Just like in the movie, the survival of the real Apollo 13 astronauts depended on figuring out how to fit a square filter into a round hole. The key was duct tape.
No one would believe the story if it hadn't actually happened. The 1970 rescue of Apollo 13 captivated the nation and the film adaptation went on to win two Oscars(r). But how close to the truth was the film? Was "Houston, we have a problem," or "Failure is not an option," ever actually said? Did hostilities between the astronauts really exist? To reveal the truth, we put the big movie moments to the test. Firsthand accounts from astronauts and Mission Control staff involved in the rescue, as well as an interview with filmmaker Ron Howard, reveal the full story.
Access even more free Smithsonian Channel full episodes and documentaries online through participating TV providers.
Find out if your television provider carries Smithsonian Channel.
Don't panic! It's simple to upgrade to the latest version of one of these browsers:
Don't panic! To get the best possible experience on smithsonianchannel.com we recommend you upgrade your operating system.
For the best possible site experience, please use Chrome for Android.
Add username "SmithsonianChan" on Snapchat for fun and fascinating facts. We'll be sharing spontaneous photos and videos as inspiration strikes.