Apollo 13 on April 13th

Here, from AP, is the actual recording 41 years ago today of Astronaut Jack Swigert and then (it seems) Commander James Lovell telling Houston we have a problem.

In the film, Tom Hanks as Lovell has the line.

This report is from the next day’s New York Times:

The Apollo 13 Astronauts, their lives threatened by a serious oxygen leak, were forced to evacuate their command ship late last night and use their intended moon-landing craft as a “lifeboat” for a fast return to the earth.

In cool and cryptic words, they were instructed by mission control here to use the attached lunar module’s rocket to power them back to an emergency splashdown in the Pacific Ocean at about noon on Friday.

There will be great risks and little margin for error or delay. …

Capt. James A. Lovell Jr. of the Navy, the commander, and his two civilian co-pilots, Fred W. Haise Jr. and John L. Swigert Jr., crowded into the two-man lunar module at about 11:40 P.M. Eastern standard time.

NewMexiKen attended the Washington, D.C., premiere of Ron Howard’s film Apollo 13. Astronauts Lovell and Haise were there with several of the other principals from NASA. (Astronaut Swigert, played by Kevin Bacon in the film, died in 1982, shortly after being elected to Congress from Colorado.)

The film was very well done. Late in the movie as suspense builds over whether the astronauts will survive and make it back to earth, I actually had to remind the person next to me: “Relax. It’ll be OK. They make it back. They’re here in the theater.”