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11 April 2008

On this day in history: Launch of Apollo 13, 1970

On April 11th 1970, A Saturn V rocket launched from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida carrying the crew of the Apollo 13, James A. Lovell, John L. Swigert and Fred W. Haise, on what was intended to be the third manned landing on the Moon.

Two days into the mission a faulty oxygen tank caused an explosion that damaged the spacecraft's oxygen supply and electrical systems. The astronauts and ground crew faced a race against time to find a solution to the life threatening situation and achieve a return to Earth.

By using the Lunar Module as a 'lifeboat', reducing energy consumption and making repairs to the oxygen supply system the spacecraft managed to splashdown safely on 17th April.

To learn more about the Apollo 13 see the Lunar Surface Journal for the mission at the NASA web site.

3 comments:

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