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Apollo 13 Descending from a Near-Fatal Trip to Space

Apollo 13 Descending from a Near-Fatal Trip to Space American History Famous Historical Events Famous People Film Aviation & Space Exploration STEM Tragedies and Triumphs Disasters

Image of Apollo 13 at re-entry into Earth's atmosphere.

The Lunar and Planetary Institute website provides additional information about this famous recovery following a near-fatal event:

Reentry required the unusual step of undocking the lunar module, which had been retained for the flight back to Earth, in addition to the separation of the damaged service module. The lunar module had remained attached to the spacecraft to preserve the maximum electrical power in the command module for entry.

The reentry was similar to previous flights and landing occurred at 142:54:41 at 21°38'24"S latitude and 165°21'42"W longitude. The landing was within sight of the recovery ship, Iwo Jima, and the crew were on board within 45 minutes.

None of the primary misson objectives was accomplished. The mission was aborted after nearly 56 hours of flight due to the loss of service module cryogenic oxygen and consequent loss of capability to generate electricity or to provide oxygen or water.

Two secondary objectives related to the impact of the S-IVB stage on the Moon, two scientific experiments not related to the ALSEP, and some photography were accomplished, however.

Click on the image for a better view of the descending spacecraft.


Media Credits

Image online, courtesy NASA and the Lunar and Planetary Institute website.

 

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"Apollo 13 Descending from a Near-Fatal Trip to Space" AwesomeStories.com. Oct 07, 2013. Dec 07, 2019.
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