Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

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Apollo 13 Mission 

Apollo 13 launched on 11 April 1970. Captain James A. Lovell Jr., USN, served as commander and former naval aviator Fred W. Haise Jr. was the lunar module pilot. While 200,000 miles from Earth there was an explosion on board which forced Apollo 13 to circle the moon without landing. Mission duration was 5 days, 22 hours, and 54 minutes. The mission was deemed a “successful failure.” Recovery was by HS-4 helicopters from USS Iwo Jima (LPH-2).

For more information, visit NASA’s Apollo Missions webpage.


The Prime Crew of the Apollo 13

The prime crew of the Apollo 13 Lunar Landing Mission. From left: Captain James A. Lovell Jr., USN (commander); Lieutenant Commander Thomas A. Mattingly Jr., USN (command module pilot); and Fred W. Hais Jr. (lunar module pilot). They are seated behind the mission emblem (center), sextant on left, and astrolabe on right. Houston, Texas, December 1969. (USN 1143249)



Apollo 13 Crew Recovery

The crew members of the Apollo 13 mission, step aboard the USS Iwo Jima, prime recovery ship for the mission, following splashdown and recovery operations in the South Pacific Ocean. Exiting the helicopter which made the pick-up some four miles from the Iwo Jima are (from left) astronauts Fred W. Haise Jr., lunar module pilot; James A. Lovell Jr., commander; and John L. Swigert Jr., command module pilot. The crippled Apollo 13 spacecraft splashed down at 12:07:44 p.m. (CST), 17 April 1970. (Image Credit: NASA)



Apollo 13 Crew Recovery after Splashdown

The Apollo 13 spacecraft floats in the south Pacific Ocean following splash down at 12:07:44 p.m., 17 April 1970. Astronaut Fred W. Haise Jr., lunar module pilot, rides the “Billy Pugh” net up to a rescue helicopter while astronauts James A. Lovell Jr., commander, and John L. Swigert Jr., command module pilot, wait in the life raft. Two U.S. Navy underwater demolition team swimmers can be seen in the water while a third waits in the raft with the astronauts. (NASA Photo ID: S70-35625)



Apollo 13 Command Module Recovery after Splashdown

Crew members aboard USS Iwo Jima, prime recovery ship for the Apollo 13 mission, hoist the command module aboard ship. The Apollo 13 crew members were already aboard Iwo Jima when this photograph was taken. (NASA Photo ID: S70-15530)



Apollo 13 Command Module Recovery after Splashdown

Crew members aboard USS Iwo Jima, prime recovery ship for the Apollo 13 mission, hoist the command module aboard ship. The Apollo 13 crew members were already aboard Iwo Jima when this photograph was taken. (NASA Photo ID: S70-35632)



Apollo 13 Command Module recovery after splashdown

Crew members aboard USS Iwo Jima, prime recovery ship for the Apollo 13 mission, guide the command module (CM) atop a dolly on board the ship. The CM is connected by strong cable to a hoist on the vessel. The Apollo 13 Crew members were already aboard Iwo Jima when this photograph was taken. (NASA Photo ID: S70-15531) 



President Nixon and Apollo 13 crew men at Hickam AFB

Astronaut James A. Lovell Jr., a U.S. Navy captain and Apollo 13 mission commander, salutes the U.S. flag during ceremonies with President Richard M. Nixon at Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii. The Apollo 13 crew men, Astronauts Lovell, John L. Swigert Jr. (right) and Fred W. Haise Jr. were presented the Presidential Medal of Freedom by the Chief Executive. (NASA Photo ID: S70-15526)


Published: Tue Jul 09 17:34:46 EDT 2019