Lunar and Planetary Institute

Apollo 13 Mission

Apollo 13 Mission Patch

Mission OverviewNavigation arrow
This mission was planned as a precision lunar landing in the Fra Mauro highlands with the primary objectives of exploring the Moon, surveying and sampling the Imbrium Basin, deploying and activating the Apollo Lunar Surface Experiments Package (ALSEP), further developing the capability to work in the lunar environment, and photographing candidate exploration sites.

Apollo 13 image of the Moon's surface

Mission PhotographyNavigation arrow
The photographic objectives of Apollo 13 were to obtain vertical and oblique stereo strips of lunar nearside and farside regions of scientific interest, to obtain photographs of the lunar and command service modules, and to record mission operational activities, and to photograph “targets of opportunity,” i.e., scientifically interesting sites and potential Apollo landing sites as time and circumstances permitted. In addition, a small series of Earth photographs was taken at the beginning of the mission.

Passive Seismic Experiment Equipment

Science Experiments Navigation arrow
In spite of the Apollo 13 accident, some of the scientific investigations planned for the mission were carried out.

Apollo 13 Return
The Emergency Return Navigation arrow
During the emergency, the astronauts were unaware of all the attention being given their situtation. They were focused entirely on the task of getting their crippled spaccraft home. Once safely back on earth, however, it didn't take long to get the full picture. The image shows commmander Jim Lovell reading one of the many news stories about the mission.