by Duke Magazine

Astronauts Jim Lovell, Fred Haise and Jack Swigert boarded the Saturn V rocket on April 11, 1970. They were the crew for the Apollo 13 mission to the moon.⁠⠀ .⁠⠀ Lovell served as the commander of Apollo 13, Haise the lunar lander pilot and Swigert, a last-minute replacement for another astronaut who had been exposed to German measles, the command module pilot. Lovell and Haise would have been the fifth and sixth men to walk on the moon. But on April 13, disaster struck.⁠⠀ The astronauts had almost reached the moon when they heard a bang and felt a shudder. One of two oxygen tanks in the service module had ruptured. ⁠

Within seconds, Houston’s Mission Control saw pressure readings for oxygen tank B plunge to zero. From that point onwards, the mission was no longer to land on the moon but to make it back to Earth alive. 

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