Apollo 13 Facts: The Historic Mission That Never Made It to the Moon

It's been 48 years since three NASA astronauts blasted off into space in the hopes of landing on the Fra Mauro region of the moon. The Apollo 13 mission began April 11, 1970 and ended up becoming one of the most famous NASA missions in history. 

Astronauts James "Jim" Lovell, John "Jack" Swigert and Fred Haise began the mission normally. The first two days of the mission actually went so smoothly that another astronaut in mission control, Joe Kerwin, told Lovell, "Spacecraft is in real good shape as far as we're concerned, Jim. We're bored to tears down here."

Shortly after, there was an explosion on board that forced the men to spend the duration of their flight in the lunar module that was originally meant to carry the men down to the moon. During the remaining days, the men spent their time in the lunar module and powered down their modules to conserve power and resources. 

After life-saving efforts from both mission control and the crew on board, the men were on their way home from their mission to space on April 17. They crash-landed in the Pacific Ocean after more than 140 hours in space.

Seven facts about the Apollo 13 mission:

James "Jim" Lovell, Spacecraft Commander, makes an appearance in the film Apollo 13 about the mission. 

The famous quote, "Houston, we have a problem," from the Apollo 13 is actually incorrect. Both astronauts Swigert and Lovell actually said, "Houston, we’ve had a problem here," according to NASA transcripts.

Ken Mattingly was the command module pilot but was replaced just days before the mission due to fears that he might have contracted the German Measles. He was replaced by Jack Swigert. 

The command module from the mission is part of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum's collection, though it's not currently on display.

Apollo 14 was the mission that finally made it to the Fra Mauro part of the moon.

Jim Lovell and Fred Haise were the two astronauts expected to land on the moon. 

Jim Lovell was also part of Apollo 8 and was one of the first people ever to see the far side of the moon, according to NASA.

apollo 13 crew James "Jim" Lovell, John "Jack" Swigert and Fred W. Haise the Apollo 13 mission astronauts for NASA. NASA