50 Years on – how Apollo 13's near disastrous mission is relevant today

When an oxygen tank blew during the 1970 Nasa moonshot, the successful rescue mission was thanks to Nasa organisation, not improvisation

Eighteen months ago, I was combing through the Apollo 11 mission logs, looking at the timelines and events for something unique that we might focus on to celebrate the 50th anniversary of humankind’s first landing on the moon. Last year, that idea became the BBC World Service podcast 13 Minutes to the Moon.

As the series drew to a close, it became clear that there was unfinished business. Some of the flight controllers who had been present for the Apollo 11 landing had also worked on another, arguably more dramatic, endeavour – the ill-fated flight of Apollo 13.

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