Lunar and Planetary Institute






Apollo 13 Mission


Mission Photography Overview

The camera equipment carried by Apollo 13 consisted of two 70-mm Hasselblad EL cameras, two 70-mm Hasselblad data cameras, two 16-millimeter Maurer data-acquisition cameras (DAC), one 35-millimeter lunar surface close-up stereoscopic camera and one Hycon topographic camera.

Cameras and Accessories
The camera equipment carried by Apollo 13 consisted of two 70-mm Hasselblad EL cameras, two 70-mm Hasselblad data cameras, two 16-millimeter Maurer data-acquisition cameras (DAC), one 35-millimeter lunar surface close-up stereoscopic camera and one Hycon topographic camera. However, camera use was limited to the two 70-millimeter Hasselblad EL cameras and the 16-millimeter DACs. The intervals and times of photography were recorded by the crew and were not tied to the onboard data systems.

Orbital Photography

While the Apollo 13 was unable to fulfill its mission of a lunar landing, which of course denied them the opportunity for surface photography, Apollo 13 was able to loop around the farside of the Moon once and in doing so was able to acquire some orbital photography of interest. The orbital and operational photographs obtained during the mission ranged from good to poor in quality, resolution, and contrast. Only 584 frames of 70-mm photography and 22,073 frames of 16-millimeter photography were obtained.

Tsiolkovsky Crater
Excellent view of the lunar farside showing the crater Tsiolkovsky, as photographed by the crew of the Apollo 13 mission during lunar pass. The view is looking southeast toward the lunar horizon.
Tsiolkovsky Crater
   
Photography fo the Moon
This view of a near full Moon was photographed from the Apollo 13 spacecraft during its transearth journey homeward. Though the explosion of the oxygen tank in the Service Module forced the cancellation of the scheduled lunar landing, Apollo 13 made a pass around the Moon prior to returning to Earth. Some of the conspicuous lunar features include the Sea of Crisis, the Sea of Fertility, the Sea of Vapors, the Border Sea, Smyth's Sea, the crater Langenus, and the crater Tsiolkovsky.
This view of a near full Moon was photographed from the Apollo 13 spacecraft during its transearth journey homeward.
   
Photography of the Earth
This image of Earth was taken from the Apollo 13 spacecraft during its journey home. The most visible land mass includes the southwestern United States and northwestern Mexico. The peninsula of Baja California is clearly seen. Most of the land area is under heavy cloud cover.
This image of Earth was taken from the Apollo 13 spacecraft during its journey home.

Press Release Photography

Summary

Because the mission was aborted and, as a result, not all photographic equipment could be used, most photographic objectives were unrealized, and only a limited amount of photographic data was obtained. The Earth photography from the beginning of the mission, some lunar surface photographs taken on the swing around the Moon, and some operational and damage assessment photographs were all that was accomplished. The orbital and operational photographs obtained during the Apollo 13 mission ranged from good to poor in quality, resolution, and contrast. Only 584 frames of 70-millimeter photography and 22,073 frames of 16-millimeter photography were obtained. Of these, there were only two magazines from which the photographs could be plotted but a few good low and medium oblique photographs were obtained.

Apollo Image Atlas