NASA Astronaut, Flight Control Director to Discuss Apollo 13 Mission

Published: January 20, 2016

NASA Astronaut, Flight Control Director to Discuss Apollo 13 Mission

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Astronaut Fred Haise and legendary NASA Flight Control Director Gene Kranz have been announced as the next speakers for the Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi Distinguished Speaker Series. These legends bring to life a lesson of success from failure with their speech about Apollo 13, the 1970 ill-fated lunar mission.

Join us for “Apollo 13: A Successful Failure” on Tuesday, April 5, at 8 p.m. in the Performing Arts Center.  Tickets will go on sale Monday, Feb. 29. Ticket prices range from $28 to $148. VIP seating is also available.

A free Student Forum will take place before the Distinguished Speaker Series event at 1 p.m. Haise and Kranz will address high school and college students during the event.

Haise began his NASA career as an aeronautical research pilot at Lewis Research Center in 1959. He served as backup crew for the Apollo 8, 11 and 16 missions and flew as the lunar module pilot on the aborted Apollo 13 mission. Haise also flew five flights as the Commander of the Space Shuttle Enterprise in 1977.

Kranz joined the NASA Space Task Group at Langley, Va., in 1960 and was assigned as Assistant Flight Director for Project Mercury. He served as Flight Director for the Apollo Program, and led the “Tiger Team” for the safe return of the Apollo 13 crew back to Earth. Kranz is also the author of the New York Times best-selling book, “Failure Is Not an Option: Mission Control from Mercury to Apollo 13 and Beyond.”

Kranz and Haise were portrayed by actors Ed Harris and Bill Paxton in the blockbuster film, “Apollo 13.” Both men received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1970.

Each spring and fall, the Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi Distinguished Speaker Series brings accomplished national and international speakers to campus to provide insight, provoke thought, and stimulate conversation about the country’s most compelling issues. Past speakers include Scientist, Inventor and Emmy Award-winning Television Host Bill Nye, “Animal Planet” Host and Leading Conservationist Jeff Corwin and Astrophysicist and Science Communicator Neil deGrasse Tyson.

Sponsors of this Distinguished Speaker Series include Convergent Broadcasting, KRIS Communictions, La Palmera, Whataburger, Cooper Outdoor, M&G Chemicals, Flint Hills Resources, LLC, AEP Texas and V Boutique Hotel. To read more about Fred Haise and Gene Kranz; or learn more about the Distinguished Speaker Series, go to