[narrating] Our mission was called "a successful failure," in that we returned safely but never made it to the Moon. In the following months, it was determined that a damaged coil built inside the oxygen tank sparked during our cryo stir and caused the explosion that crippled the Odyssey. It was a minor defect that occured two years before I was even named the flight's commander. Fred Haise was going back to the moon on Apollo 18, but his mission was cancelled because of budget cuts; he never flew in space again. Nor did Jack Swigert, who left the astronaut corps and was elected to Congress from the state of Colorado. But he died of cancer before he was able to take office. Ken Mattingly orbited the moon as Command Module Pilot of Apollo 16, and flew the Space Shuttle, having never gotten the measles. Gene Kranz retired as Director of Flight Operations just not long ago. And many other members of Mission Control have gone on to other things, but some are still there. As for me, the seven extraordinary days of Apollo 13 were my last in space. I watched other men walk on the Moon, and return safely, all from the confines of Mission Control and our house in Houston. I sometimes catch myself looking up at the Moon, remembering the changes of fortune in our long voyage, thinking of the thousands of people who worked to bring the three of us home. I look up at the Moon and wonder, when will we be going back, and who will that be?

Jim Lovell

We've never lost an American in space, we're sure as hell not gonna lose one on my watch! Failure is not an option.

Gene Kranz

Houston, we have a problem.

Jim Lovell

NASA Director: This could be the worst disaster NASA's ever faced.
Gene Kranz: With all due respect, sir, I believe this is gonna be our finest hour.

Congressman: Now Jim, people in my state keep asking why we're continuing to fund this program now that we've beaten the Russians to the Moon.
Jim Lovell: Imagine if Christopher Columbus had come back from the New World and no one returned in his footsteps.

Fred Haise, Sr.: I know why my numbers were wrong. I only figured it for two people.
Jack Swigert: Maybe I should just hold my breath.

Jack Swigert: Now wait a minute... all I did was stir those tanks...
Fred Haise, Sr.: What was that gauge reading before you hit the switch?
Jack Swigert: Hey, don't tell me how to fly the damned CM, all right? They brought me in here to do a job, they asked me to stir the damned tanks, and I stirred the tanks!
Fred Haise, Sr.: You didn't know what you were doing, do you?
Jim Lovell: Jack, quit kicking yourself in the ass.
Jack Swigert: This is NOT MY FAULT!
Jim Lovell: No one is saying it is. If I'm in the left-hand seat when the call comes up, I stir the tanks.
Jack Swigert: Yeah, well, tell HIM that.

Jim Lovell: Freddo, how long does it take to power up the LEM?
Fred Haise, Sr.: Three hours by the checklist.
Jim Lovell: We don't have that much time.

Fred Haise: It hurts when I urinate.
Jim Lovell: Well, you're not getting enough water.
Fred Haise: No, I'm drinkin' my rations, same as you... I think old Swigert gave me the clap. Been pissin' in my relief tube.
Jim Lovell: Well, that'd be a hot one at the debriefing for the flight surgeons... Another first for America's spacemen.

Ken Mattingly: 13, this is Houston, do you read?
Jim Lovell: Roger that, Ken. Are the flowers blooming in Houston?
Ken Mattingly: That's a negative, Jim. I do not have the measles.

Jim Lovell: Gentlemen, what are your intentions?
[Jack Swigert and Fred Haise turn around]
Jim Lovell: I'd like to go home.

Lunar module has just become a lifeboat.

Gene Kranz

FREE Movie Newsletter

Apollo 13 Quotes

Gentlemen, it's been a privilege flying with you.

Jim Lovell

It's just a little medical mutiny, Doc. I'm sure the boys are still with us. Let's cut them a little slack, okay?

Gene Kranz