Apollo 13

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Apollo 13
Apollo 13

Apollo 13 – Today is the 50th anniversary of the launch of the Apollo 13 mission. Two days after NASA astronauts Jim Lovell, Fred Haise, and Jack Swigert set off for the moon, their spacecraft was rocked by an explosion in one of its oxygen tanks, rendering the spacecraft almost completely inoperable. While mission control worked on a solution, the astronauts piled into a lunar module designed to support a two-day crew. Together with Mission Control, the team worked to ensure that the lunar module returned them safely to Earth. Despite the difficulties, they splashed into the Pacific Ocean on April 17, 1970.

Space is a dangerous place. You have to deal with harmful radiation, dangerous debris orbiting in orbit, and of course the possibility of some critical equipment malfunctioning. The ultimate success of the Apollo 13 mission is one of the greatest testaments to the ingenuity, teamwork, and determination that NASA is known for.

Apollo 13

Apollo 13

Update: We have updated the article to reflect that Jack Swigert flew on the Apollo 13 mission. He replaced Ken Mattingly, who had been exposed to German measles shortly before the flight.

Alternate Apollo 13 (1970)

On June 1, 1966, NASA launched a satellite called the Augmented Target Docking Adapter (ATDA). Although it successfully entered orbit, telemetry indicated that something was wrong with the satellite.

When Gemini 9A launched two days later, the astronauts rose above the ATDA and immediately discovered the source of the telemetry error: the rocket’s nose cone shield had not ejected. “It looks like an angry alligator spinning,” said commando pilot Thomas Stafford.

Neil Armstrong died on May 6, 1968 in the Lunar Landing Rover accident. Training vehicles designed to simulate the lunar environment were incredibly unreliable.

A propellant leak caused Armstrong’s LLRV to malfunction, causing it to turn toward Earth. Seconds before hitting the ground, Armstrong ejected from the lander and swam safely back to Earth.

Cars You Didn’t Know Were In ‘apollo 13’

Apollo 12 was hit by two separate lightning strikes during its 1969 launch. NASA astronauts Pete Conrad, Alan Bean and Dick Gordon reported seeing a bright flash outside their window.

They weren’t the only ones who saw it. The launch and the lightning strike were broadcast live on television, to the horror of everyone on the ground. Fortunately, the strike had no significant effect on the mission.

In 1975, the United States and the Soviet Union put aside political differences over the Apollo-Soyuz mission. They hoped to be the first to dock two spacecraft in space. Three Apollo astronauts and two Soviet astronauts docked and conducted experiments for a total of 44 hours before parting ways and returning to Earth.

Apollo 13

Unfortunately, the Apollo astronauts were exposed to a harmful chemical called nitrogen tetroxide upon re-entry. Fortunately, the cabin was ventilated after landing. They were diagnosed with chemically induced pneumonia, but soon recovered.

Jerry Ross On Nasa Inspiration, And Apollo 13 Commander, Captain Jim Lovell

When the Hubble Space Telescope was launched in 1990, the world was excited to see the universe with the clarity the telescope promised.

Unfortunately, the first image was blurry when it returned to Earth. It’s really foggy. Operators soon discovered that aberrations in the primary mirror affected the telescope’s ability to produce clear images.

NASA sent a team of astronauts to repair the telescope three years later, and since then it has revealed (with incredible clarity) the secrets of space.

In 1995, Norman Thagard was the first NASA astronaut to launch a Roscosmos Soyuz rocket. He was aboard the Russian space station Mir when a training equipment accident left him nearly blind.

The Best ‘apollo 13’ Quotes, Ranked By Fans

The elastic training gear flew off Thagard’s leg and directly into his eye. Fortunately, despite the pain of the initial accident, there was no permanent visual damage. He was prescribed some eye drops and made a full recovery.

NASA’s Mars Climate Orbiter launched to the Red Planet on December 11, 1998. Unfortunately, the unmanned probe never reached the surface of the Moon.

Almost a year later, as the orbiter approached the orbit of Mars, it got too close to the planet and burned up. So what caused the mission to fail?

Apollo 13

Units of measurement. NASA used the metric system to calculate the thrust needed to achieve the correct orbit in orbit. One contractor, Lockheed Martin, used English units instead, causing a conversion error of cosmic proportions.

We’ve Survived Before: Nasa Invites Workforce To Stream Apollo 13 Film Tonight On 50th Anniversary Of Rescue

In 2009, a team of astronauts was sent to repair the Hubble Space Telescope. They were tasked with replacing a critical component, the space telescope’s imaging spectrograph.

When astronaut Mike Massimino removed the spectrograph, he accidentally removed a screw. (You know, it happens in space.) The astronauts worked with the team on Earth to find a solution. All it took was a little brute force. After several hours of delay, Massimino was able to pull the panel off and crews completed the repair.

On August 20, 2018, sensors aboard the International Space Station detected a drop in cabin pressure. The team searched for the source of the leak and found a small hole in one of the walls. At first it was suspected that it was the result of a micrometeoroid impact, but then the astronauts noticed traces of drilling.

The discovery of the apparently man-made hole caused confusion aboard the space station and back on Earth. NASA and Roscosmos immediately launched an investigation. At one point, Roscosmos accused the American astronauts of sabotage. NASA claimed it was created during the manufacturing process.

Apollo 13 Anniversary

Fifty years after the famous lightning strike of Apollo 12, the Soyuz rocket that launched the satellite was also struck by stray lightning shortly after liftoff. Fortunately, the mission was not damaged and the satellite returned to orbit safely.

Jennifer Leman is a science journalist and news editor at Popular Mechanics, where she writes and edits stories about science and space. His work at UC Santa Cruz’s science communication program has appeared in The Atlantic, Scientific American, Science News, and Nature. His favorite stories illuminate the many wonders and dangers of Earth.

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Apollo 13

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Tom Hanks (Jim Lovell), Gary Sinise (Ken Mattingly) and Bill Paxton (Fred Haise) in Apollo 13. (Image credit: Universal Pictures/Imagine Entertainment)

If you missed the theatrical release of “Apollo 13” when it first came out in 1995, we have a special treat for you.

The Hollywood blockbuster, based on the real-life era of the Apollo moon landings, returns to select theaters in April for the mission’s 50th anniversary.

Apollo 13: As They Shot It

Tickets are on sale today (February 12) for screenings at over 600 theaters across the United States. Special screenings will take place on April 5, 6 and 8, announced cinema distributor Fathom Events.

“Apollo 13 may have been seen as a ‘successful failure,’ but the film is a great reminder that it was anything but,” said Tom Lucas, vice president of studio relations for Fathom Events. “We are honored to celebrate the 50th anniversary of such an extraordinary human achievement and the 25th anniversary of the film by bringing Apollo 13 back to theaters where its vision and scope can best be appreciated.”

The Apollo 13 mission was launched on April 11, 1970, and was the third manned moon landing mission. Astronauts attempted to land on the moon’s Fra Mauro mountain range, but two days after launch, an explosion disrupted those plans.

Apollo 13

Fortunately, the three astronauts on board—Commander Jim Lovell, Lunar Module Pilot Fred Haise, and Control Module Pilot Jack Swigert—survived the explosion and executed the emergency plan to return home.

Apollo 13 50th Anniversary: Read Crew’s Survival Quotes

The new multi-day mission plan called for a quick orbit around the Moon and a few engine burns to get the astronauts on the correct trajectory toward Earth. The plan was complicated because the explosion forced the astronauts to shut down their main damaged ship, the command module, and rely on their lunar lander as a “lifeboat.” They also shut down most of the lunar landing systems to maximize their chances of getting home with limited resources.

The astronauts worked closely with NASA’s mission controller, which in turn sought help from its contractors and other experts around the world. The crew made a safe landing in the Pacific Ocean on April 17, 1970. NASA

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