13 Minutes to the Moon – Apollo 13



For the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11 landing on the moon, the BBC World Service produced an excellent podcast called 13 Minutes to the Moon, based on interviews and recordings from the people who were there including Michael CollinsJim Lovell and Poppy Northcutt who was the first woman to work as an engineer in an operational support role in NASA’s Mission Control.

To commemorate the amazing story of Apollo 13, there’s now a second season of programmes which reports on the events as they unfolded. Using both new interviews, archive material and recordings from the time, the episodes tell the story of what happened 200,000 miles from Earth when an oxygen tank exploded in the command module, Odyssey, leaving the spacecraft critically damaged. The interviews with the people who were there are just incredible, including Jim Lovell, his wife Marilyn, Fred Haise, Ken Mattingly and the team in Mission Control. Sadly the third member of the crew, Jack Swigert died in 1982.

As an aside, I was very surprised to discover that the film Apollo 13 is 25 years old now. I watched it recently and it holds up well – the launch sequence is phenomenal.

Photo credit: NASA. Scans by NASA and Ed Hengeveld.


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