April 9, 2020

Interview with a Humble Hero

By Sue Norton, producer, Crisis On Apollo 13


One of the main reasons I’m a documentary producer is discovering and sharing great stories about amazing people. With the 50th Anniversary of the Apollo missions in the past year or so, I have had the opportunity to meet some of the astronauts and engineers involved, the heroes of this great legacy.


For Crisis on Apollo 13 for CuriosityStream, I had the good fortune to interview, James “Jim” Lovell, former NASA Astronaut, Navy captain, aviator and mechanical engineer. Lovell was not only Commander on the perilous Apollo 13 mission, he was part of the very first U.S. manned missions to space having flown Gemini 7 and 12. Lovell was also a pilot and navigator on Apollo 8, and was one of the first three humans to leave the earth’s orbit and circle the moon.



So, to most of us, Jim Lovell is an American hero. But after spending some time with him and hearing him recount his experiences and beliefs, I came to know Lovell as an amazing human being and role model. He is gracious and humble. A loving husband and father. And if asked, he doesn’t consider himself as a “hero”, but rather a curious explorer and loyal American who was just doing his job. His own words today are most poignant and prophetic:


When I looked at Earth orbiting the moon I suddenly realized when I put my thumb up to the window, I could hide the earth completely behind my thumb and then it dawned on me that everything I ever knew, the history of the place where I live…I realized how insignificant we really all are, but then again how fortunate we are to have that place to live.  I’ve thought about that for a long time that… God has really given us some sort of a stage in which to perform and then again how that play turns out is strictly up to us. -Jim Lovell



About the Author

Sue Norton is an award-winning producer with nearly 20 years experience creating and producing non-fiction programming for cable television and digital media platforms. Sue has worked as an executive producer for Discovery Networks, Travel Channel and BBC Worldwide. Sue’s credits include: Apollo’s Daring Mission for NOVA, Wild China for BBC, and most recently Hack the Moon: Unsung Heroes of Apollo as well as Crisis on Apollo 13 for CuriosityStream.

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