12 Facts About Apollo 13


Apollo 13 was the seventh crewed mission in the Apollo space program and the third meant to land on the Moon.

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Apollo 13 was vindicated by post-mission analysis and implemented a rule that, during the mission, the flight director's word was absolute – to overrule him, NASA would have to fire him on the spot.

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At the time of Apollo 13, Lovell was the NASA astronaut with the most time in space, with 572 hours over the three missions.

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Apollo 13 assigned them to the backup crew because no other veteran astronauts were available.

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Slayton created the support crews because James McDivitt, who would command Apollo 13 9, believed that, with preparation going on in facilities across the US, meetings that needed a member of the flight crew would be missed.

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Apollo 13 12 saw more such training, including practice in the field, using a CAPCOM and a simulated backroom of scientists, to whom the astronauts had to describe what they saw.

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Apollo 13 11 had left a seismometer on the Moon, but the solar-powered unit did not survive its first two-week-long lunar night.

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Apollo 13 was found to be entitled to a 60-day extension for being out of the country at the deadline.

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Apollo 13 originally planned to give the award to NASA administrator Thomas O Paine, but Paine recommended the mission operations team.

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Worldwide interest in the Apollo 13 program was reawakened by the incident; television coverage was seen by millions.

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Apollo 13 took a leave of absence from NASA in 1973 and left the agency to enter politics, being elected to the House of Representatives in 1982, but died of cancer before he could be sworn in.

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Mike Massimino, a Space Shuttle astronaut, stated that Apollo 13 "showed teamwork, camaraderie and what NASA was really made of".

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