Apollo 13 Anniversary Celebration

Celebrate the anniversary of the Apollo 13 mission with a full day of lunar experiences on April 17, the 51st anniversary of the crew’s safe return to Earth, splashdown day.

Experience two livestreamed panel discussions with Apollo-era legends and current NASA experts, see the new Apollo 13 sculpture, the flown Apollo 17 command module, the new spring exhibit, and more that tells the story of historic feats of the past and future of space exploration. 

About the panels
Hear about the unique experiences and lessons learned during “Apollo 13 Mission Memories,” a panel discussion including Fred Haise, Jim Lovell, Gerry Griffin, Gene Kranz, and Milton Windler. This panel will be held from 12 p.m. to 12:45 p.m.

Learn how the Apollo era is paving the way for future missions to the Moon during the “Apollo to Artemis” panel discussion. This panel will be held from 1 p.m. to 1:45 p.m. The panelists include NASA astronauts Kjell Lindgren and Steve Bowen and NASA's first female chief flight director Holly Ridings.

As part of the center’s health and safety measures, the panel discussions will be livestreamed in-center and viewed in Astronaut Gallery.

About the mission
It was on April 17, 1970, the crew of Apollo 13 safely landed after a near tragedy in space. The Apollo 13 mission was to be the first mission to land in the lunar highlands and marked the third crewed mission to land on the Moon. However, the lunar landing was aborted after an oxygen tank in the service module failed two days into the mission. With innovative thinking, the support team in Mission Control engineered a solution to return the crew home safely. The Apollo 13 mission symbolizes the power of teamwork and how creative problem-solving drives innovation.

More to explore
Go on an Apollo 13 journey at Rocket Park. Beneath the command module of the massive Saturn V rocket, see our exhibit "Apollo 13: Failure is Not an Option," presented by JSC Federal Credit Union. Discover historic Apollo 13 artifacts including a mission tool kit and lunar checklist, a replicate of the Lunar Module plaque, and the pressure suit worn by astronaut Fred Haise.

Alongside the Apollo 13 exhibit, see our newly installed, one-of-a-kind Apollo 13 sculpture of the crew. The seven-foot bronze statue, by George and Mark Lundeen and Joey Bainer, depicts the safe return of Apollo 13 astronauts, Jim Lovell, Jack Swigert and Fred Haise. The sculpture’s placement at Space Center Houston serves to honor both the Apollo 13 astronauts and the flight controllers in Mission Control at NASA Johnson Space Center, who worked around the clock for more than five days to ensure the crew’s survival and safe return. The sculpture portrays the moment Lovell, Swigert and Haise stepped down from the recovery helicopter onto the USS Iwo Jima, a United States Navy assault ship. 

Open now through May 2, the center’s new spring exhibit, “Apollo: When We Went to the Moon,” honors the legacy of the Apollo-era through the eyes of the engineers and astronauts who lived through it. This touring exhibit co-produced by U.S. Space & Rocket Center and Flying Fish explores the triumphs of human space exploration from the beginning of the heated space race to the collaborative spirit of the International Space Station, and on to the next giant leap, a return to the Moon. Snap a selfie atop a lunar rover and imagine what it must have felt like to drive on the Moon. Observe intricate satellite, spacecraft, and rocket models, including Sputnik, Shuttle-Mir, and more.

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