Famed NASA flight director to speak at Purdue

In this photo provided by NASA taken on Saturday, July 18, 2009, Apollo 11 Astronaut Buzz Aldrin, left, meets with Gene Kranz, retired NASA Flight Director and manager, backstage after the "Salute to Apollo" ceremony at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington. The event was part of NASA's week long celebration of the Apollo 40th Anniversary.  (AP Photo/NASA, Bill Ingalls)
In this photo provided by NASA taken on Saturday, July 18, 2009, Apollo 11 Astronaut Buzz Aldrin, left, meets with Gene Kranz, retired NASA Flight Director and manager, backstage after the "Salute to Apollo" ceremony at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington. The event was part of NASA's week long celebration of the Apollo 40th Anniversary. (AP Photo/NASA, Bill Ingalls)

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) — The former NASA flight director who helped bring Apollo 13′s astronauts back to Earth following a deep-space explosion will deliver a lecture at Purdue University next month.

Gene Kranz will speak Sept. 25 at the Purdue Memorial Union ballroom as part of the Krannert School of Management’s annual lecture series.

Kranz served as flight director for the Gemini, Apollo and Skylab programs before retiring from the space agency in 1994.

Actor Ed Harris portrayed Kranz in the 1995 film “Apollo 13″ that detailed the April 1970 oxygen tank explosion that crippled the Apollo 13 astronauts’ main spacecraft as they were en route to the moon.

Kranz and his team oversaw innovative strategies that included using the ship’s lunar lander as their housing during their return journey to Earth.

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