April 14, 1970: Apollo 13 (BBC News)

An explosion on board Apollo 13 caused one of the most critical situations in American space history and put the lives of the three astronauts on board in severe jeopardy.
The explosion happened in the fuel cells of the spacecraft’s service module approximately 56 hours after lift-off.  This resulted in the loss of Apollo 13’s main power supply which meant oxygen and water reserves were critically low.


The safety of the three astronauts, Captain James Lovell, Jack Swigert and Fred Haise, was uncertain although NASA hoped emergency contingency plans would ensure their safe return.



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