1970: Accident on Apollo 13 (“Houston, we’ve had a problem”)

1970: Accident on Apollo 13 (“Houston, we’ve had a problem”)
Photo Credit To https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/5/57/Apollo_13_passing_Moon.jpg/987px-Apollo_13_passing_Moon.jpg

On this day the crew of Apollo 13 space mission sent the following message to mission control on Earth: “Houston, we’ve had a problem”(often incorrectly cited as “Houston, we have a problem”, but the flight transcripts clearly show that the sentence was in past tense).

The problem that the astronauts referred to occurred at a time when the spacecraft was on its way to the Moon, 321.860 kilometers from Earth. There was an explosion which the astronauts initially could not pinpoint. They thought they had been hit by a meteorite. But in reality, one of the two oxygen tanks exploded, due to the damaged Teflon insulation on the electrical wires.

Before the explosion, it was anticipated that the Apollo 13 would land on the Moon, like the two previous missions (Apollo 11 and 12), but the damage from the explosion was so extensive that the landing became impossible. Apollo 13 just circled the Moon and returned to Earth, landing after a lot of trouble on 17 April, after 5 days and 22 hours in space.

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