After a harrowing four days, the ill-fated Apollo 13 shuttle safely landed in the Pacific Ocean on April 17, 1970. The mission was intended to be the third manned landing on the moon, but an oxygen tank exploded two days after launch. The damage crippled the craft’s normal supply of oxygen, electricity, and water, as well as the system that removed carbon dioxide.
As has been extensively documented in movies and books, astronauts James A. Lovell Jr., John L. Swigert Jr. and Fred W. Haise Jr., had to shut down the command module because of limited power. They instead used the lunar module as a type of lifeboat, though it was only originally designed to sustain two people for a day and a half – not three people for four days.
Mission personnel had to jerry-rig emergency procedures and create and a number of ingenious – and never before tested – fixes to bring the crew home. This included using the gravity of the moon to slingshot the shuttle back to Earth, creating a system to remove Read More »from April 17, 1970: Apollo 13 module lands in the Pacific Ocean after tense flight