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

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5 responses

  1. I loved the Apollo 13 film, but really only due to the fact that they got the astronauts back safely

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  2. Birgit says:

    That was a very scary thing to go through and I cannot imagine. The film was excellent too(forget the stupid film Gravity-take effects away and you got…not much). I wish I could remember this but I was too young I guess

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