Sermon Illustrations > Excuses > Apollo 13 Astronaut

Apollo 13 Astronaut

Clyde Haberman and Albin Krebs in New York Times

John L. Swigert, Jr., the Apollo 13 astronaut who went to the moon in 1970, recalls how his job almost interfered with filing his federal income-tax forms:

"On the second day of Apollo 13, April 12, I asked Mission Control to begin work to get me an extension of the filing date for my income tax. Since I had been a last-minute substitution on the Apollo 13 flight, things had moved so fast that I didn't have a chance to file my return."

The IRS didn't have to make a special ruling to grant Swigert a two-month extension because of his I'm-on-my-way-to-the-moon excuse, though. There was already a regulation that provided an automatic extension for anyone out of the country.