Apollo 13 was supposed to be NASA’s third lunar landing mission but an oxygen leak necessitated an emergency return home.
Members of the original Apollo 13 crew, from left, commander Jim Lovell, command module pilot Ken Mattingly, and lunar module pilot Fred Haise pose in December 1969. Days before the mission, the crew was inadvertently exposed to German measles. Mattingly had no immunity to the virus and was replaced by backup command module pilot, Jack Swigert.
Some 56 hours into the Apollo 13 mission, oxygen tank No. 2 exploded, causing oxygen tank No. 1 to also fail. The command module’s normal supply of electricity, light, and water was lost as they flew more than 200,000 miles from Earth.
Swigert saw a warning light that accompanied the bang and radioed mission control: “Houston, we’ve had a problem here.”
A parade was held in the astronauts’ honor after their safe return.
See the full set here.