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Biloxi-born astronaut honored nearly 50 years after Apollo 13 moon mission

Once Houston realized there was a problem, mission control aborted the trip to the moon and worked with the astronauts to get the three men back home in the lunar module that was only designed to fit two.
Once Houston realized there was a problem, mission control aborted the trip to the moon and worked with the astronauts to get the three men back home in the lun
Updated: Mar. 11, 2020 at 7:27 PM CDT
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HANCOCK COUNTY, Miss. (WLOX) - The anniversary of the launch date of Apollo 13 is exactly one month away.

Fred Haise was on the mission intended to land on the moon. That is, until an explosion two days into the mission caused a leak in oxygen. The moon landing turned into a trip around the moon and back home.

Before that, an intense amount of work played out for the world to see, and Haise remembers it well.

Biloxi-born astronaut honored nearly 50 years from the date Apollo 13 blasted off to the moon
Biloxi-born astronaut honored nearly 50 years from the date Apollo 13 blasted off to the moon(Photo source: WLOX)

“We had to make this two-day vehicle last four days. We didn’t want to use up electric power which was strictly with batteries. There were four batteries in the descent stage and only two batteries in the ascent stage, so we had to live for four days off those six batteries. We needed the essential commodities of life support of power, electric power, and the propulsion systems. We used the propulsion systems to get us in the right direction to get home," Haise said.

Biloxi-born astronaut honored nearly 50 years from the date Apollo 13 blasted off to the moon
Biloxi-born astronaut honored nearly 50 years from the date Apollo 13 blasted off to the moon(Photo source: WLOX)

Haise was at Infinity Space Center on Wednesday to sign autographs.

Fans young and old turned up to meet the legend who, with the help of two others, equipped the lunar module to get back to Earth safely. That trip, like many others after it, started with engine tests at NASA’s Stennis Space Center.

The rocket engine test stand that tested the engines that blasted him into space, Haise said, is forever tied to his legacy.

Biloxi-born astronaut honored nearly 50 years from the date Apollo 13 blasted off to the moon
Biloxi-born astronaut honored nearly 50 years from the date Apollo 13 blasted off to the moon(Photo source: WLOX)

“The stand that they’re gonna name after me is the A-1 stand which, during the Apollo days, tested the J-2 rocket engine. The J-2 engine, there were five of them— on the second stage and one on the third stage. They were liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen engines on the Saturn five vehicle. So, my direct tie to that stand— six of those engines— were prepared and ready to serve me to get me on the way to the moon and back 50 years ago," Haise told WLOX.

The A-1 test stand will be dedicated to Haise during a ceremony on Friday, March 20th, at NASA’s Stennis Space Center.

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