Jack Swigert

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Jack Swigert

John Leonard "Jack" Swigert, Jr., (August 30, 1931 - December 27, 1982) was a NASA astronaut.

Born in Denver, Colorado, Swigert attended the University of Colorado, where he played varsity football and earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering. He served with the United States Air Force as a combat pilot in Korea and then became a test pilot.

After earning a Master of Science Degree in Aerospace Science from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a Master of Business Administration Degree from Hartford College, Swigert was accepted into the NASA Apollo program.

Swigert was one of three astronauts aboard the ill-fated Apollo 13 moon mission, which was launched on April 11 1970. The mission was the third lunar landing attempt, but was aborted after the rupture of an oxygen tank on the spacecraft's service module. Swigert and fellow astronauts Jim Lovell, and Fred Haise, returned safely to Earth on April 17 after approximately 5 days and 23 hours in space.

He later became staff director of the Committee on Science and Technology of the U.S. House of Representatives. Elected to Colorado's newly created Sixth Congressional District in November 1982, he died of bone cancer before taking office.

In 1995, Swigert was portrayed by Kevin Bacon in the movie Apollo 13.

In 1997 the state of Colorado submitted a statue of him to National Statuary Hall Collection.


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