It's 2:13pm on April 11, 1970 as Apollo 13 explodes into life, white hot flames streaming from it's engines as it screams upward towards the moon.
Amid the thunder of the launch crowds across the causeway cheer as they peer skyward, watching in awe, as this magnificent man-made machine accelerates into the clear blue sky.
Soon it disappears into the dark void of space and the crowd disperses, excited and thrilled ar another successful launch, heading home to wait in anticipation of yet another moon landing.
Okay, Houston, we’ve had a problem here.
It's 55 hours 55 minutes and 4 seconds into the flight.
Mission Control hears a strange crackle in the otherwise quiet radio stream.
Suddenly the crew reports a pretty large bang associated with the Caution and Warning here.
Less than an hour after the crew heard the bang, Flight Director Kranz instructed his team that the new mission plan involved abandoning the Moon landing, looping around the Moon and getting the crew home safely as quickly as possible.
Soon the world hears the news and waits and worries.
NASA Plans The Return
With multiple failures and little time NASA engineers go to work to figure out how to get the Apollo 13 crew safely back home.
Undaunted they work under extreme stress to solve each problem as it arises. Meanwhile, the crew suffers through cold and disappointment as the loop around the moon and say farewell to their planned landing site.
The lack of power and oxygen force the crew to drastic measures to ensure their survival on the return trip to earth.
Faced with cold and darkness the crew rallies to support each other until they can once again walk on earth.
On April 17, tragedy turned to triumph as the Apollo 13 astronauts touched down safely in the Pacific Ocean.
Relive The Adventure
Relive the adventure and get your own 1/72 scale model of the Saturn 1B with Apollo capsule here: Saturn/Apollo Model
This year, Apollo 13 Captain James Lovell was inducted as a Living Legend of Aviation. The Legends also bestowed upon him the second Jeff Bezos Freedom's Wings Award, honoring his work in advancing the principles of freedom.
Watch the award ceremony here:
Until Next Time
Until next time keep your wings straight and level Hersch!