APRIL 13, 1970 – Story Behind Famous Movie Quote ‘Houston, We Have A Problem’

By  //  April 14, 2018

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Mission control applauds the splashdown of Apollo 13 on April 17th, 1970. (NASA Image)

ABOVE AUDIO: To hear the audio from Jim Lovell’s call to mission control:  (The first voice you hear is Jack Swigert, then Jim Lovell responds with the famous phrase after Mission Control says “…say again…”)

APRIL 13, 1970 – “Houston, we have a problem.” It’s one of the most famous quotes in movie history.

However, did you know that when the mission experienced a loss of electrical power while en route to the Moon on this day April 13, 1970, astronaut Jim Lovell actually said, “Houston, we’ve had a problem” during his communication with mission control?

Exposed fan wires inside one of the Service Module’s oxygen tanks sparked, leading to the explosion that would cause both oxygen tanks to fail. The loss of oxygen also crippled the fuel cells that provided power to the spacecraft.

Jim, along with crew members Fred Haise and Jack Swigert, were forced to shut down the Command Module and use the Lunar Module as “lifeboat” during their return trip to Earth. Because they were able to return safely, the mission is known as a “successful failure.”

In the picture, mission control applauds the splashdown of Apollo 13 on April 17th, 1970.

ABOVE VIDEO: Apollo 13: Houston, We’ve Got a Problem.

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