(18 April 1970) — An unidentified airline passenger snapped these bright objects, believed to be the Apollo 13 Service Module (SM) and Lunar Module (LM) as they entered Earth’s atmosphere over the Pacific Ocean on April 18, 1970. The aircraft, an Air New Zealand DC-8 was midway between the Fiji Islands (Nandi Island to be specific) and Auckland, New Zealand, when the photograph was taken. The crew men of the problem plagued Apollo 13 mission jettisoned the LM and SM prior to entering Earth’s atmosphere in the Apollo 13 Command Module (CM).


Copperheads, there is an important restoration project underway that needs your help. The Lunar Orbiter Image Recovery Project is raising money on Rockethub, a crowdsourcing website for fundraising, in order to restore Apollo-era imagery of the moon that the public has NEVER SEEN. 

Thousands of 70mm film images were taken of the moon before astronauts landed there, transmitted to Earth digitally via 60s-era robots sent by NASA. Once those images got to Earth, they had to be recorded through analog. They have been sitting in storage warehouses (and were very nearly thrown away) and are currently in need of preservation. 

We have 3 days to make sure the science of these early robot missions is saved. PLEASE SPREAD THE WORD RIGHT NOW to the pro-science and pro-space community of which you are a big part. And if you have a few dollars to donate to this science, please toss it in!

This is something we can totally do together.  
For more information, see the official page on Rockethub:

and our own Penny4NASA write up on the project:

(17 April 1970) — Overall view of Mission Operations Control Room in Mission Control Center at the Manned Spacecraft Center (MSC) during the ceremonies aboard the USS Iwo Jima, prime recovery ship for the Apollo 13 mission. Dr. Donald K. Slayton (in black shirt, left of center), director of Flight Crew Operations at MSC, and Chester M. Lee of the Apollo Program Directorate, Office of Manned Space Flight, NASA Headquarters, shake hands, while Dr. Rocco A. Petrone, Apollo program director, Office of Manned Space Flight, NASA Headquarters (standing, near Lee), watches the large screen showing astronaut James A. Lovell Jr., Apollo 13 commander, during the onboard ceremonies. In the foreground, Glynn S. Lunney (extreme left) and Eugene F. Kranz (smoking a cigar), two Apollo 13 flight directors, view the activity from their consoles.


This is the 45th Anniversary of humanity’s first steps on the Moon. Astronauts Neil Armstrong (Mission Commander), Michael Collins (Command Module Pilot), and Buzz Aldrin (Lunar Module Pilot) pioneered a new horizon and set the foundation for future manned missions to the Moon.