NASA celebrates 50th anniversary of Apollo 13, a mission known as “a successful failure”

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Published: April 13, 2020 7:08:30 PM

Termed "a successful failure", the spacecraft which had three astronauts- James Lovell Jr, Fred Haise Jr, and John Swigert Jr- on board managed to return to the Earth despite facing an explosion like situation after a blast in its oxygen tank.

Coronavirus, NASA, Moon rocket, COVID-19 cases, Space Launch System, Artemis program, latest news on coronavirusThe leading space agency aborted the landing of the mission and launched an alternate mission right at the spot.

Leading Space Agency NASA celebrated the 50th anniversary of Apollo 13, a manned lunar mission which was launched in April 1970. Among its long history of sending seven human missions to the moon, NASA’s third lunar mission, Apollo 13, evinced the interest of the world as never before. In contrast to the two earlier missions which landed on lunar maria, a comparatively easier spot to pull off the landing, Apollo 13 attempted to land near the Fra Mauro which is one of the most challenging landing spots on the moon. Termed “a successful failure”, the spacecraft which had three astronauts- James Lovell Jr, Fred Haise Jr, and John Swigert Jr- on board managed to return to the Earth despite facing an explosion like situation after a blast in its oxygen tank.

In some of the most breath-taking moments witnessed by the world, astronaut James Lovell Jr informed the Houston Space Centre about the glitch and in a quivering voice said, “I believe we have had a problem here.” The use of so casual a sentence, to describe the agony of being on an explosive spacecraft, revealed more horror and fear than the shrieks perhaps would have. That was it. After an hour, the leading space agency aborted the landing of the mission and launched an alternate mission right at the spot. The agenda of the mission was changed from landing on the moon to revolving over its surface and bring its photographs to the Earth

After surviving for four days on the wrecked spacecraft, the astronauts came back alive and landed in the South Pacific Ocean. The love and empathy generated for the astronauts was so infectious that even U.S’s arch rival USSR mobilised its warships in search of the astronauts along with France, United Kingdom and other countries. The incident which exudes the spirit of exploration, bravery and unity at best also inspired a film in 1995 titled on the mission’s name. Apollo 13 starred Tom Hank and was directed by legendary director Ron Howard.

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