Apollo 13 at 50: How NASA turned near disaster at the moon into a 'successful failure' in space

Apr 11, 2020
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In July 1969 I was aboard a MAC flight (Northwest Orient), flying from Hawaii via Tokyo to Saigon. All of the passengers were military troops enroute to their tour of duty in the unknown fog of the Vietnam war. After refueling our 707 aircraft at Wake Island, high again over the Pacific, the pilot announced, “Gentlemen, we have landed a man on the moon!” The aircraft erupted with applause, cheers, and whistles. A few moments later complete silence, as if the irony of our final destination struck our collective consciousness.