Fred Haise

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"Fred Hayes" redirects here. It is not to be confused with Alfred Hayes (disambiguation).
Fred Wallace Haise, Jr.
Fred Haise2.png
NASA astronaut
Nationality American
Born (1933-11-14) November 14, 1933 (age 80)
Biloxi, Mississippi
Other occupation
Test pilot
University of Oklahoma
Time in space
5d 22h 54m
Selection 1966 NASA Group
Missions Apollo 13, ALT
Mission insignia
Apollo 13-insignia.pngEnterprise 1977 Approach and Landing Test mission patch.png
Retirement June 1979

Fred Wallace Haise, Jr. (/ˈhz/ HAYZ;[1] born November 14, 1933) is an American engineer and former NASA astronaut. He is one of only 24 humans to have flown to the Moon, as Lunar Module Pilot on Apollo 13. He was to have been the sixth human to land and walk on the Moon, but the mission had to be aborted due to a spacecraft failure. He went on to fly Space Shuttle Approach and Landing Tests before retiring from NASA in 1979.

Early life and education[edit]

Fred Haise in 1966.

Haise was born in Biloxi, Mississippi. He attended Biloxi High School and Perkinston Junior College (now Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College). He graduated with honors in aeronautical engineering from the University of Oklahoma in 1959. He completed post-graduate courses at the USAF Aerospace Test Pilot School at Edwards Air Force Base in 1964 and the Harvard Business School PMD Program in 1972.[2]

He underwent naval aviator training from 1952 to 1954 and served as a United States Marine Corps fighter pilot at MCAS Cherry Point, North Carolina, from March 1954 to September 1956.[2]

NASA career[edit]

In 1966, Haise was one of 19 new astronauts selected for NASA Astronaut Group 5. He had already been working with NASA for several years as a civilian research pilot. He was the first astronaut among his class to be assigned to a mission, serving as backup lunar module pilot for both Apollo 8 and Apollo 11.[3]

Apollo 13[edit]

Fred Haise suiting up during the Apollo 13 mission.
Haise in front of the Space Shuttle Enterprise.

Haise flew as the lunar module pilot on the aborted Apollo 13 lunar mission in 1970.[4] Due to the free return trajectory on this mission, Haise, and Jim Lovell and Jack Swigert, the other two astronauts on Apollo 13, likely hold the record for the furthest distance from the Earth ever traveled by human beings. Haise was slated to become the sixth human to walk on the Moon during Apollo 13 behind Lovell, who was to be fifth. Alan Shepard and Edgar Mitchell eventually became the fifth and sixth, respectively, on Apollo 14, which completed Apollo 13's mission to the Fra Mauro formation.

Haise remained in the astronaut rotation and served as the backup mission commander for Apollo 16. Though there was no formal selection, Haise was prospectively slated to command Apollo 19 with William Pogue as command module pilot and Gerald Carr as lunar module pilot. However, the mission was canceled in late 1970 due to budget cuts.[5]

Space Shuttle Approach and Landing Tests[edit]

After completing his backup assignment on Apollo 16, Haise moved over to the Space Shuttle program. In 1977, he participated in the program's Approach and Landing Tests at Edwards Air Force Base. Along with C. Gordon Fullerton as pilot, Haise as commander piloted the Space Shuttle Enterprise in free flight to three successful landings after being released from the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft. These tests successfully verified the shuttle's flight characteristics, an important step toward the overall success of the program.[3]

Haise was originally slated to command the second Space Shuttle mission, which would have delivered a booster module that would have boosted the Skylab space station to a higher orbit, preserving it for future use. However, delays in the Shuttle program development as well as an unexpected increase in Skylab's orbital decay led to the mission being abandoned. Skylab was destroyed upon entering the Earth's atmosphere in July 1979, while the Space Shuttle did not launch until April 1981.[6]

In June 1979, Haise left NASA to become a test pilot and executive with Grumman Aerospace Corporation, where he remained until retiring in 1996.[7]

Honors and awards[edit]

In popular culture[edit]

Bill Paxton played the role of Haise in the film Apollo 13 in 1995. Adam Baldwin also played Haise in the mini-series From The Earth To The Moon.


  1. ^ Say How? A Pronunciation Guide to Names of Public Figures
  2. ^ a b "Astronaut Bio: Fred Haise". NASA, Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center. January 1996. Retrieved May 8, 2013. 
  3. ^ a b [1]
  4. ^ Tom Jones "Disaster at a Distant Moon," American Heritage, Fall 2008.
  5. ^ [2]
  6. ^ [3]
  7. ^ [4]

External links[edit]