Apollo 13 was an admirable tale of human courage. A story of determination, resourcefulness, and the collective mission to persevere and save the lives of their fellow astronauts.
It showed how a group of individuals could break limits, come together militantly and fight against seemingly unbeatable odds without giving up.
For those inspired by true stories of survival, Apollo 13 is the ignite to spark our capacity for perseverance.
It reminds us that when faced with challenges beyond our control, that little thing makes a world of difference in reaching greater heights in endeavor and discovery.
Apollo 13 is an inspiring story to show us what we can achieve through resilience, unity, and a shared drive for success.
Apollo 13 Facts for Kids
- Apollo 13 was the seventh manned mission in the Apollo program.
- It launched on April 11, 1970.
- The mission’s original goal was to land on the Moon.
- An explosion caused a loss of oxygen and power, leading to a crisis.
- The astronauts had to use the lunar module as a “lifeboat” to return to Earth.
- The crew safely returned to Earth on April 17, 1970.
The Origins of the Apollo Program and Missions
Exploring the stars is our passion. So when the challenge arose to find a way to get humans to the Moon and home safely, we were up for it. The Apollo program was our answer.
It began in 1963 and came with some pretty remarkable missions: being able to move at 1000 mph on a rotating Earth, rev up to 18000 mph for orbit, hit 25000mph going into space, then 240,000 miles away so you can break free from gravity and finally land on the Moon with specialized vehicles.
Piece by piece, this program sets humans up for success. We gathered data from launches, capitalized on moments of clarity, and crossed our fingers that not one miscalculation would occur.
But it was worth it when we made history by setting foot on an extraterrestrial surface like never before! That day was a signal – this is what’s possible when you dare to dream bigger than ever before.
Kennedy fired up a mission with the goal of putting astronauts on the Moon by 1970.
Gemini was launched to solve space problems and figure out how they’d make it to the Moon. It had ten flights spanning over two years, exploring important space topics like maneuvering in orbit, rendezvous, and docking.
But these were just part of the puzzle — figuring out how to sustain life in far-off outer space was another challenge. So, teams put their heads together and worked on a complex life-support system for both man and machine.
Finally, after meticulous effort, Apollo one was completed, a success showcasing the scientific ingenuity of mankind!
Now they were ready to make history and attempt something that no one had ever done before — placing an astronaut on the Moon’s surface.
The Apollo Space Missions
Disaster struck in January 1967 when a deadly fire during a ground rehearsal of the Apollo I mission claimed the lives of three astronauts.
It caused a 21-month delay and led to the implementation of additional safety measures.
In October 1968, Apollo 7 completed 163 orbits around Earth with a crew of three astronauts on board.
Then in December, Apollo 8 made history as it became the first crewed space mission to circle the Moon.
The pioneering Apollo 9 was next with an extended mission around Earth, and in May 1969, Apollo 10 tested its lunar module within 15.2 km (9.4 miles) off the Moon’s surface.
Finally, after all these successful missions, Neil Armstrong and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin made their famous journey onboard Apollo 11 to set foot upon the Moon’s surface: an extraordinary event that has become one of mankind’s greatest achievements ever.
The Apollo 13 Mission
Liftoff! A manned mission was launched on April 11, 1970, as part of the Apollo space program.
James A. Lovell Jr., Fred W. Haise Jr., and John L. “Jack” Swigert were ready to go, although this wasn’t always their original plan.
It had been slated for them to be back up on Apollo 10 but was changed during the crew rotation of the program. They set out with one mission: to explore the Fra Mauro formation, an 80-kilometer (50-mile) crater named after an Italian monk from the 1400s.
They soared into the stars at 2 PM that day, full of anticipation and commitment to their task ahead of them.
This was a groundbreaking moment in American space exploration! It was yet another example of doing something new, stretching our boundaries even further than before. A defining moment in history!
Apollo 13 was a lunar mission with the goal of landing on the Moon. In spite of this, the center engine shut down two minutes early, causing an anomaly.
This caused power loss and danger to the crew. In response, Odyssey’s guidance system quickly shut off the engine, and Aquarius was activated to ensure they safely returned home.
The astronauts then had to balance getting home with preserving power on Aquarius and rapidly powered down every nonessential system while they rationed food and water to keep things running.
They also faced a communications blackout during re-entry. However, eventually, it all paid off as they made a successful return to Earth on April 17 at 1:07 PM EST.