Successful failure – "Houston, we have a problem"


Today I completed the long pending task of watching the Apollo 13 movie.

Oh! what a movie! A must watch. Movie was based on Apollo 13 – a ill-fated lunar mission in 1970.

Apollo 13 launched on April 11, 1970 at 13:13 CST. Two days after the launch, an electrical fault caused an explosion in a Service Module oxygen tank. The explosion also damaged the other oxygen tank or its plumbing, resulting in a complete loss of the 2 oxygen tanks, as well as electrical power. The command module remained fully functional on its own batteries and oxygen tank – but they were sufficient only for the last hours of the mission during re-entry and landing. The crew shut down the Command Module and used the Lunar Module as a "lifeboat" for the return to earth. Despite great hardship caused by severely limited power, cabin heat, and potable water, the crew successfully returned to Earth and the mission eventually became known as a "successful failure", meaning that, although the crew failed to meet their objective, they had survived the trip and returned to Earth.

A radio transmission from Lovell during the mission, "Houston, we’ve had a problem", spawned the misquoted phrase in popular culture, "Houston, we have a problem".


1 Response so far »

  1. 1

    Mahadevan said,

    yesterday bought the book.
    also read my post on this.

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