A conversation with Capt. James Lovell 50 years after Apollo 13 | USA TODAY

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50 years ago a Saturn rocket lifted off from Kennedy Space Center. On April 13, an oxygen tank exploded and the Apollo 13 crew was soon in a fight for their lives. Mission commander James Lovell recalls that moment turned what had become a routine trip into a life or death mission.

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33 COMMENTS

  1. On board the recovery ship (USS Iwo Jima LPH2). roughly a few hundred nautical miles from Samoa, at splashdown. Never forget the loud sonic boom with reentry, and watching Apollo 13 descend almost seemingly directly overhead of ship flight deck. The 13 crew appeared to be in good shape, though having scruffy beards, on boarding.

  2. The original Apollo 13 capsule can be found on display in the Cosmosphere, in Hutchinson, KS. NASA granted them a permanent loan because Cosmosphere's Spaceworks division build a replica of the command module for the movie.

    Additionally, the Cosmosphere retrieved Gus Grissom's Liberty Bell 7 Mercury capsule from the bottom of the ocean and restored it, too. Because this was a salvage & recovery circumstance, the Cosmosphere literally owns it.

    Both of these are loaned-out to other organizations to be displayed. 

    Friends, the Cosmosphere has a huge collection of space artifacts that include a backup Sputnik, V1 & V2 weapons, and even a real (unblown) Lunar Module. This place is second only to the Smithsonian's collection. Find out yourselves.

    www.cosmo.org.

  3. I was standing in the crowd at Pearl Harbor when Richard Nixon was greeting the crew of Apollo 13 home. I even have some home movie footage now on DVD from that day. Prior to 13 I was standing along a fence line between Hickam AFB and Pearl when the crews from Apollo 11 and 12 paraded by with the crew inside a modified Airstream travel trailer with a large window installed in the side. That trailer is now on display at the Smithsonian Air and Space museum near Dullas airport. Astronaut Charles Duke lives in my town as well. Got to love space and Thank Mr. Turmp for starting the Space Force!

  4. I have so much respect for Captain Lovell not only for his successful tenure as commander of 13 but as having been able to look at the positive of life afterwards. Imagine, being angry all you life for something you didn’t get….Not Jim !! Bravo and continue being so healthy at 92 👍. Keep on YouTubing !!

  5. Awesome. What a giant of a man. Both Jim Lovell and Gene Krantz have been life long heroes to me. I was 8 years old when 13 happened and had already been enthralled by the exploits of the titans who rode these craft away from earth. What a guy!!

  6. What's so absolutely cool about this is that as I'm watching this video I've got the original Star Trek episodes (remastered) on Amazon Prime on TV right now, making this about the only time I've been happy during this coronavirus BS.

  7. One thing that has always been constant with Jim is how passionate he is about space. Everything he says is inspirational. I can only imagine how awesome it would have been if he'd been the first person to walk on the moon….but if he hadn't commanded Apollo 13, maybe we'd never know just how incredible he really is? How many people really know anything about any of the other astronauts? Especially 50 years later… I love reading everything he writes and listening to everything he says. Definitely one of my heroes as well.

  8. apollo 13,the tank blew on the 13th, 1st stage one engine shut down early,these guys are truly amazing. I was a douglas aircraft mechanic that test fired the S1VB at the sacramento,ca. test site..jp

  9. When I was a kid, this is the kind of shit that was going on with humanity. People the world over were into science and watching the improbable being made into the possible…

    Drama, Tension, Facts, Figures & Telemetry is what we (including peoples of the world) were all learning about… and we were all one…

  10. So was being a Free Mason a prerequisite? As that is EXACTLY what they showed us and proved that anyone involved with this hoax had to be a sworn mason.

  11. Neil Armstrong was one of my boyhood heroes, but I think Jim Lovell is right there with him. I hope to meet him someday.

  12. https://apolloinrealtime.org/

    You can listen to the ENTIRE mission on this site (Apollo 11 & 17 are also included) , it's truly amazing. You can even listen to a phone-call that Jim Lovell's wife, Marilyn Lovell made to Ken Mattingly (who was replaced with Jack Swigert, because the crew had been exposed to the german measles by fellow astronaut Charlie Duke, and Mattingly was the only one who had no immunity to it, because he didn't have it as a child) and she mentions that her children don't know anything yet, because the explosion happened the night before, after they'd gone to bed, so she figured she'd call Ken, since he probably was in a good position to tell her what was going on (She knew the explosion had happened because she could listen to the air-to-ground transmission through a squawk box installed in her house) .. Truly amazing stuff!

  13. Lovell is great! It’s like he is telling this story for the first time. Even though it must be a million! ❤️🇺🇸

  14. The captain in command of the flight explains the accident report, from memory. As he's surely done dozens of times before.

    I can only hope to, one day, live up to James Lovell's standard.

  15. That twinkle of optimism in his eyes shows the qualities that made him a great astronaut, commander, and person. He was always one of my favorites when I was a teen. I'm glad we are getting a new generation of "can-do" optimists working on space travel again. NASA has new blood and the new space companies are reviving the spirit with their media savy programs. Lovell and the original guys still stand out to this day. Love to hear this guy talk. What a great guy.

  16. A true HERO! Ditto for the entire crew AND all those engineers in Mission Control and the manufacturers who worked to get them home!

  17. China's moon rover has to shut down every two hours because of the intense radiation.
    These guys must have been superhuman to absorb all that radiation.

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