When on April 13th, 1970 at 9:08 PM, the astronauts communicate "Houston, we've Had a
problem here.", No one doubted that not only NASA will know, with Apollo 13, the most
eventful episode race to the moon but also -and foremost- its "finest hour".
And indeed, if the biggest success of NASA remains unquestionably the first steps on the Moon,
made by Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin in July 1969, everyone agrees that it's over Apollo 13
NASA knew its "finest hour" to quote the words used by Gene Kranz in the control room, April
17th 1970 ( "I Believe that Bringing this crew back safe and sound will be our finest hour" ).
What really happened?
“In 1970, NASA launched the Apollo 13 mission, which was to take a crew of astronauts to the
moon. On the way to the moon, one of the liquid oxygen tanks exploded, and the other one
The spacecraft had two major problems - there wasn't enough air, and there
wasn't enough electricity to get the men home.” (NAFSU)
NASA's mission control was up in arms.
Who screwed up?
(Image from Wikipedia.)
Gene Kranz took charge, and over the course of the crisis, he uttered four phrases: