Fifty years ago today at 2:13 p.m EST the Apollo 13 mission lifted off from Launch Pad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center on what would become a gripping nail-bitting harrowing mission, but with a happy outcome.
Now 50 years later, NASA has released a new 30 minute documentary with new interviews, restored footage and synchronized audio from Mission Control. NASA was helped in this endeavour by Stephen Slater and Ben Feist of Apollo in Real-Time who provided additional footage and audio.
“Houston, we’ve had a problem” was heard in mission control, and though momentarily taken aback, the mission control teams would rally and help the three astronauts, Jim Lovell, Fred Haise and Jack Swigert, to avert what could have been a catastrophic ending to humanity’s third mission to surface of the moon.
Everyone knows how the mission ended. The astronauts returned safely to Earth, though without landing on the Moon.
The documentary features interviews with Apollo 13 Astronauts Jim Lovell and Fred Haise, as well as Flight Directors Gene Kranz, Glynn Lunney, and engineer Hank Rotter. Parts of their interviews were filmed in the restored Apollo mission control room.
Watch Apollo 13: Home Safe
After Apollo 13
Jim Lovell completed four space missions with Apollo 13 being his last one. He was also the pilot for Gemini 7, commander of Gemini 12 and command module pilot of Apollo 8. He retired from the Navy and the space program in 1973 and entered the corporate world.
Fred Haise would never go into space again, though he would contribute to the Space Shuttle program, including the Shuttle Approach and Landing Tests.
Jack Swigert also never went back to space, though he was in consideration for the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project. He would later run for Congress but came up short and would work in the corporate world.