Apollo 13

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Seventh manned mission in the Apollo program. Intended to be the third mission to land on the moon.

Launched: April 11, 1970
Returned: April 17, 1970
Crew members: Jim Lovell, commander; Jack Swigert, command module pilot; Fred Haise, lunar module pilot.
Command module: Odyssey
Lunar module: Aquarius
Intended lunar landing site: Fra Mauro highlands

An explosion occurred on board the craft on its way to the Moon, requiring the mission to be aborted. Considerable ingenuity under extreme pressure was required from both the crew and the ground controllers to figure out how to jury-rig the craft for the crew's safe return, with much of the world watching the drama on television.

Jim Lovell's book about the mission, Lost Moon, was later turned into a successful movie, Apollo 13, starring Tom Hanks.

Mission notes:

  • Swigert was a replacement for Ken Mattingly, who later flew to the Moon aboard Apollo 16. Mattingly was exposed to the measles prior to the mission, and NASA officials insisted upon removing him from the flight so as not to endanger the mission.