Astronaut Fred Haise


Mississippi-native and retired Apollo astronaut Fred Haise is best known for serving as the Lunar Module Pilot for the Apollo 13 mission, which was launched from Kennedy Space Center on April 11, 1970. An explosion in one of the oxygen tanks two days into the mission prevented the three astronauts, Commander Jim Lovell, Command Module Pilot Jack Swigert and Fred Haise, from landing on the moon. For four harrowing days, the entire world awaited the safe return of the crew, who successfully splashed down and were recovered in the South Pacific on April 17, 1970. After Apollo 13, Haise served as backup commander for Apollo 16 and was slated to be Flight Commander for Apollo 19. However, NASA cancelled Apollo missions 18 and 19, and Haise never returned to the moon.

Haise then moved to the Space Shuttle program and commanded three of the five ALT (Approach and Landing Tests) for the Space Shuttle Enterprise. Fred Haise piloted Enterprise, NASA's first space shuttle in free flight to three successful landings. In other words, Fred Haise was the person who landed the space shuttle for the very first time, a process many considered to be the most challenging part of the mission.

Today, Haise serves on the INFINITY Science Center board of directors and is our biggest champion for realizing the center's vision of encouraging and inspiring tomorrow's thinkers. INFINITY aspires to be in the life-changing business, for students, for teachers and the curious at any age. We seek to inspire the next generation of scientists, engineers and mathematicians by nurturing their innate curiosity.