Marilyn Lovell, holding son Jeffrey, watches Apollo 8 lift-off on
December 21, 1968 with daughters Susan, right, and Barbara, left
On August 27, 2023, Marilyn Lovell passed away at the age of 93 in Lake Forest, Illinois, where she and her astronaut husband had lived since he had retired from NASA following his last space mission, Apollo 13.
Jim Lovell of course is the famous one. In the 1960s space race he was the leading space cadet, spending more time in space than any other person, with flights on Gemini 7 (the longest mission yet), Gemini 12 (proved it was possible to do work on a spacewalk), Apollo 8 (first mission ever to another planet), and Apollo 13, which was supposed to be Lovell’s crowning achievement, a walk on the Moon. Unfortunately an explosion in the Apollo service module on the journey out to the Moon forced the crew to use its Lunar Module as a lifeboat so that the three astronauts could get back home safely. That failure meant Lovell would never step on the Moon, despite a life dedicated to taking the first tentative steps in the exploration and the eventual settlement of the solar system by the human race.
It could however be argued that none of that laudable career would have happened had he not had Marilyn Lovell for a wife.
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