Monday, September 28, 2020
Contact us    |    Advertise    |   Help    |   Cookie Policy    |   Privacy Policy    RSS icon Twitter icon Facebook icon
    Home  ·  News  ·  Forum  ·  Stories  ·  Image Gallery  ·  Columns  ·  Encyclopedia  ·  Videos
Find: in

Apollo 13 at 50: 'Houston, we've had a problem'

Posted on Tuesday, 14 April, 2020 | Comment icon 4 comments

The crew of Apollo 13 just prior to launch. Image Credit: NASA
50 years ago, three astronauts had been on their way to the Moon when things started to go very wrong.
On April 11, 1970, NASA astronauts Jim Lovell, Jack Swigert and Fred Haise launched into the heavens on what was intended to be the third crewed mission to land on the Moon.

Two days later however, one of the oxygen tanks, which had unknowingly suffered damage before launch, exploded, throwing the three men into a fight for their very lives.

With no pre-existing strategy for dealing with such an eventuality, the astronauts, along with NASA personnel on the ground, battled to find a way to keep them alive long enough to get back home.

Over the next few days they would improvise a number of solutions, including creating a carbon dioxide filter out of duct tape, socks and bungee cord to stop the men from suffocating.

The lunar module, which was designed to land on the surface of the Moon, instead became a makeshift lifeboat thanks to its independent source of oxygen, water and power.
Incredibly, all three astronauts managed to make it back home very much alive on April 17th.

There is no denying however just how close they came to complete disaster.

"The explosion occurred on April 13, at just the right time to allow a return," Lovell told CollectSPACE.

"If the explosion occurred when we had lit our engine to go to the moon, in the beginning, we would have never had enough consumables in the lunar module to go all the way around the moon and come back home again."

"If the explosion occurred after we got into lunar orbit, or, heaven forbid, when we were on the lunar surface, Mission Control would have had to figure out why they left three guys at the moon."

Source: | Comments (4)

Tags: Apollo 13

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Still Waters on 9 April, 2020, 14:42
Comment icon #2 Posted by third_eye on 9 April, 2020, 14:53
....better than "the moon is like a box of chocolates " ~
Comment icon #3 Posted by Peter B on 10 April, 2020, 7:24
If you want to follow the mission (in fact most of the Apollo missions) you can read the annotated trans here: The page covering the accident is particularly interesting if you're a space nerd like me, with the conversations between the astronauts and Mission Control interspersed with the conversations within Mission Control as the controllers try to work out what was happening, plus lots of diagrams to help explain spacecraft systems.
Comment icon #4 Posted by Eldorado on 13 April, 2020, 9:59
"Image enhancement techniques have been used to reveal life aboard Nasa's stricken Apollo 13 spacecraft in unprecedented detail. "Fifty years ago, the craft suffered an explosion that jeopardised the lives of the three astronauts aboard. "Unsurprisingly, given they were locked in a fight for survival, relatively few onboard images were taken. "But imaging specialist Andy Saunders created sharp stills from low-quality 16mm film shot by the crew." Photo article at the BBC: Link

Please Login or Register to post a comment.

  On the forums
Forum posts:
Forum topics:


Doctors discover needles in woman's brain
A woman who underwent a CT scan in China was inexplicably found to have two needles in her head.
Man dies after eating too much black licorice
The popular sweet treat may seem harmless enough, but eating too much of it can literally prove fatal.
Couple spots 'bus-sized' creature in Loch Ness
Corey Sturrock and his wife had been out for a walk when they spotted something very large in the water.
Kelly Cahill UFO case continues to intrigue
One of Australia's most perplexing alien abduction encounters continues to prove compelling 27 years on.
Stories & Experiences
Ghost following me
9-18-2020 | Iowa
Mysterious glowing cube
8-23-2020 | Alabama
Black blob in my room/bed
7-23-2020 | Powell,TN U.S.
Transparent levitating ball
7-14-2020 | Santa Rosa, California
Grim reaper-like visitation
6-16-2020 | Canada
My monster catfish story
6-15-2020 | Dallas texas
Orb of light in room
5-9-2020 | USA/Texas/Waco
Not sleeping alone
5-9-2020 | Los Angeles

         More stories | Send us your story
Featured Videos
Gallery icon 
NASA studies underwater 'white smoker' vents
Posted 4-17-2020 | 3 comments
Hydrothermal vents on the ocean floor can teach us about possible habitats on other worlds.
10 strange things about our solar system
Posted 3-17-2020 | 0 comments
A look at some of the most mysterious things about our solar system.
Lizzie - Scotland's other loch monster
Posted 3-8-2020 | 0 comments
Amelia Dimoldenberg investigates the Loch Ness Monster's neighbor.
 View: More videos
Top   |  Home   |   Forum   |   News   |   Image Gallery   |  Columns   |   Encyclopedia   |   Videos   |   Polls
UM-X 10.712 (c) 2001-2020
Terms   |   Privacy Policy   |   Cookies   |   Advertise   |   Contact   |   Help/FAQ