mass 28,945 kg
mass 15,235 kg
Saturn V SA-508
Kennedy Space Center
April 11, 1970
Cancelled due to onboard
April 17, 1970
21°38′24″S 165°21′42″W / 21.64°S
165.36167°W / -21.64; -165.36167
(Apollo 13 splashdown)
5 d 22 h 54 m 41 s
Left to right: Lovell, Swigert, Haise
Previous mission Next mission
Original crew photo.
Left to right: Lovell, Mattingly, Haise.
Apollo 13 was the third manned mission
by NASA intended to land on the moon, but
experienced a mid-mission technical malfunc-
tion that forced the lunar landing to be abor-
ted. The crew was Commander James A. Lov-
ell, Command Module pilot John L. "Jack"
Swigert, and Lunar Module pilot Fred W.
The mission launched on April 11, 1970 at
13:13 CST. Two days later, while the mission
was en route to the moon, a fault in the elec-
trical system of one of the Service Module’s
oxygen tanks produced an explosion that
caused both oxygen tanks to fail and also led
to a loss of electrical power. The command
module remained functional on its own bat-
teries and oxygen tank, but these were us-
able only during the last hours of the mission.
The crew shut down the Command Module
and used the Lunar Module as a "lifeboat"
during the return trip to earth. Despite great
hardship caused by limited power, loss of
cabin heat, and a shortage of potable water,
the crew returned safely to Earth, and the
mission was termed a "successful failure."
A radio transmission by Lovell, "Houston,
we’ve had a problem", has become widely
misquoted in popular culture as, "Houston,
we have a problem".
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Number in parentheses indicates number of sp