Apollo 13 pilot speaks at UL Lafayette: Former NASA astronaut compares movie to facts

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LAFAYETTE, La. (The Advertiser)- “Houston, we’ve had a problem.”

It’s one of the most quoted — and misquoted — movie lines, thanks to the 1995 film “Apollo 13.” 

Fred Haise Jr. was there to hear it for real. The former NASA astronaut was a lunar module pilot on Apollo 13, a space mission in April 1970. He logged 142 hours and 54 minutes in space.

Haise, now 84, spoke Wednesday to students of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s Department of Mechanical Engineering, most of whom were not alive for the mission. He wore a bright blue bomber jacket with NASA and mission patches.

“How many of you have seen the movie?” he asked an auditorium full of faculty and students, most of whom raised their hands.

Haise, who was played by Bill Paxton in the flick, said Tom Hanks’ now-famous line was the only one that was actually said on the mission.

“The rest was Hollywood script-writing,” he said.

But he liked the movie, saying Ron Howard did a good job painting a picture of a crew in trouble — “which we were, deep trouble.”

Read the full story here

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