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This Day in History - April 11, 1970 - Apollo 13 Lunar Manned Mission Launches

By: CBS
By: CBS

On this day in history, April 11, 1970, the US space program launched what it thought would be another lunar landing with Apollo 13. But the craft and its crew never made it to the moon; their adventure was of a different nature.

The planned six-day mission was scrapped when, on the third day of its voyage, an oxygen tank exploded and put the lives of the three men on board in jeopardy, as they were unable to reenter the earth's atmosphere. For days afterwards the space program scrambled to figure out a way to bring the handicapped spaceship back to earth while the world held its breath.

Apollo 13 splashed down six days later (on April 17, 1970). All crewmembers were unharmed.


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