Apollo 13

Apollo 13 was the seventh crewed mission in the Apollo space program and the third meant to land on the Moon. The craft was launched from Kennedy Space Center on April 11, 1970, but the lunar landing was aborted after an oxygen tank in the service module failed two days into the mission. The crew instead looped around the Moon, and returned safely to Earth on April 17. The story of Apollo 13 has been dramatized several times, most notably in the 1995 film Apollo 13.

About Apollo 13 in brief

Summary Apollo 13Apollo 13 was the seventh crewed mission in the Apollo space program and the third meant to land on the Moon. The craft was launched from Kennedy Space Center on April 11, 1970, but the lunar landing was aborted after an oxygen tank in the service module failed two days into the mission. The crew instead looped around the Moon, and returned safely to Earth on April 17. The story of Apollo 13 has been dramatized several times, most notably in the 1995 film Apollo 13 – based on a memoir co-authored by Lovell titled Lost Moon – and an episode of the 1998 miniseries From the Earth to the moon. The mission was commanded by Jim Lovell with Jack Swigert as command module pilot and Fred Haise as lunar module pilot. A routine stir of an oxygen Tank ignited damaged wire insulation inside it, causing an explosion that vented the contents of both of the SM’s oxygen tanks to space. Without oxygen, needed for breathing and for generating electric power, theSM’s propulsion and life support systems could not operate. The CM’s systems had to be shut down to conserve its remaining resources for reentry, forcing the crew to transfer to the LM as a lifeboat. Although the LM was designed to support two men on the lunar surface for two days, Mission Control in Houston improvised new procedures so it could support three men for four days. An investigative review board found fault with preflight testing of the oxygen tank and the fact that Teflon was placed inside it. The board recommended changes, including minimizing the use of potentially combustible items inside the tank; this was done for Apollo 14.

In 1965, Houston’s Mission Control Center opened, in part designed and now named for him, in addition to monitoring telemetry from the spacecraft. There was a greater role for geology specialists in a Staff Support Room who focused on specific spacecraft systems. With Kennedy’s goal accomplished by Apollo 11 and Apollo 12, mission planners were able to focus on more than just just landing and taking samples home to Earth for minimally trained astronauts to take home for further study. Despite the successful lunar landing, the missions were considered so risky that astronauts could not afford life insurance to provide for their families if they died in space. NASA had contracted for fifteen Saturn V rockets to achieve the goal; at the time no one knew how many missions this would require. Since success was obtained in 1969 with the sixth Saturn-V on Apollo 11, nine rockets remained available for a hoped-for total of ten landings. The goal was achieved with Apollo 11, which landed on the moon on July 20, 1969, fulfilling Kennedy’s challenge, and returning to Earth in July 24, 1969. The astronauts’ peril briefly renewed public interest in theApollo program; tens of millions watched the splashdown in the South Pacific Ocean on television. After the excitement of Apollo 11,. the general public grew apathetic towards the space program. Congress continued to cut NASA’s budget; Apollo 20 was canceled.