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Shoot For the Moon: A Conversation With Apollo 13 Commander Jim Lovell

US President Richard Nixon meets the Apollo 13 astronauts in Honolulu, Hawaii, after their safe return to Earth. From left to right (front row) Fred Haise, Jim Lovell, Richard Nixon and Jack Swigert.
US President Richard Nixon meets the Apollo 13 astronauts in Honolulu, Hawaii, after their safe return to Earth. From left to right (front row) Fred Haise, Jim Lovell, Richard Nixon and Jack Swigert.

This weekend will mark the 50th anniversary of the “ most successful” failure in NASA’s history.

In 1970, the Apollo 13 spacecraft launched from the Kennedy Space Center. It captured the world’s attention as America’s third attempt to get to the moon. But after only two days, an explosion crippled the spacecraft and changed its mission: Get home safely.

The three astronauts onboard, and dozens of flight controllers on Earth, labored for days to solve one challenge after another.

Captain Jim Lovell commanded that mission—after a series of historical firsts with his flights on Gemini 7, Gemini 12, and Apollo 8.

Guest host Todd Zwillich spoke to the captain about that historic flight.

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