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Failure was not an option: NASA's Apollo 13 mission of survival in pictures

On April 11, 1970, NASA launched three Apollo 13 astronauts to land on the moon. But disaster struck on the way to the moon, and the lunar landing was scrapped. See Apollo 13's epic mission of survival from start to finish in this photo gallery.

Related: How Apollo 13's dangerous survival mission worked (infographic)

Apollo 13 crew

(Image credit: NASA)

The crew of NASA's Apollo 13 lunar landing mission, poses for a group photo shortly before the mission launched in April 1970. From left to right: Apollo 13 Cmdr. Jim Lovell, command module pilot Jack Swigert, and lunar module pilot Fred Haise.

Lunar training

(Image credit: NASA)

As part of training exercises at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, astronaut Jim Lovell, commander of the Apollo 13 lunar landing mission, simulates an extravehicular activity on the lunar surface — also known as a "moonwalk" — while inside the Flight Crew Training Building. Lovell is holding an Apollo Lunar Hand Tool in his left hand and is wearing an Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) spacesuit. In front of Lovell is a gnomon (a sundial-like tool on a tripod), and behind him to the right is a tool carrier.

Getting ready for the moon

(Image credit: NASA)

Apollo 13 lunar module pilot Fred Haise completes lunar surface training exercises inside the Kennedy Space Center while preparing for extravehicular activities on the moon. Haise is wearing an Extravehicular Mobility Unit as he carries the Solar Wind Composition Experiment, which consists of an aluminum foil sheet deployed on a pole facing the sun.

Heavy lifting

(Image credit: NASA)

On Jan. 19, 1970, Apollo 13 lunar module pilot Fred Haise practices his moonwalking skills inside the Manned Spacecraft Center (now known as the Johnson Space Center) in Houston. Haise is shown here with a version of the Apollo Lunar Surface Experiments Package as he walks attached to the "Six Degrees of Freedom" simulator. 

Lying down on the job?

(Image credit: NASA)

While seemingly resting, astronaut Jack Swigert, command module pilot for the Apollo 13 mission, prepares for the ensuing launch in the suiting room at NASA's Kennedy Space Center. Swigert replaced astronaut Ken Mattingly on the Apollo 13 crew when it was discovered that Mattingly had been exposed to the measles. (Mattingly later flew on the Apollo 16 mission instead.)

Landing practice with a "flying bedstead"

(Image credit: NASA)

A test flight of the Lunar Landing Training Vehicle (LLTV) ends as astronaut Jim Lovell lands on a runaway at Ellington Air Force Base near Houston. Nicknamed the "flying bedstead," the LLTV allowed astronauts to master the intricacies of landing on the moon by simulating the lunar module's performance. Lovell would later land the Apollo 13 lunar module in the highlands just north of Fra Mauro on the moon. 

Water egress training

(Image credit: NASA)

The Apollo 13 lunar landing mission prime crew members Jim Lovell (left), Fred Haise (right) and Ken Mattingly (behind Haise) prepare for water egress training inside Building 260 at the Manned Spacecraft Center in Houston. Mattingly, who was originally slated to fly on the Apollo 13 mission, was replaced by his backup crewmember, astronaut Jack Swigert, because he had been exposed to measles before the launch. 

Underwater

(Image credit: NASA)

In a water tank inside the Manned Spacecraft Center in Building 260, astronaut Ken Mattingly, the original command module pilot of Apollo 13, completes a water egress training exercise.

Training in Hawaii

NASA (Image credit: NASA)

During a December 1969 simulation, astronaut Jim Lovell, commander of the upcoming Apollo 13 lunar landing mission, practices with a scoop from the Apollo Lunar Hand Tools. The lunar surface traverse exercise took place at the Kapoho, Hawaii training site. 

Practice for the day

(Image credit: NASA)

Two crewmembers of NASA's Apollo 13 lunar landing mission practice using tools from the Apollo Lunar Hand Tools and a gnomon. Astronauts Jim Lovell (left) and Fred Haise are pictured carrying cameras and communications equipment during the simulation.

EVA walkthrough

(Image credit: NASA)

At NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, Apollo 13 astronaut Jim Lovell participates in a simulation of the extravehicular activity, or "moonwalk" timeline. Lovell moves carrying two sub-package mockups of the Apollo Lunar Surface Experiments Package. In the background to the left is Apollo 13 astronaut Fred Haise.

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