NASA's Apollo 13 mission leaves for the Moon on April 11. Suddenly, on April 13, a life-threatening explosion occurs in the service module portion of the Apollo spacecraft. Astronauts James A. Lovell, Jr., John Leonard Swigert, and Fred Wallace Haise, Jr., must use their lunar excursion module (LEM) as a lifeboat. While an anxious world waits and listens, the crew skillfully maneuvers their disabled spacecraft around the Moon. With critical supplies running low, they limp back to Earth on a free-return trajectory. At just the right moment on April 17, they abandon the LEM Aquarius and board the Apollo Project spacecraft (command module) for a successful atmospheric reentry and recovery in the Pacific Ocean
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