacon
Fred Haise: Bill Paxton
EECOM White Team: Clint Howard
EECOM Gold Team John Aaron:  Loren Dean
Marilyn Lovell:  Kathleen Quinlan
Barbara Lovell: Mary Kate Schellhardt
Susan Lovell: Emily Ann Lloyd
Blanch Lovell: Jean Speegle Howard
Henry Hurt: Xander Berkeley

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