On April 11, 1970, NASA astronaut Fred Haise prepared to follow in the footsteps of Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin and walk on the lunar surface.
When Apollo 13 launched on a Saturn in the sunny Florida sky V rocket on Saturday night, the mission marks the third moon landing of NASA. Haise, the pilot of the lunar module of the mission, was to be the sixth person to walk on the lunar surface just after the mission commander of Apollo 13, Jim Lovell, who would be the fifth. About 200,000 miles from Earth, an oxygen tank exploded in the service module of the spaceship. The mission's mission quickly shifted from exploration to survival.
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"After the explosion, when I drifted back to the mothership, the command module, I was in the Lunar Module and made a TV -Show. Actually, I was just finished and looked at the panel and found that we had lost the oxygen tank 2, "he explained. "To be honest, I was immediately sick with disappointment and knew we had lost the landing mission."
"[I] did not consider it life-threatening … we had a second tank, it seemed to be intact," added Haise, who spoke at a briefing for Christie's auction: "One giant step: space exploration celebrates 50 years after Apollo 11. "
However, the oxygen tank 1 was damaged.
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20 minutes or more, as the realization became clear that there was a leak, a slow leak, but also a leak in that tank, "Haise said. "Only then did we think it was life threatening. We were very busy with the people in Mission Control, trying various isolators and switches to isolate the leak, and that took almost an hour. At about this time, we realized that we had run out of ideas and we. "
At this point, Haise and Lovell left their colleague, Jack Swigert, in the command module and tried to turn on the lunar module. "We knew we would need that, at least for the communications, the environmental systems and the drive, probably to get us home," he said. "It gave people time to work on the situation we had in hand and to develop an alternative plan."
In collaboration with Mission Control, the astronauts have mastered numerous challenges. As the carbon dioxide in the lunar module had reached a dangerous level, the crew had to adjust lithium hydroxide canisters, which were designed for the work of command modules in the lunar module. A flock of debris from the explosion also made navigation difficult. The dramatic events can be seen in the Hollywood hit "Apollo 13", in which Haise is portrayed by the late actor Bill Paxton.
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Haise, Lovell and Swigert suffered from lack of sleep, food and water in the cold spacecraft and felt extremely uncomfortable when they saw Apollo 13 returned to earth.
However, Haise told Fox News that he was always confident that the mission would make it home. "There was never a point where we did not arrive where we needed it – to find out something else, and it was not finished," he explained. "We never came to the edge of the cliff."
When the world watched with bated breath, Apollo 13 reentered Earth's atmosphere on April 17 and splashed into the South Pacific. "When you realize you've finally made it, it's probably when you look out the window and see the big head slides," he said. "Of course we were very happy to return to this point. It had been very miserable anyway in the last three and a half days, and it got very cold and damp in the spacecraft. "
BUZZ ALDRIN, OTHERS NEGLECT APOLLOS INNER HISTORY IN RARE, NEWLY PUBLISHED INTERVIEWS  The Apollo 13 spacecraft crashes on April 17, 1970, shortly before the impact on the South Pacific after its demolished Lunar Landing mission. (Photo by Space Frontiers / Getty Images) “/>