At 2:13 p.m. (EST), April 11, 1970, Apollo 13 launched from Pad A, Launch Complex 39, at Kennedy Space Center (KSC). The failure of one of the second stage’s J-2 engines was compensated by longer burns of both the remaining four J-2s and the third stage (S-IVB). On April 13, 55 hours after launch, an explosion of oxygen tank number two caused a failure of both that tank and nearby tank number one causing Jim Lovell to famously report, “Houston, we’ve had a problem.” With the loss of the command module’s normal supply of electricity, light, and water, landing on the Moon was no longer an option. It would take monumental efforts of everyone working on the program just to return the astronauts safely to Earth.
Image credit: NASA