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Space History Photo: Apollo 13 Recovery Area

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Navy swimmers assist the Apollo 13 crew after splashdown on Apr. 17, 1970. (Image credit: NASA.)

In this historical photo from the U.S. space agency, Astronaut John L. Swigert Jr., command module pilot, is lifted aboard a helicopter in a Billy Pugh helicopter rescue net while astronaut James A. Lovell Jr., commander, awaits his turn. Astronaut Fred W. Haise, Jr., lunar module pilot, is already aboard the helicopter.

In the life raft with Lovell, and in the water are several U.S. Navy underwater demolition team swimmers, who assisted in the recovery operations. The crew was taken to the U.S.S. Iwo Jima, prime recovery ship, several minutes after the Apollo 13 spacecraft splashed down at 12:01:44 pm CST on April 17, 1970.

Each weekday, SPACE.com looks back at the history of spaceflight through photos (archive).

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The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is the U.S. government agency in charge of the civilian space program as well as aeronautics and aerospace research. Founded in 1958, NASA is a civilian space agency aimed at exploring the universe with space telescopes,  satellites, robotic spacecraft, astronauts and more. The space agency has 10 major centers based across the U.S. and launches robotic and crewed missions from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral Florida. It's astronaut corps is based at the Johnson Space Center in Houston. To follow NASA's latest mission, follow the space agency on Twitter or any other social channel, of visit: nasa.gov