Minute 107: To Lead You Home

May 26, 2020

Jim Lovell, in a pre-recorded interview, remembers a time when he lost his way over the Sea of Japan at night, in a malfunctioning aircraft. Marilyn Lovell watches the interview in the Lovell living room on TV.

ABC Science Reporter Jules Bergman is conducting the interview.

“I can’t even tell now what my altitude is,” explains Lovell. “I know I’m running out of fuel, so I’m thinking about… about ditching in the ocean and I… I look down there and then… in… in the darkness there’s this… there’s this green trail, it’s like a long carpet that just laid out right beneath me, and it was the algae, right. It was that phosphorescent stuff that gets turned up in the wake of a big ship and it was… it was… it was just leading me home. And… if my cockpit lights hadn’t shorted out, there’s no way I had ever been able to see that. So a… you a… you never know what… what events are gonna transpire to get you home.”

“Okay,” says Jules Bergman, “Spacecraft Commander Jim Lovell, no stranger to emergency, he.”

Back on Aquarius, a sleeping Jim Lovell floats in the cold LM. The Earth glides by in the left LM window. Haise floats beneath Lovell, while Swigert glances at Haise from a position above the LM ascent engine cover.

“How’s it going, Fred?” whispers Swigert.


Jules Bergman as Himself

Kathleen Quinlan as Marilyn Lovell

Tom Hanks as Jim Lovell

Bill Paxton as Fred Haise

Kevin Bacon as Jack Swigert

Scroll to top