April 11, 1970 – Apollo 13 launches

Lovell, Swigert and HaiseOn April 11, 1970 NASA launched Apollo 13, the third manned lunar mission. The was comprised of Commander Jim Lovell, Command Module pilot Jack Swigert, and Lunar Module pilot Fred Haise. Two days into the mission, on April 13th, the Command Module experienced a near-fatal and mission-critical incident. Though the mission was aborted, the crew safely returned to earth. The phrase, “Houston, we have a problem!” has become legendary as related to Apollo 13 and near-catastrophic failures.

Wikipedia says:

“A major challenge in keeping the crew alive was that the LM “lifeboat” was only equipped to sustain two people for two days, but had to sustain three people for four days. The lithium hydroxide canisters available for the LM’s carbon dioxide scrubbers would not last for all four days. The CM had an adequate supply of replacement canisters, but they were the wrong shape to fit the LM’s receptacle. An adapter then had to be fabricated from materials in the spacecraft. The astronauts called it the “mailbox.”

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~ by tellinghistory on April 11, 2008.

5 Responses to “April 11, 1970 – Apollo 13 launches”

  1. The odds of the Apollo 13 story are – pardon the pun – astronomical. It honestly is a true-life miracle.

  2. what was the mailbox made out of?
    can we not make another one to lower the Co2 lvls in our atmosphere?
    we can make many to lower the lvls drastically

  3. i have to do a project for intro about apollo 13 and i found it atounding for what information still lies within the universe itself. to have as many years as we had in the space program and know little about the moon, our moon for that matter. we have actually visited the moon twice and still no more evidence of life’s existence and oxygen up there…however we did find that Mars has 1/4 of our Earth’s atmostphere…but is it possible to make the mission possible agian the way they had it set up and try to actually improve the rocket…well space shuttle…and just try again?

  4. Today we hear “Yes we can”. Realistic people say “Maybe we can”. The crew of Apollo 13 said “we have to”.

    We have to.

    Humans can adapt, survive, prosper.

    That was their message.

  5. I met Jack Swigert at a science convention in 1979 and found him very kind. When I asked if he had a picture, he said he’d send me one. A few days later the picture came with a hand written note on his own stationery asking me if the picture he had sent was what I had in mind. He worked hard, took chances and succeeded. What a fascinating soul. -wish I knew more about him than the internet offers.

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