We will be exploring Mississippi’s rich aviation history in this series. From early flight photographs to the moon landing and beyond, MDAH collections document this exciting part of our past. Special thanks to Nan Prince for writing this post.
This framed state flag and piece of Aquarius netting were flown aboard the troubled Apollo 13 mission to the moon. The inscription reads, “To the People of the State of Mississippi / This Mississippi flag and Aquarius netting were flown to the Moon on Apollo 13 by a fellow Mississippian. / April 11-17, 1970” and it is signed by Fred W. Haise.
Fred Haise was born in Biloxi on November 14, 1933. He graduated from Biloxi High School and received an Association of Arts Degree at Perkinston Junior College before going to the University of Oklahoma. An experienced pilot, Haise was one of sixteen men chosen to be astronauts by NASA in April 1966. He served as the Lunar Module Pilot on the Apollo 13 mission to the moon. Fifty-five hours into the flight, there was a failure of the service module cryogenic oxygen system, and Haise and his fellow crewmen converted the lunar module “Aquarius” into a lifeboat which ensured their survival and allowed them to return safely back to Earth.
Artifacts from the Museum Division collection that are not on exhibit are available for viewing by appointment only. Please contact Nan Prince, Asst. Director of Collections, by email to schedule an appointment.