When an explosion occurred aboard the Apollo 13 spaceship in April 1970, a mission of lunar exploration quickly became a mission of survival. Ground control in Houston scrambled to develop an emergency plan as millions around the world watched and the lives of three astronauts hung in the balance: commander James A. Lovell Jr., lunar module pilot Fred W. Haise Jr. and command module pilot John L. Swigert.
More to Explore
On February 1, 2003, the space shuttle Columbia broke apart while re-entering the atmosphere over Texas, killing all seven crew members on board.
On July 20, 1969, the American astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first people to land on the moon.
During the 1950s and '60s, the United States and the Soviet Union engaged in a heated competition to see which superpower would dominate the exploration of space.
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This Day in History
On this day in 1980, American oil tycoon Armand Hammer pays $5,126,000 at auction for a notebook containing writings by the legendary artist Leonardo da…
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Classroom Study Guides
Failure Is Not An Option (PDF)
Curriculum guide to the program that tells the story of the men and women behind the space program.