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Apollo 13 - Facts, Timeline and Movie

Apollo 13 - Facts, Timeline and Movie


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Apollo 13 was the seventh manned mission in the Apollo Space program (1961-1975) and was supposed to be the third lunar landing mission, but the three astronauts aboard never reached the moon. Instead the crew and ground control team scrambled through a hair-raising rescue mission. On April 13, 1970, an oxygen tank on board exploded. Ground control in Houston rushed to develop an emergency plan as millions around the world watched and the lives of three astronauts hung in the balance: commander James A. Lovell Jr., lunar module pilot Fred W. Haise Jr. and command module pilot John L. Swigert.

Apollo 13’s Mission

On April 11, 1970, Apollo 13 launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida. On board were astronauts James Lovell, John “Jack” Swigert and Fred Haise. Their mission was to reach the Fra Mauro highlands of the moon and explore the Imbrium Basin, conducting geological experiments along the way.

WATCH: Apollo 13: Modern Marvels on HISTORY Vault

"Houston, we've had a problem..."

At 9:00 p.m. EST on April 13, Apollo 13 was over 200,000 miles from Earth. The crew had just completed a television broadcast and was inspecting Aquarius, the Landing Module (LM). The next day, Apollo 13 was to enter the moon’s orbit. Lovell and Haise were set to become the fifth and sixth men to walk on the moon.

It was not to be. At 9:08 p.m.—about 56 hours into the flight—an explosion rocked the spacecraft. Oxygen tank No. 2 had blown up, disabling the regular supply of oxygen, electricity, light and water. Lovell reported to mission control: “Houston, we’ve had a problem here.” The Command Module (CM) was leaking oxygen and rapidly losing fuel cells. The moon landing mission was aborted.

LISTEN ON APPLE PODCASTS: 'Houston, We've Had a Problem'

How the Crew of Apollo 13 Survived

One hour after the explosion, mission control instructed the crew to move to the LM, which had sufficient oxygen, and use it as a lifeboat. The LM was only designed to transport astronauts from the orbiting CM to the moon’s surface and back again; its power supply was meant to support two people for 45 hours. If the crew of Apollo 13 were to make it back to Earth alive, the LM would have to support three men for at least 90 hours and successfully navigate more than 200,000 miles of space.

Conditions on board the LM were challenging. The crew went on one-fifth water rations and endured cabin temperatures a few degrees above freezing to conserve energy. The square lithium hydroxide canisters from the CM were not compatible with the round openings in the LM environmental system, meaning the removal of carbon dioxide became a problem. Mission control built an impromptu adapter out of materials known to be onboard, and the crew successfully copied their model.

Navigation was also extremely complicated; the LM had a more rudimentary navigational system, and the astronauts and mission control had to work out by hand the changes in propulsion and direction needed to take the spacecraft home.

On April 14, Apollo 13 swung around the moon. Swigert and Haise took pictures and Lovell talked with mission control about the most difficult maneuver, a five-minute engine burn that would give the LM enough speed to return home before its energy ran out. Two hours after rounding the far side of the moon, the crew, using the sun as an alignment point, fired the LM’s small descent engine. The procedure was a success; Apollo 13 was on its way home.

READ MORE: What Went Wrong on Apollo 13?

The Farthest Distance From Earth Reached by Humans

On April 15, 1970, Apollo 13 was 254 km (158 miles) from the lunar surface on the far side of the moon—and 400,171 km (248,655 miles) above the Earth’s surface, meaning the crew of Apollo 13 set a Guinness World Record for the farthest distance from Earth reached by humans.

Apollo 13 Crew Returns to Earth

Lovell, Haise and Swigert huddled in the chilly lunar module for three long days. In these dismal conditions, Haise caught the flu. On April 17, a last-minute navigational correction was made using Earth as an alignment guide. Then the re-pressurized CM was successfully powered up. One hour before re-entry into Earth’s atmosphere, the LM was disengaged from the CM.

Just before 1 p.m. on April 17, 1970, the spacecraft reentered Earth’s atmosphere. Mission control feared that the CM’s heat shields were damaged in the accident and waited a harrowing four minutes without radio communication from the crew. Then, Apollo 13‘s parachutes were spotted. All three astronauts splashed down safely into the Pacific Ocean.

Apollo 13 Movie

Though Apollo 13 did not land on the moon, the heroism of the crew and the quick-thinking of mission control were celebrated widely as a success story. It was even made into the 1995 movie Apollo 13 starring Tom Hanks, Ed Harris, Bill Paxton and Kevin Bacon.


7. Tom Hanks felt that the plane crash was the "best thing that ever happened" to Chuck in Cast Away.

In the same audio interview, Hanks discussed Noland post-ordeal and him standing at the fork of the road in Texas. “Somehow, at the end of the movie, you can stand on the crossroads and it’s going to be okay, it’s going to be alright, as long as you keep breathing and have a certain kind of perspective and proportion to your life. And that’s not a huge shift for Chuck to have gone through even if he hadn’t been lost. People do that all time. ‘I quit, I don’t want to do this job anymore, I’m gonna go figure out what I want to do and I’m going to be okay.’ That’s interesting. It’s almost as though Chuck can say the best thing that ever happened to him was, ‘I was in this plane crash in which five people got killed and I survived for four years and I came back and I lost the woman I love.’”


Facts about Apollo 13

A year after the successful moon landing of Apollo 11, three astronauts attempted a second moon landing on Apollo 13. But this mission’s fate was doomed to fail sending the crewmembers back to Earth without every touching foot on the moon. Here are some interesting facts about the Apollo 13 mission.

Fact 1: Apollo 13 launched on April 11, 1970 and returned to Earth on April 17, 1970. The entire mission lasted 142 hours, 54 minutes, and 41 seconds.

Fact 2: Apollo 13’s mission was to explore the moon’s Fra Mauro Highlands region.

Fact 3: The Apollo 13 crewmembers were ‘œJuniors’: James A. Lovell, Jr. (Commander), John L. Swigert, Jr. (Command Module Pilot), and Fred W. Haise, Jr. (Lunar Module Pilot).

Fact 4: On April 13, just two days into the mission, an oxygen tank exploded, forcing the crew to abandon the spacecraft.

Fact 5: The famous line, ‘œHouston we’ve had a problem’ was said by Swigert.

Fact 6: The crew used the Lunar Module Aquarius and then to get back to Earth.

Fact 7: Aquarius was built for only two crewmembers. To avoid carbon dioxide poisoning, the crew built air filters out of cardboard, plastic bags, and duct tape.

Fact 8: There was no heat in Aquarius and the temperature dropped to freezing.

Fact 9: The crew had a plaque with their names engraved on it that they were going to leave on the moon. Instead, Lovell brought it back to Earth as a ‘œsouvenir’.

Fact 10: Aquarius safely landed on the USS Iwo Jima in the Pacific Ocean.

Fact 11: In 1995 Ron Howard directed the film ‘œApollo 13’, starring Tom Hanks and Kevin Bacon. It was well received.

Fact 12: Both the astronauts and the mission control team were awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.


Facts about Apollo 13 7: the launching

The spacecraft of Apollo 13 was launched from Kennedy Space Center, Florida on 11 April 1970 at 13:13 CST. However, two days later, an oxygen tank exploded. Thus, the lunar landing should be aborted.

Facts about Apollo 13 8: return to earth

Even though this mission was very hard due to the shortage of potable power, loss of cabin heat, and limited of power, the crew could travel to earth on 17 April 1970 safely.


The Apollo 13 Accident

The Apollo 13 malfunction was caused by an explosion and rupture of oxygen tank no. 2 in the service module. The explosion ruptured a line or damaged a valve in the no. 1 oxygen tank, causing it to lose oxygen rapidly. The service module bay no.4 cover was blown off. All oxygen stores were lost within about 3 hours, along with loss of water, electrical power, and use of the propulsion system.

The oxygen tanks were highly insulated spherical tanks which held liquid oxygen with a fill line and heater running down the center. The no. 2 oxygen tank used in Apollo 13 (North American Rockwell serial number 10024X-TA0008) had originally been installed in Apollo 10. It was removed from Apollo 10 for modification and during the extraction was dropped 2 inches, slightly jarring an internal fill line. The tank was replaced with another for Apollo 10, and the exterior inspected. The internal fill line was not known to be damaged, and this tank was later installed in Apollo 13.

The oxygen tanks had originally been designed to run off the 28 volt DC power of the command and service modules. However, the tanks were redesigned to also run off the 65 volt DC ground power at Kennedy Space Center. All components were upgraded to accept 65 volts except the heater thermostatic switches, which were overlooked. These switches were designed to open and turn off the heater when the tank temperature reached 80 degrees F. (Normal temperatures in the tank were -300 to -100 F.)


During pre-flight testing, tank no. 2 showed anomalies and would not empty correctly, possibly due to the damaged fill line. (On the ground, the tanks were emptied by forcing oxygen gas into the tank and forcing the liquid oxygen out, in space there was no need to empty the tanks.) The heaters in the tanks were normally used for very short periods to heat the interior slightly, increasing the pressure to keep the oxygen flowing. It was decided to use the heater to "boil off" the excess oxygen, requiring 8 hours of 65 volt DC power. This probably damaged the thermostatically controlled switches on the heater, designed for only 28 volts. It is believed the switches welded shut, allowing the temperature within the tank to rise locally to over 1000 degrees F. The gauges measuring the temperature inside the tank were designed to measure only to 80 F, so the extreme heating was not noticed. The high temperature emptied the tank, but also resulted in serious damage to the teflon insulation on the electrical wires to the power fans within the tank.


56 hours into the mission, at about 03:06 UT on 14 April 1970 (10:06 PM, April 13 EST), the power fans were turned on within the tank for the third "cryo-stir" of the mission, a procedure to stir the liquid oxygen inside the tank which would tend to stratify. The exposed fan wires shorted and the teflon insulation caught fire in the pure oxygen environment. This fire rapidly heated and increased the pressure of the oxygen inside the tank, and may have spread along the wires to the electrical conduit in the side of the tank, which weakened and ruptured under the pressure, causing the no. 2 oxygen tank to explode. This damaged the no. 1 tank and parts of the interior of the service module and blew off the bay no. 4 cover.

The sketches above are taken from the NASA book "Apollo Expeditions to the Moon", NASA SP-350. The top diagram shows the details of oxygen tank number 2 and the heater and thermostat unit. The lower picture shows the Apollo 13 Service Module and the location of the oxygen tanks relative to the other systems. Below is another view of the damaged service module taken from the Command Module after separation.

Detailed chronology of events - A description of events from 2 and a half minutes before the accident to 5 minutes after.


"Houston, we've had a problem"

To understand the mission of Apollo 13, a brief background needs to be given on the two flights that preceded it. Apollo 8 was launched on December 21, 1968. The crew consisted of Frank F. Borman II, the commander, James A. Lovell Jr., command module pilot, and William A. Anders, lunar module pilot. The Apollo 8 mission was the first to successfully orbit the moon.[1] After Apollo 8’s success, America began to believe landing on the moon might be possible. Apollo 11 was the mission that sent Edwin E. Aldrin Jr., lunar module pilot, Neil Armstrong, commander, and Micheal Collins, command module pilot, to the moon. The backup crew for Apollo 11 was Jim Lovell, Ken Mattingly, and Fred W. Haise Jr.These men were also the main crew scheduled for the Apollo 14 mission. When Alan Shepard (the first American in Space) was unable to be a part of the Apollo 13 mission, Lovell was asked if he would be willing to bump up his date to land on the moon six months sooner and be a part of the Apollo 13 mission. Of course Lovell agreed.[2]

The Apollo 13 mission was launched at 2:13 pm EST on April 11, 1970 at Kennedy Space Center. The crew was James A. Lovell Jr. as commander, John L. Swigert Jr. as command module pilot(Ken Mattingly actually came down with the German measles and was unable to fly on this mission) and Fred W. Haise Jr. as lunar module pilot.[3] After the first two days into the flight, the Apollo 13 flight was running very smoothly. One man in mission control even said, “The spacecraft is in real good shape as far as we are concerned. We’re bored to tears down here.”[4] It was the last time anyone would mention boredom for a long time. At 55 hours and 46 minutes, the crew was just finishing up a broadcast. Meanwhile, those in mission control were planning the next set of routine exercises that included a “cyro stir”. This procedure basically meant that the oxygen tanks would be stirred in order to keep them from getting too cold.[5] While Lovell and Haise were performing their own routine duties, Jack Swigert flipped the switch to stir all four tanks(two oxygen and two hydrogen). What followed was a terrifying sound that Jim Lovell described in his book, Lost Moon: The Perilous Voyage of Apollo 13 (1994), as a “thunderclap rumble.”[6]

The sound he heard was oxygen tank number 2 blowing up that then caused oxygen tank number 1 to fail. Warning lights accompanied the sounds which indicated the loss of two of Apollo 13’s three fuel cells which were the spacecraft’s prime source of electricity.[7] John Swigert was the first to notify Houston of the problem. Lovell, in the mean time, noticed something venting outside the window into space which turned out to be the oxygen escaping from the second and last oxygen tank. The explosion in the oxygen tanks led to other challenges that Mission Control and the crew of Apollo 13 would have to face: a very limited supply of power, a weakened supply of consumables, a carbon dioxide buildup, and alterations in the flight plan to get them home.

The first problem that had to be dealt with was the fact that the command module had only 15 minutes of power left remaining. A quick decision was made to power down the command module after it was rendered incapable of performing reentry operations and to avoid depleting its systems. The crew would then spend the remainder of the trip in the Lunar Module. The LM was only built for a 45 hour lifetime but had to be stretched to last 90 hours in order for the crew to return home. The LM provided the crew with the necessary power and consumables necessary to survive the remaining time on the mission. Removal of carbon dioxide was also a problem. After a day and a half, a light in the LM showed that CO2 had built up to a dangerous level. Mission Control devised a way to attach the CM canisters to the LM system by using plastic bags, cardboard, and tape. The final major challenge that the crew of Apollo 13 faced was the navigation problem. Ordinarily, the alignment procedure used to get home required the use of an on-board sextant called an Alignment Optical Telescope, along with the help of on-board computer, to verify guidance platform’s alignment. A swarm of debris from the explosion, however, made it impossible to sight real stars. An alternate procedure was developed to use the sun as the alignment star. Ground controllers in Houston had to create completely new procedures and test them in the simulator before passing them up to the crew.[8] Additionally, in order to have enough power to get home, the crew had to do a 5 minute burn using the lunar module as they rounded the far side of the moon.

Reentry required the unusual step of undocking the lunar module, which had been retained for the flight back to Earth, in addition to the separation of the damaged service module.[9] They landed in the Pacific near the recovery ship, Iwo Jima. The Apollo 13 Accident Review Board identified the cause of the explosion. In 1965 the CM had undergone many improvements, which included raising the voltage to the heaters in the oxygen tanks from 28 to 65 volts. Unfortunately, the heaters weren’t modified to suit the change. During a final test on the launch pad, the heaters were on for a long period of time. “This subjected the wiring in the vicinity of the heaters to very high temperatures (1000 F).”[10] This severely degraded the Teflon insulation. The Apollo 13 mission has come to be known as a “successful failure”.

[1] Jim Lovell and Jeffrey Kluger, Lost Moon: The Perilous Voyage of Apollo 13, (NY: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1994), 36-40.

[3] “The Apollo Program: Apollo 13,” Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, http://www.nasm.si.edu/collections/imagery/apollo/as13/a13.htm (accessed October 17, 2010).

[4] “Apollo-13,” Kennedy Space Center, http://science.ksc.nasa.go/history/apollo/apollo-13/apollo-13.html (accessed October 17,2010).

[5] Jim Lovell and Jeffrey Kluger, Lost Moon: The Perilous Voyage of Apollo 13, (NY: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1994), 90-91.


Apollo 13

There is a moment early in "Apollo 13" when astronaut Jim Lovell is taking some press on a tour of the Kennedy Space Center, and he brags that they have a computer "that fits in one room and can send out millions of instructions." And I'm thinking to myself, hell, I'm writing this review on a better computer than the one that got us to the moon.

"Apollo 13" inspires many reflections, and one of them is that America's space program was achieved with equipment that would look like tin cans today. Like Lindbergh, who crossed the Atlantic in the first plane he could string together that might make it, we went to the moon the moment we could, with the tools that were at hand.

Today, with new alloys, engines, fuels, computers and technology, it would be safer and cheaper - but we have lost the will.

"Apollo 13" never really states its theme, except perhaps in one sentence of narration at the end, but the whole film is suffused with it: The space program was a really extraordinary thing, something to be proud of, and those who went into space were not just "heroes," which is a cliché, but brave and resourceful.

Those qualities were never demonstrated more dramatically than in the flight of the 13th Apollo mission in April 1970, when an oxygen tank exploded en route to the moon. The three astronauts on board - Jim Lovell, Fred Haise and Jack Swigert - were faced with the possibility of becoming marooned in space. Their oxygen could run out, they could be poisoned by carbon dioxide accumulations, or they could freeze to death. If somehow they were able to return to the Earth's atmosphere, they had to enter at precisely the right angle.

Too steep an entry, and they would be incinerated too shallow, and they would skip off the top of the atmosphere like a stone on a pond, and fly off forever into space.

Ron Howard's film of this mission is directed with a single-mindedness and attention to detail that makes it riveting. He doesn't make the mistake of adding cornball little subplots to popularize the material he knows he has a great story, and he tells it in a docudrama that feels like it was filmed on location in outer space.

So convincing are the details, indeed, that I went back to look at "For All Mankind," the great 1989 documentary directed by ex-astronaut Al Reinert, who co-wrote "Apollo 13." It was an uncanny experience, like looking at the origins of the current picture.

Countless details were exactly the same: the astronauts boarding the spacecraft, the lift-off, the inside of the cabin, the view from space, the chilling sight of their oxygen supply venting into space, even the little tape recorder floating in free-fall, playing country music.

All these images are from the documentary, all look almost exactly the same in the movie, and that is why Howard has been at pains to emphasize that every shot in "Apollo 13" is new. No documentary footage was used. The special effects - models, animation, shots where the actors were made weightless by floating inside a descending airplane - have re-created the experience exactly.

The astronauts are played by Tom Hanks (Lovell), Bill Paxton (Haise) and Kevin Bacon (Swigert). The pilot originally scheduled for the Apollo 13 mission was Ken Mattingly (Gary Sinise), who was grounded because he had been exposed to the measles. The key figure at Houston Mission Control is Gene Kranz (Ed Harris). Clean-cut, crew-cut, wearing white collars even in space, the astronauts had been built up in the public mind as supermen, but as Tom Wolfe's book and Phil Kaufman's movie "The Right Stuff" revealed, they were more likely to be hot-shot test pilots (with the exception of John Glenn) than straight arrows.

The movie begins with the surprise selection of Lovell's group to crew Apollo 13. We meet members of their families, particularly Marilyn Lovell (Kathleen Quinlan), we follow some of the training, and then the movie follows the ill-fated mission, in space and on the ground. Kranz, the Harris character, chain-smoking Camels, masterminds the ground effort to figure out how (and if) Apollo 13 can ever return.

A scheme is dreamed up to shut down power in the space capsule and move the astronauts into the lunar exploratory module, as a sort of temporary lifeboat. The lunar lander will be jettisoned at the last minute, and the main capsule's weakened batteries may have enough power left to allow the crew to return alive.

Meanwhile, the problem is to keep them from dying in space.

A scrubber to clean carbon dioxide from the capsule's air supply is jerry-built out of materials on board (and you can see a guy holding one just like it in "For All Mankind"). And you begin to realize, as the astronauts swing around the dark side of the moon and head for home, that, given the enormity of the task of returning to Earth, their craft and equipment is only a little more adequate than the rocket sled in which Evil Knievel proposed to hurtle across Snake River Canyon at about the same time.

Ron Howard has become a director who specializes in stories involving large groups of characters: "Cocoon," "Parenthood," "Backdraft," "The Paper." Those were all films that paid attention to the individual human stories involved they were a triumph of construction, indeed, in keeping many stories afloat and interesting.

With "Apollo 13," he correctly decides that the story is in the mission. There is a useful counterpoint in the scenes involving Lovell's wife, waiting fearfully on the ground. (She tells their son, "Something broke on your daddy's spaceship, and he's going to have to turn around before he even gets to the moon.") But Howard adds no additional side stories, no little parallel dramas, as a lesser director might have.

This is a powerful story, one of the year's best films, told with great clarity and remarkable technical detail, and acted without pumped-up histrionics. It's about men trained to do a job, and doing a better one than anyone could have imagined. The buried message is: When we dialed down the space program, we lost something crucial to our vision. When I was a kid, they used to predict that by the year 2000, you'd be able to go to the moon. Nobody ever thought to predict that you'd be able to, but nobody would bother.

Roger Ebert

Roger Ebert was the film critic of the Chicago Sun-Times from 1967 until his death in 2013. In 1975, he won the Pulitzer Prize for distinguished criticism.


Apollo 13 Infographic: How did they make that CO2 scrubber?

In the movie Apollo 13, an engineer comes into a conference room and dumps a bunch of hardware onto a table. The goal? Fit a square peg into a round hole.

The problem? After an explosion crippled the Apollo 13 spacecraft, the three astronauts went into the Lunar Module for much of their flight home. However, the module wasn’t designed for three astronauts together only two would be descending to the lunar surface. With each breath, the extra astronaut helped overload the carbon dioxide scrubbers in the lunar module.

The crew had plenty of scrubbers for the command module, but did not have backups for the lunar module. Why couldn’t the plug the command module ones into the lunar module?

They were different shapes and sizes. The lunar module used cylindric scrubbers while the command module use cubic ones.

That’s when NASA’s engineers got to work to solve the problem. Using only equipment available to the astronauts, the engineers in Houston were able to fashion a workaround that used the command module scrubbers in the lunar module.

Complicating things a bit more? Mission Control in Houston couldn’t send pictures to the Apollo 13 crew. They had to describe everything verbally and hope the astronauts got the picture.

Here’s a handy infographic detailing what those steps were and how the Apollo 13 astronauts made that CO2 scrubber work. See the model used by NASA engineers here in Houston as part of our Starship Gallery timeline.

Plan your stay

A good night's sleep is crucial for a full day of space exploration. Find and compare great local hotels with our search tool.


How Accurate was Apollo 13 the Movie?

On April 17 of 1970, the World held its breath when astronauts Jim Lovell, Jack Swigert, and Fred Haise, launched themselves towards the Earth at more than 20,000 miles an hour. Soon they were fighting to survive, for six days, in a spacecraft damaged by an explosion in the oxygen tanks.

They had consumed most of their supplies, and now it all came down to the moment of re-entry. If they hit the Earth’s atmosphere at the wrong angle, they’d die in space or be scorched by the heat of re-entry. Mission controllers in Houston, Texas, agonized through the last moments of the Apollo 13 journey.

As we are celebrating the 50th anniversary of the trip to the moon that almost ended in disaster, nothing is more natural than remembering the fantastic movie by director Ron Howard, Apollo 13. With Tom Hanks in a stellar performance as astronaut Jim Lovell, the movie won a pair of Oscars in 1996.

But some wonders still remained in the minds of fans. Was the movie true to what really happened? Did someone really said, “Houston, we have a problem?” Is it true that stress generated heated discussions among the crew? Was duct tape the surprise element that saved the mission?

Here we examine five well-known scenes from the movie, and discuss how they really happened.

1. “Houston, we have a problem”

Tom Hanks delivered one of the most famous lines in cinematic history. But did Lovell actually said that?

The transcript of that exchange was not so cut-and-dried. Here is what was actually said over 16 seconds.

02:07:55:19 Fred Haise:
“Houston, we’ve had a problem. Okay, Houston — “

02:07:55:20 Jack Swigert:
“I believe we’ve had a problem here.”

02:07:55:28 Jack Lousma (CAPCOM):
“This is Houston. Say again, please.”

02:07:55:35 Jim Lovell:
“Houston, we’ve had a problem.”

The movie version of the exchange may not have been historically accurate, but the director found it more interesting and dramatic this way.

2. Discussions between the Apollo 13 crew

According to Jim Lovell, there were no discussions or fights, as portrayed in the movie. The most important thing for the crew at that point was to focus on their greatest goal: to return home.

Again, the director used his artistic license to show part of the emotion that the astronauts were feeling at that point. This dramatic addition was a major reason for disagreement between the movie’s director and team members of Apollo 13.

3. The stressed commander

In one of the scenes, flight director Gene Kranz is seen losing control and shouting at members of the mission control. This also never happened.

He says he couldn’t just lose control and make the team stressed. It was necessary to remain calm and act with precision to bring them back in safety.

4. Did duct tape save the day?

At one point during the mission, the crew scrambled to removing carbon dioxide from the air in the spacecraft. The landing module was designed to support two people for two days, and was suddenly called upon to keep three people alive for four days. In addition, the square lithium hydroxide canisters were not compatible with the round openings in the landing module system.

In the movie, Kranz is seen asking the team to find a way to fit a square into a round opening. The device that saved the Apollo 13 crew was a triumph of ingenuity to save lives. Lives were saved by piecing together a plastic bag, the cobblestone cover of the flight plan, and a hose from one of the spacesuits.

The crew placed the plastic bag over the container and sealed it with duct tape. One end of the hose was introduced into the plastic bag, and the other end was connected to the circulation fan of the spacecraft, solving the CO2 problem in around an hour.

5. Failure is not an option

This is another very famous quotation, attributed to Kranz, but in fact, he never said that. But as life imitates art, he wrote a book with this phrase as its title.

Is the Apollo 13 movie accurate?

In reality, apart from one or two small details, the movie is extremely accurate. That is one of the reasons it was so successful, both with the public and critics, as well as NASA astronauts who attended the premiere.

This was one of the director´s greatest concerns. And I believe he nailed it. Don’t you?

Dr. Ana Luiza Dias earned her Ph.D. in Psychobiology (Sleep Sciences) and is a specialist in Biotechnology from the Federal University of São Paulo, Brazil. She is passionate about science, nature, and biotechnology, and her goal is to impact people’s health and quality of life.

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13 Surprising Facts About Apollo 13

After winning consecutive Best Actor Academy Awards for Philadelphia and Forrest Gump, Tom Hanks was nominated a third time for his role as drifting astronaut Jim Lovell in 1995’s Apollo 13. (He did not win, proving he is human after all.) The consolation prize: the dramatization of the 1970 space program crisis that kept the world on its seat was the third highest-grossing film of the year, and remains one of the most faithful depictions of NASA operations ever put on film.


Watch the video: Apollo 13 1995 Full Movie HD. Аполлон 13 Полный фильм (May 2022).