THIS DAY IN HISTORY: Apollo 13 Launches For The Moon Nearly 50 Years Ago
By NASA // April 11, 2016
April 11, 1970
ABOVE VIDEO: The launch of Apollo 13 with CBS providing coverage of the event. (Youtube Video)
BREVARD COUNTY • CAPE CANAVERAL, FLORIDA (NASA) – On April 11, 1970, Apollo 13 launched for the Moon with Commander Jim Lovell, Command Module Pilot Jack Swigert and Lunar Module Pilot Fred Haise aboard.
Two days later, with the spacecraft approaching the Moon, an oxygen tank exploded, scrubbing the lunar landing and putting the crew in jeopardy.
The crew had to use the Lunar Module as a “lifeboat” to get them back home. Thanks to the ingenious efforts of the crew and a huge support team here on Earth the crew overcame an unimaginable sequence of obstacles.
The loss of the oxygen tanks meant a loss of power (since the oxygen was used in fuel cells to create electricity), this led to freezing temperatures in the cabin and a shortage of potable water, lack of computers and navigational equipment and, eventually the need to jury-rig the carbon dioxide removal system.
Despite all of this the crew safely splashed down on April 17.