The Apollo 13 mission was the fifth lunar mission and was planned to be the third lunar landing. Because the spacecraft did not actually land on the moon, it is often called a “lunar swing by”(Angelo 40). After a rupture in the service module oxygen tank made landing on the moon impossible, suddenly the main focus of the mission became getting the crew home safely. Apollo 13’s original mission was aborted but is still considered a “successful failure” because of the experience gained in saving the crew.
Apollo 13 launched into space from Kennedy Space Center on launch complex 39A at 12:13 pm on April 11, 1970 (“Apollo 13”). The mission was expected to land in the Fra Mauro area of the moon, but Apollo 13 was forced to circle the moon without landing after an explosion. The object of the mission ended up being reassigned to Apollo 14 which launched in 1971 (Dunbar 1). The spacecraft was comprised of two parts joined by a tunnel. The command module was named Odyssey, and the lunar module was named Aquarius. The crew stayed in Odyssey on their way to the moon (Howell 1).
There were three astronauts on the Apollo 13 mission. John Swigert was the command module pilot and was originally on the Apollo 13 backup crew. Swigert had to take Thomas Mattingly’s place as the command module pilot only seventy-two hours before the mission because Mattingly was diagnosed with German measles (“John Swigert” 1). Another astronaut on Apollo 13 was Fred Haise. Haise was the lunar module pilot for the Apollo 13 mission and had spent a total of 142 hours and fifty-four minutes in space (“Fred Haise” 1). The third astronaut was James Lovell, often known as Jim Lovell. Lovell was the spacecraft commander for the Apollo 13 mission and was the first person...
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