At various times Barton “Bo” Cunningham (b. 1943) has been one of the most respected pilots in the NASA astronaut corps and one of its most infamous. An early, celebrated career as a test pilot together with a reputation for intellectual agility landed Cunningham at NASA in 1962 along with fellow class member Ed Lovett. Lovett often credited Cunningham with saving his life during their 1965 Gemini mission, during which Cunningham corrected a return trajectory calculation that, undetected, would have resulted in mission failure and loss of the crew.
Following the scandalous conclusion of his final spaceflight – 1973’s Apollo 18 – Cunningham retired from NASA. Since that time, Cunningham has lived in near-anonymity, appearing in public only once, in connection with the 1978 publication of his book about the Apollo 18 mission. The motion picture, The Landing, marks the first time since 1973 that Cunningham has spoken publicly about his role in the incident.
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