By the time Americas third mission to land on the moon, Apollo 13 lifted off on April 11th 1970 travel to the desolate orb, seemed about as no-worthy as commuting to work. I think the only mention of the New York Times was on page 67 on the weather page. Very few people the news media had managed had manned the news desk at the Johnson Space Center. That changed three days into the mission, when a terrifying explosion rocked the spacecraft carrying astronauts Jim Lovell Jack Swigert and Fred Hayes. It had been a major sound metallic echoing bang came through the spacecraft, so we knew it was nothing normal, something probably bad. At NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston Texas, flight director Gene Kranz frantically worked to turn a certain catastrophe into a successful recovery. We had three crewmen in a dead space craft 200,000 miles from Earth going towards the moon. Getting them back alive meant around-the-clock problem-solving and abandoning the mission they trained for. I was sick to my stomach because I knew we weren't going to be able to land on the moon. Well the crew men of the Apollo 13 will all silence for a moment please.
As the world followed the crisis on radio and television, Gene Kranz during Apollo 13 became the title of his book. Failure is not an option. The crisis lasted the best part of almost four days, and that was where maybe the worlds attention was able to be focused upon this particular event, more than some of the other missions that we focused on. The team that was trained to handle emergencies like that, and like many other things did their job with great credit, and as a result that the spacecraft and the crew came back safely. Years later when we decided to write a book about the story of Apollo 13, that I got the feeling that yes the flight was a failure in one aspect, but the other aspect it was a triumph on how people can't take it almost certain catastrophe the Mission Control. People in the flight crew working together, figuring out solutions to crisis that we didn't plan for we didn't train for and get this spacecraft back home. Hey we've got a problem here. Levels book titled lost moon was the basis for the 1995 Apollo 13 Hollywood blockbuster. Houston we have a problem, featuring actor Tom Hanks as level. Sometimes stories that we see in movies are based in reality, and you have to sort of increase the drama. This one was a real drama. It was not clear that these guys were going to be able to get home alive, and so that‘s why it makes such a good story, and why I think it grabbed people's attention. It's a story highlighted at the Adler Planetariums Mission Moon exhibit, showcasing equipment from Apollo 13, donated by Lovell, who hopes to inspire a new generation of explorers. Quite a few of the population just here coming through the Adler Planetarium wasn't around when we actually did our Apollo flights. While Ann Adler Planetarium event to celebrate Apollo 13's 50th anniversary is postponed due to the corona virus outbreak. I hereby declare that this was a successful mission. The celebration is moving online. The voyage of Apollo 13 dramatized its risks, where visitors to the Adler and NASA social media sites can see and hear highlights of the U.S. space programs successful failure. Kane Farabaugh VOA news Chicago Illinois
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