NASA video shows Apollo 13 crew’s view of the moon before having to abort their mission in 1970 because of an explosion aboard the ship

  • Apollo 13 was set to be NASA’s third mission to the moon, but an explosion on board canceled the landing
  • A new video recreates the crew’s view of the moon as they passed over the dark side and into the sunlight
  • The entire movie shows the trajectory NASA used in order to bring the crew back home to Earth 

Apollo 13 was set to be NASA’s third mission to the moon, however, the crew had to abandon their plans two days after launch – but not before they captured a stunning view of the lunar surface.

New data from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter recreates the astronauts’ views in a video that reveals the ‘dark side’ of the moon in 4K resolution.

The two-minute clip opens in darkness to honor the crew that were in pitch black for eight minutes while sitting between earthset and sunrise.

The sun then appears from around the corner, revealing the lunar surface’s majestic craters and pot marks.

The world was said to have held its breath after Apollo 13 suffered an explosion on its way to the moon in April 1970.

The blast left the spacecraft crippled, prompting the famous line ‘Houston, we’ve had a problem’ from Commander Jim Lovell.

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The astronauts and mission control were both faced with logistical problems in stabilizing the spacecraft and its air supply, as well as providing enough energy to the damaged fuel cells to allow successful reentry into Earth’s atmosphere.

The crew, which included Lovell, Fred Haise and Jack Swigert, had to abandon the main command module and use the moon-landing Lunar module as a lifeboat to coast back to Earth.

NASA had to very quickly recalculate the emergency procedures which they later radioed through to the crew.

As the crippled spacecraft’s navigation equipment was not working correctly the commander used the Earth as a reference point.

Apollo 13 was set to be NASA’s third mission to the moon, however, the crew had to abandon their plans two days after launch – but not before they captured a stunning view of the lunar surface

New data from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter recreates the astronauts’ views in a video that reveals the ‘dark side’ of the moon in 4K resolution

The two-minute clip opens in darkness to honor the crew that were in pitch black for eight minutes while sitting between earthset and sunrise. The sun then appears from around the corner, revealing the lunar surface’s majestic craters and pot marks

If the craft had been pointing in the wrong direction at the time of the burn the crew would likely have been shot into space with no hope of correcting their course to return home.

In the video, NASA takes viewers around parts of the moon for over a minute as music plays in the background – and then the Earth appears.

NASA says this is the moment when Apollo 13 reestablished radio contact with Mission Control.

The video ends by showing the trajectory the astronauts took around the moon to get home safely.


The crew, which included Fred Haise( left), Jim Lovell (middle) and Jack Swigert (right), had to abandon the main command module and use the moon-landing Lunar module as a lifeboat to coast back to Earth. On April 17, tragedy turned to triumph as the Apollo 13 astronauts touched down safely in the Pacific Ocean

In the video, NASA takes viewers around parts of the moon for over a minute as music plays in the background – and then the Earth appears

Although stunning, the video does not show the true hardships the crew suffered while their lives dangled by a thread. It took four days before NASA was able to bring the team home to Earth. During this time they suffered from dehydration, ate little food and fought off frigid temperatures

Although stunning, the video does not show the true hardships the crew suffered while their lives dangled by a thread.

It took four days before NASA was able to bring the team home to Earth.

During this time they suffered from dehydration, ate little food and fought off frigid temperatures.

On April 17, tragedy turned to triumph as the Apollo 13 astronauts touched down safely in the Pacific Ocean.

WHAT IS THE ‘DARK SIDE’ OF THE MOON?

The far side of the moon – colloquially known as the dark side – actually gets as much light as the near side but always faces away from Earth. 

The far side of the Moon was first observed in 1959, when the Soviet Luna 3 spacecraft returned the first images.  

In 1968, astronauts aboard the Apollo 8 spacecraft were the first humans to set eyes on the far side in person as they orbited the moon.

Since then, several missions by NASA and other space agencies have imaged the lunar far side. 

That includes NASA’s Deep Impact spacecraft, which imaged the far side from a distance of 31 million miles (49m km) in 2008.

This relatively unexplored region is mountainous and rugged, making a successful landing much harder to achieve. 

China’s Chang’e-4 mission that landed in January 2019 was the first to touch down on the surface of the far side.

 

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