On April 11, 1970, a crew of three, composed of Jim Lovell, Fred Haise, and Jack Swigert , Apollo 13 blasted off for the moon. Something went wrong as one of the astronauts turned on an oxygen fan on Apollo 13. Then it happened. The oxygen tank exploded on board two days into the flight. They where forced to abort the lunar landing.
Back on earth Ken Mattingly was one of the unlucky ones. Two days before lift off he had been grounded from the flight due to medical reasons. Even though he didn't make the flight he proved to be a big help in the Apollo mission.
As a result of the expolsion the Apollo crew was forced to use the lunar excursion module (LEM) as a lifeboat. It was their only chance to return to Earth. The LEM was designed to support only two people but they had to find a way to make it able to support three people before they are overcome by carbon dioxide.
At NASA scientistis were searching for a way to make a filter out of limited material. Eventually they succeeded, but now they had to get back to Earth using only 12 amps of power and before the crew ran out of air, food, and water. NASA thought that they had a way to get them back to Earth. Would it work?
Re-entry was the most difficult time for all of them because during re-entry there was no communication. Finally they regained radio contact with the astronauts and moments later they splashed down into the Pacific Ocean.
Pictured is the crew of Apollo 13
from left to right: Jack Swigert,
Fred Haise, and Jim Lovell.
Shown above is Apollo 13 during liftoff.
As shown here, when Apollo 13's oxygen tank exploded
it caused severe damage to the ship.
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