Q is for Questions #atozchallenge @aprila2z

QA few years ago, the Telegraph published an article, the Greatest 101 Questions of All Time

Here are the first ten.  I added some photographs found through google images.

1. Where is the safest place to stand outside in a thunderstorm?

Million Volt Curtain, Rincon Mountains, Arizona © Jeff Smith 199

Tall, pointy objects standing alone in an open space are more likely to get struck by lightning but it’s by no means a certainty. Sometimes the flat ground next to a tall tree can be hit. A car or other enclosed metal structure is the safest place to be in a thunderstorm. Failing that, a ditch, trench or group of shrubs of uniform height is better than nothing. Keep away from boundary areas between dissimilar terrain (water and land; rock and earth; trees and fields). Also keep at least five meters away from metal objects or other people as lightning will often jump from one object to another.

2.  Why do identical twins have different fingerprints?

IdenticalTwins10_InTheWomb.jpgAlthough identical twins share the same DNA, they don’t look identical cell-for-cell, because not every aspect of your physical appearance is rigidly determined by your genes. Fingerprints are formed semi-randomly as the fetus develops in the womb and are affected by such things as chance fluctuations of hormone levels. Similarly, the pattern of freckles and moles on the skin is caused by random mutations and will vary

3.  Is the human race still getting taller?

tallest-man-in-the-world

The average height, at least in Western society, is increasing because of better childhood nutrition and sexual selection. But the tendency of women to find men taller than six feet (183cm) more attractive can’t be extrapolated upward, and people above 6ft 2in (188cm) are much more likely to suffer back problems. Above 6ft 8in (203cm), and the heart strains to pump blood round the body.

4.  Why do I feel cold and shiver when I have a fever?

A young girl is sick and having her temperature taken.

A fever is when your body increases its internal thermostat, found in the hypothalamus. If you exercise hard or it’s a hot day, your body temperature might increase, but the thermostat remains at around 36.8°C. When you feel hot the hypothalamus tries to correct this with sweating and increased blood flow to the skin. But with a fever, it is the thermostat that has risen. This means your body temperature is now below 36.8°C, so you feel cold and shiver, to try and raise your temperature. The higher body temperature may help fight infection by speeding white blood cell production and slowing bacteria reproduction.

5. What is OK short for?

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The most popular theory is that OK comes from ‘oll korrect’, a deliberately misspelled writing of ‘all correct’. It was popularized in Boston newspapers around the 1840s when it was fashionable to go around spelling things incorrectly for humorous effect. Legend also has it that New York Democrats later adopted the abbreviation to promote their candidate Martin Van Buren – the initials ‘OK’ were derived from his nickname, Old Kinderhook.

6.   Why can’t we just fill in the ozone hole with man-made ozone?

wg_ozone_hole

The sheer scale of the notorious hole – or, more accurately, depleted region – in the Earth’s ozone layer over the Antarctic beggars belief. At its peak each September, it spans an area bigger than the continental United States, and tens of millions of tonnes of ozone would be needed to fill it up again. Simply creating that amount of ozone, let alone getting it where it’s needed, would be astronomically expensive.

7.  Why do fingers and toes wrinkle when left in water?

WrinkledFingers

The waterproof coating on our skin gets rubbed away from areas of our bodies like our hands and feet that are frequently in contact with objects. If you immerse yourself in water with a lower concentration of dissolved salts than that of your cell contents, water will be absorbed by osmosis and cause your skin cells to swell. Since they are anchored to the tissues below, they are forced to corrugate to accommodate this.

8.  What is a hiccup?

hiccup-4

A hiccup comes from an involuntary contraction of the diaphragm, producing a sudden intake of air. The glottis (the vocal apparatus of the larynx) slams shut at the same time, so that the column of air strikes the closed glottis to produce the characteristic, onomatopoeic noise.

9.   Is there an easy way to prove the Earth is round?

winter

Yes, travel. Because the Earth’s surface is curved, you’ll notice that different constellations of stars are revealed.

10.   Can you have a fish out of water?

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Yes. Several species of fish can breathe air and crawl on land. There are about 50 species of flying fish, too.

P is for Plague (Black Death) #atozchallenge @aprila2z

PThe Black Death was one of the most devastating pandemics in human history, resulting in the deaths of an estimated 75 to 200 million people and peaking in Europe in the years 1348–50 CE.   Although there were several competing theories as to the etiology of the Black Death, analysis of DNA from victims in northern and southern Europe published in 2010 and 2011 indicates that the pathogen responsible was the Yersinia pestis bacterium, probably causing several forms of plague.

Yersinia pestis

Yersinia pestis

The Black Death is thought to have originated in the arid plains of central Asia, where it then travelled along the Silk Road, reaching the Crimea by 1346.   From there, it was most likely carried by Oriental rat fleas living on the black rats that were regular passengers on merchant ships. Spreading throughout the Mediterranean and Europe, the Black Death is estimated to have killed 30–60% of Europe’s total population. All in all, the plague reduced the world population from an estimated 450 million down to 350–375 million in the 14th century.

Black-Death

The aftermath of the plague created a series of religious, social, and economic upheavals, which had profound effects on the course of European history. It took 150 years for Europe’s population to recover. The plague reoccurred occasionally in Europe until the 19th century.

This subject is very depressing.  The following from Monty Pythons should help relieve the depressing subject.

O is for Oregon Trail #atozchallenge @aprila2z

OOn May 22, 1843, a massive wagon train, made up of 1,000 settlers and 1,000 head of cattle, sets off down the Oregon Trail from Independence, Missouri. Known as the “Great Emigration,” the expedition came two years after the first modest party of settlers made the long, overland journey to Oregon.

Oregontrail_1907

After leaving Independence, the giant wagon train followed the Sante Fe Trail for some 40 miles and then turned northwest to the Platte River, which it followed along its northern route to Fort Laramie, Wyoming. From there, it traveled on to the Rocky Mountains, which it passed through by way of the broad, level South Pass that led to the basin of the Colorado River. The travelers then went southwest to Fort Bridger, northwest across a divide to Fort Hall on the Snake River, and on to Fort Boise, where they gained supplies for the difficult journey over the Blue Mountains and into Oregon. The Great Emigration finally arrived in October, completing the 2,000-mile journey from Independence in five months.

2006december_trail_family

In the next year, four more wagon trains made the journey, and in 1845 the number of emigrants who used the Oregon Trail exceeded 3,000. Travel along the trail gradually declined with the advent of the railroads, and the route was finally abandoned in the 1870s.

Fording the North Platte

N is for Naval and Maritime Disasters #atozchallenge @aprila2z

NThere probably isn’t a person alive today that doesn’t know the story of the HMS Titanic from 1912 but even with the loss of more than 1,500 people, it is far from the world’s worst maritime disaster, in terms of loss of life. History’s deadliest shipwreck occurred in 1945, when some 9,000 people perished after a German vessel, the Wilhelm Gustloff, was torpedoed by a Soviet submarine in the Baltic Sea. Find out more about the sinking of the Wilhelm Gustloff, and four other other major shipwrecks you might not know about.

gustloffsinking

The Wilhelm Gustloff (1945): The deadliest shipwreck in history
On January 30, 1945, some 9,000 people perished aboard this German ocean liner after it was torpedoed by a Soviet submarine and sank in the frigid waters of the Baltic Sea. The Gustloff was constructed as a cruise ship for the Nazis’ “Kraft durch Freude” (“Strength through Joy”) program, which provided recreational activities for working-class Germans. Adolf Hitler launched the 684-foot-long, 25,000-ton vessel in 1937. However, its cruising career was brief; after World War II began in 1939, the German military converted the Gustloff into a hospital then later used it as a U-boat training school.

The Wilhelm Gustloff?s final voyage was during Operation Hannibal in January 1945, when it was sunk while participating in the evacuation of civilians,

The Wilhelm Gustloff?s final voyage was during Operation Hannibal in January 1945, when it was sunk while participating in the evacuation of civilians,

In January 1945, as the Soviet army advanced on East Prussia, the Nazis launched Operation Hannibal, a mass naval evacuation of German military personnel and civilians from the region. On January 30, as part of Operation Hannibal, the Gustloff left the East Prussian port of Gotenhafen (which today is the Polish city of Gdynia) bound for Kiel, Germany. The Soviet submarine S-13 soon spotted the Gustloff and blasted it with three torpedoes. The German liner sank within 90 minutes, about 12 nautical miles off Stolpe Bank near present-day Poland. Historians now estimate that only about 1,000 of the approximately 10,000 people aboard the Gustloff survived, making it the deadliest maritime disaster in history.

map-wg_sinking

In the aftermath, the world learned little about the disaster for a variety of reasons. The Nazi regime kept news of the sinking out of the headlines and censored survivors, and some survivors kept quiet because they felt guilty about their German heritage and the atrocities Nazi Germany had inflicted on millions of people.

Mont Blanc (1917): A massive explosion devastates a city
On December 6, 1917, in Nova Scotia’s busy Halifax Harbor, the Mont Blanc, a French ship loaded with explosives and headed for Europe, where World War I raged, collided with the Imo, which was traveling to New York to pick up relief supplies for war-ravaged Belgium. After the collision, fire broke out on the Mont Blanc, which soon ran aground on the Halifax waterfront, where a crowd had gathered to watch the burning ship. About 20 minutes after the collision, the fire ignited the 2,925 tons of explosives the Mont Blanc was transporting and sparked a massive blast. (The force of the blast was so great that physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer, referred to as “the father of the atomic bomb,” later studied the event in order to estimate the potential damage of the nuclear weapons he was helping to develop.)

Halifax Harbor explosion: In December 1917, the French ammunition ship Mont Blanc and the chartered Belgian steamer Imo collided in Halifax Harbor in Nova Scotia

Halifax Harbor explosion: In December 1917, the French ammunition ship Mont Blanc and the chartered Belgian steamer Imo collided in Halifax Harbor in Nova Scotia

The blast killed scores of people instantly and devastated the surrounding area, toppling buildings, setting entire blocks ablaze and triggering a tsunami. Compounding the tragedy was the fact that a blizzard struck the region that night, hampering rescue and relief efforts. More than 2,000 people died as a result of what became known as the Halifax Explosion—the largest man-made blast until the first atomic bomb was dropped on Japan in 1945– while more than 6,000 others were injured and some 9,000 people were left homeless.

The Sultana (1865): Catastrophe on the Mississippi River
On April 27, 1865, some 1,700 people—many of them Union soldiers recently freed from Confederate prison camps—perished after this side-wheel steamboat exploded, burned and sank in the Mississippi River. Launched in 1863 in Cincinnati, the 260-feet-long, wooden-hulled Sultana was licensed to carry 376 passengers. During the Civil War, it made regular trips between New Orleans and St. Louis, often transporting troops and supplies for the federal government.

sultana

On April 24, 1865, the Sultana stopped at Vicksburg, Mississippi, to pick up discharged Union soldiers, many of them weak and malnourished from their time in such notorious POW camps as Andersonville and Cahaba.

prison

The U.S. government paid steamboat companies to transport soldiers to their homes in the North: $5 for each enlisted man and $10 for each officer, and, as a result, some companies bribed military officials in order to take on as many soldiers as possible. The Sultana departed Vicksburg with an estimated 2,400 people on board—more than 2,000 soldiers, 100 civilians and 80 crew members—six times the vessel’s legal capacity. At around 2 a.m. on April 27, just north of Memphis, three of the Sultana’s four boilers suddenly exploded and the boat caught fire. Hundreds of passengers burned to death, while hundreds more were thrown into the surging Mississippi by the force of the blast or jumped into the water to escape the flames onboard–and ended up drowning.

sultana_burning

The sinking of the Sultana was the deadliest maritime disaster in U.S. history, but it was largely overlooked because it came so soon after the end of the American Civil War (Gen. Robert E. Lee surrendered his Confederate force to Gen. Ulysses Grant on April 9) and the assassination of President Lincoln (April 14).

The Arctic (1854): Women and children last
The 284-foot-long, 2,856-ton Arctic, which made its maiden transatlantic voyage in 1850, was known for its speed and could cross the Atlantic in just nine days. On September 27, 1854, while sailing from Liverpool, England, to New York City, the Arctic collided with a smaller French steamship, the Vesta, in thick fog off Cape Race, Newfoundland. Initially, the French vessel appeared to have suffered greater damage, but the Arctic’s captain soon realized his own ship was rapidly taking on seawater and he made the decision to abandon the Vesta and head for land in order to save his passengers. However, after leaving the Vesta, the damaged Arctic continued to take on water, causing its furnaces to go out and its engines to stop working. The captain ordered that women and children should be put into lifeboats first, but instead a number of the crew and some male passengers made a dash for the boats, leaving hundreds of people to die when the Arctic sank.

T3CRD00Z

In the end, of the estimated 400 people aboard the Arctic, only 87 survived the disaster, 22 of them passengers and the rest crew members; none were women or children. The Arctic’s captain went down with the sinking ship but managed to stay alive by clinging to some wreckage before being rescued by another vessel. Meanwhile, the Vesta did not sink and instead made it to St. John’s, Newfoundland, on September 30. The Arctic crew members who took the lifeboats and abandoned ship were criticized in the media for their behavior, which also violated laws forbidding sailors to put their own safety before that of passengers in emergencies. However, none of the men were prosecuted for their actions.

Dona Paz (1987): The deadliest peacetime shipwreck in history
On December 20, 1987, this Philippine passenger ferry, en route from the Philippine island of Leyte to Manila, the capital city of the Philippines, collided with an oil tanker, caught fire and sank, killing as many as 4,000 people. The Dona Paz, built in 1963 in Japan, collided at night in the Tablas Strait with the Vector, a tanker carrying more than 8,000 barrels of petroleum products. The Vector’s cargo burst into flames and fire quickly spread to the Dona Paz; both vessels eventually sank.

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Passenger ferries are common in the Philippines, an archipelago of some 7,100 islands with a weak record of nautical safety. At the time of the collision, the Dona Paz, later referred to as “Asia’s Titanic,” was overcrowded; although the exact number of people the vessel was carrying is unknown, the total might have been more than double its legal capacity. Additionally, the Vector was said to be poorly maintained and operating without a license. Only several dozen people survived the disaster.

960x595

M is for Match Girl Strike of 1888 #atozchallenge @aprila2z

MIn July, 1888 a crowd of 200, mainly teenaged girls, arrived outside a newspaper office in Bouverie Street, off Fleet Street in the City of London. They had left their work at the Bryant and May match factory at Bow in the East End in protest when three of their colleagues had been fired.

The Match Girl Strike 1888

The Match Girl Strike 1888

Management had accused them of telling lies about their working conditions to a radical journalist, Annie Besant. They had come to her for help. In June Besant had heard at a meeting of socialists in Hampstead that Bryant and May, had announced monster profits with dividends of 22 per cent contrasted with paying wages of between 4 and 8 Shillings [20 - 40p] a week.

Annie Besant

Annie Besant

Annie Besant went down to the factory to investigate. She stood by the gate till the women came out, persuading a small group to talk to her. Besant returned from the East End with a terrible story of cynical exploitation and disregard for the health and welfare of children and young adults. She had recently founded a weekly agitational paper, The Link, in which she wrote up her story of life in the match factory. It was entitled “White Slavery in London”.

link trade union - matchgirls besant champion strike 1888

From the crowd of 200 women at the door, Besant brought a small group into her office where they set up an organizing committee. Besant had been pessimistic about the organization of unskilled women factory workers and shortly before the strike had criticized the Women’s Trade Union League in The Link for espousing unworkable ideas.

Bryant and May tried to break the strike by threatening to move the factory to Norway or to import blacklegs from Glasgow. The managing director, Frederick Bryant, was already using his influence on the press. His first statement was widely carried. ‘His (sic) employees were liars. Relations with them were very friendly until they had been duped by socialist outsiders. He paid wages above the level of his competitors. He did not use fines. Working conditions were excellent…He would sue Mrs Besant for libel’.

‘Mrs Besant’ would not be intimidated. The next issue of The Link invited Bryant to sue. Much better, she asserted, to sue her than to sack defenseless poor women.

She took a group of 50 workers to Parliament. The women cataloged their grievances before a group of MPs, and, afterwards, ‘outside the House they linked arms and marched three abreast along the Embankment…’ The socialist paper Justice reported that, ‘A very imposing sight it was too, to see the contrast between these poor ‘white slaves’ and their opulent sisters’.

Newspaper Article: Match Girls Strike, 1888

Newspaper Article: Match Girls Strike, 1888

Maybe Disney should write a musical about the Match Girl Strike.  Look what they did with the newsboy strike of 1899 in the Broadway musical Newsies.

L is for Liberty Bell Facts and Trivia #atozchallenge @aprila2z

LIf you were raised on American History, you probably know a lot about the Liberty Bell.  After all, the Liberty Bell is one of the symbols of our nation.  As school children we know this bell but we aren’t normally involved in an indepth study of the bell.  Much of the information that I am about to write is from the following website http://www.ushistory.org/libertybell/index.html

This is the writing on the Liberty Bell

This is the writing on the Liberty Bell

  • The Liberty Bell is currently housed at the Liberty Bell Center, 6th and Market Streets Philadelphia, Pennsylvania USA
The Liberty Bell in the Liberty Bell Center, Philadelphia, PA

The Liberty Bell in the Liberty Bell Center, Philadelphia, PA

  • The bell was originally cast at the Whitechapel Bell Foundry, London England in 1752.  The bell was recast in 1753 by Pass & Stow Philadelphia and again later that same year.
The Whitechapel Bell Foundry still operates today.

The Whitechapel Bell Foundry still operates today.

  • The Bell was sent from England on the ship Hibernia, captained by William Child.
  • The Liberty Bell is no longer rung due to the famous crack but the Normandy Bell is a exact duplicate.  The note is E Flat.  At this link you can hear the bell ring but I warn you, don’t have your speakers turned up too loud.  There is a start and stop icon. http://www.ushistory.org/libertybell/images/normandybellsound.swf
  • The Liberty Bell cracked the first time she was rung.  The “crack” is approximately 1/2 inch wide and 24.5 inches long. The Bell actually suffered a series of hairline cracks. The area around the crack was expanded in hopes of extending the useful life of the Bell. In the picture at right, note the hairline crack that finally rendered the bell unusable extending upward.
The Liberty Bell and her crack

The Liberty Bell and her crack

  • On June 6, 1944, when Allied forces landed in France, the sound of the bell was broadcast to all parts of the country
  • There are three known recordings of the Bell. Two were made in the 1940s for radio stations to play; the third is currently owned by Columbia Records.
  • On the bell, “Pennsylvania” is spelled “Pensylvania”

Famous Quotes about the Liberty Bell

Not far from here where we gather today is a symbol of freedom familiar to all Americans — the Liberty Bell. When the Declaration of Independence was first read in public, the Liberty Bell was sounded in celebration, and a witness said: “It rang as if it meant something.”

– George W. Bush, December 12, 2005. The reference is to The Old Bell of Independence, a work of fiction.

Yes there’s a lady that stands in a harbor for what we believe. And there’s a bell that still echoes the price that it cost to be free.

– Aaron Tippen, “Where The Stars And Stripes And Eagles Fly”

I ask you…to adopt the principles proclaimed by yourselves, by your revolutionary fathers, and by the old bell in Independence Hall….

– Frederick Douglass, at the Southern Loyalists’ Convention. Philadelphia, 1866

The Liberty Bell is “a very significant symbol for the entire democratic world.”

– Nelson Mandela, Philadelphia Inquirer, July 4, 1993.

K is for Kites #atozchallenge @aprila2z

KNational Kite Month is underway.  It is March 29 – May 4, 2014.  Kites have been around for a very long time and although the exact date and origin of the kite is not known but it is believed that they were flown in China more than two thousand years ago. One legend suggests that when a Chinese farmer tied a string to his hat to keep it from blowing away in a strong wind, the first kite was born. The earliest written account of kite flying was about 200 B.C. when the Chinese General Han Hsin of the Han Dynasty flew a kite over the walls of a city he was attacking to measure how far his army would have to tunnel to reach past the defenses. Knowing this distance his troops reached the inside of the city, surprised their enemy, and were victorious. Kite flying was eventually spread by traders from China to Korea, and across Asia to India. Each area developed a distinctive style of kite and cultural purpose for flying them.

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Kite flying continues to be popular around the world today.

tube-kites-bob-christopher

J is for Jigsaw Puzzle #atozchallenge @aprila2z

JEnglishmen, John Spilsbury invented the jigsaw puzzle in 1767 (Some sources are not so specific and list around 1760). Spilsbury was an engraver and mapmaker. The first jigsaw puzzle was a map of the world. Spilsbury attached a map to a piece of wood and then cut out each country. Teachers used Spilsbury’s puzzles to teach geography Students learned their geography lessons by putting the world maps back together.

John Spilsbury

John Spilsbury

The first jigsaw puzzle was a map of the world.

The first jigsaw puzzle was a map of the world.

I is for Industrial Revolution #atozchallenge @aprila2z

IThe Industrial Revolution was the transition to new manufacturing processes in the period from about 1760 to sometime between 1820 and 1840. This transition included going from hand production methods to machines, new chemical manufacturing and iron production processes, improved efficiency of water power, the increasing use of steam power and the development of machine tools. It also included the change from wood and other bio-fuels to coal. It began in Great Britain and within a few decades had spread to Western Europe and the United States.

A beam engine of the Watt type, built by D. Napier and Son (London) in 1859. It was one of the first beam engines installed in Spain. It drove the coining presses of the Royal Spanish Mint until the end of the 19th century. It was donated to the Higher Technical School of Industrial Engineering of Madrid (part of the UPM) and installed in its lobby in 1910.

A beam engine of the Watt type, built by D. Napier and Son (London) in 1859. It was one of the first beam engines installed in Spain. It drove the coining presses of the Royal Spanish Mint until the end of the 19th century. It was donated to the Higher Technical School of Industrial Engineering of Madrid (part of the UPM) and installed in its lobby in 1910.

The Industrial Revolution marks a major turning point in history.  Almost all aspects of life were influenced (much like computers did in the 20th/21st centuries).  The period of time covered by the Industrial Revolution varies with different historians who had it in varying ranges between 1760 and 1840.  Some 20th-century historians have argued that the process of economic and social change took place gradually and the term revolution is a misnomer. Economic historians are in agreement that the onset of the Industrial Revolution is the most important event in the history of humanity since the domestication of animals and plants.

The First Industrial Revolution evolved into the Second Industrial Revolution in the transition years between 1840 and 1870, when technological and economic progress gained momentum with the increasing adoption of steam-powered boats, ships and railways, the large scale manufacture of machine tools and the increasing use of steam powered factories.

The commencement of the Industrial Revolution is closely linked to a small number of innovations, beginning in the second half of the 18th century. By the 1830s the following gains had been made in important technologies:

  • Textiles – Mechanized cotton spinning powered by steam or water increased the output of a worker by a factor of about 1000. The power loom increased the output of a worker by a factor of over 40. The cotton gin increased productivity or removing seed from cotton by a factor of 50. Large gains in productivity also occurred in spinning and weaving of wool and linen, but they were not as great as in cotton.
The Cotton Gin invented by Eli Whitney

The Cotton Gin invented by Eli Whitney

  • Steam power – The efficiency of steam engines increased so that they used between one-fifth and one-tenth as much fuel. The adaption of stationary steam engines to rotary motion made them suitable for industrial uses. The high pressure engine had a high power to weight ratio, making it suitable for transportation. Steam power underwent a rapid expansion after 1800.
Boulton & Watt beam engine, 1786. (c) National Museums of Scotland

Boulton & Watt beam engine, 1786. (c) National Museums of Scotland

  • Iron making – The substitution of coke for charcoal greatly lowered the fuel cost of pig iron and wrought iron production. Using coke also allowed larger blast furnaces, resulting in economies of scale. The cast iron blowing cylinder was first used in 1760. It was later improved by making it double acting, which allowed higher furnace temperatures. The puddling process produced a structural grade iron at a lower cost than the finery forge. The rolling mill was fifteen times faster than hammering wrought iron. Hot blast (1829) greatly increased fuel efficiency in iron production in the following decades.
The Iron Age

The Iron Age

The Industrial Revolution brought changes both good and bad.  You can read more about the industrial revolution here.

H is for Houston We’ve Had A Problem #atozchallenge @aprila2z

Apollo 13 Launch

Apollo 13 Launch

On April 13, 1970, disaster strikes 200,000 miles from Earth when oxygen tank No. 2 blows up on Apollo 13, the third manned lunar landing mission. Astronauts James A. Lovell, John L. Swigert, and Fred W. Haise had left Earth two days before for the Fra Mauro highlands of the moon but were forced to turn their attention to simply making it home alive.

Mission commander Lovell reported to mission control on Earth: “Houston, we’ve had a problem here,” and it was discovered that the normal supply of oxygen, electricity, light, and water had been disrupted. The landing mission was aborted, and the astronauts and controllers on Earth scrambled to come up with emergency procedures. The crippled spacecraft continued to the moon, circled it, and began a long, cold journey back to Earth.

The astronauts and mission control were faced with enormous logistical problems in stabilizing the spacecraft and its air supply, and providing enough energy to the damaged fuel cells to allow successful reentry into Earth’s atmosphere. Navigation was another problem, and Apollo 13‘s course was repeatedly corrected with dramatic and untested maneuvers.

On this day in 1970, things got a bit hairy for the crew aboard Apollo 13. An oxygen tank on the moon-bound spacecraft ruptured, leaving the three-man crew

On this day in 1970, things got a bit hairy for the crew aboard Apollo 13. An oxygen tank on the moon-bound spacecraft ruptured, leaving the three-man crew

On April 17, with the world anxiously watching, tragedy turned to triumph as the Apollo 13 astronauts touched down safely in the Pacific Ocean.

The crew of Apollo 13 on the USS Iwo Jima

The crew of Apollo 13 on the USS Iwo Jima