Former astronaut James Lovell (LUV’-ul) has accepted the very first of a newly minted award, the Neil Armstrong Outstanding Achievement Award. Already having been inducted into the National Aviation Hall of Fame in 1998, Lovell was given the new award last Friday, October 2, at the National Aviation Hall of Fame’s enshrinement dinner near Dayton, Ohio. The Hall established the award to recognize an exceptional aviation performance.
Lovell was honored for the skill he showed in helping to get the three-man module safely back to Earth after a systems-crippling mishap. The harrowing mission was depicted in the Hollywood movie Apollo 13, starring Tom Hanks as Lovell.
Legendary Apollo 13 flight director Gene Kranz also was inducted into the hall Friday; it was Kranz who set the tone for so much of NASA’s esprit de corp and attitude, coining the phrase “Failure is not an option”. (Yes, Gene Kranz is where that came from.)
The man after whom the award is named commanded Apollo 11, becoming the first man to walk on the moon in 1969. Neil Armstrong died in 2012. By coincidence, James Lovell, Gene Kranz and Neil Armstrong were all born in Ohio.
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