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Apollo 13
Apollo 13 Mission to Earth's Moon

Goals: (1) to explore the hilly upland Fra Mauro region of the moon; (2) to perform selenological inspection, survey and sampling of material in the Fra Mauro formation; (3) to deploy and activate an Apollo lunar-surface experiments package (ALSEP); (4) to further develop man's capability to work in the lunar environment; and (5) to obtain photographs of candidate lunar exploration sites.

Commander: James A. Lovell, Jr.
Command module (Odyssey) pilot: John L. Swigert, Jr.
Lunar module (Aquarius) pilot: Fred W. Haise Jr.

Accomplishments: Apollo 13 was supposed to land in the Fra Mauro area of the moon. An explosion on board forced Apollo 13 to circle the moon without landing. The astronauts returned to the Earth without any loss of life.

The astronauts did take photographs of the moon while rounding it to return to the Earth. Also, the upper stage of the launch vehicle impacted the lunar surface as intended to calibrate seismometers installed by Apollo 11 and 12.

Key Dates
11 Apr 1970:  Launch
15 Apr 1970:  Lunar Swingby
17 Apr 1970:  Recovery on Earth
17 Apr 1970:  End of Lunar Mission
Status: Aborted
Fast Facts
Apollo 13 Facts Apollo 13 was the only Apollo mission to be aborted in-flight.

Apollo 13 astronauts could have died from their own exhaled carbon dioxide. (There was not enough lithium hydroxide canisters to fit the round openings in the lunar module; that is until a quick fix was found.

The lunar-module lifeboat could not survive re-entry into Earth's atmosphere, so the astronauts had to move back into the command module for the final part of their return home.
People Spotlight
David S. McKay David S. McKay
During the Apollo program, McKay gave the first men to walk on the moon training in geology. Read More...
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Last Updated: 5 Sep 2013