Remembering Apollo 13 - April 17, 1970

After one of the most harrowing space flights in history, the astronauts of Apollo 13 splashed down in the Pacific Ocean on Friday April 17, 1970. The video below is coverage of the event from ABC News. This coverage is typical of coverage of these events in that time period. 

Four nights earlier, the world was alerted to a crisis aboard Apollo 13. The moment was frozen in history by the famous phrase, "Houston, we have a problem here," spoken by mission commander, Navy Captain Jim Lovell.

Here is CBS News coverage of the crisis on April 13, 1970.

President Nixon's reaction to Apollo 13's successful return to Earth.

A 1995 dramatization of the Apollo 13 mission starring Tom Hanks left us with a message. The Apollo 13 mission was among the arguments used to limit manned space flight outside earth orbit shortly thereafter. Here is that scene with Tom Hanks speaking as Jim Lovell.

At the end of that movie, Hanks narrating for Lovell said the following.

"...As for me, the seven extraordinary days of Apollo 13 were my last in space. I watched other men walk on the Moon, and return safely, all from the confines of Mission Control and our house in Houston. I sometimes catch myself looking up at the Moon, remembering the changes of fortune in our long voyage, thinking of the thousands of people who worked to bring the three of us home. I look up at the moon and wonder, when will we be going back, and who will that be?

Still, if we are to believe pronouncements from our public space program, we still wait for an answer to Lovell's question.

Ray Davis
for 6 Sense Media