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The Apollo 13 Mission was the most infamous of the Apollo missions, remembered for the epic effort undertaken to save the lives of the three astronauts after a spacecraft malfunction. The mission was led by Jim Lovell, with Jack Swigert and Fred Haise as command and lunar module pilots. This was supposed to be the first lunar mission to focus on scientific achievements, with the astronauts having been given a brief introduction to geology by Caltech scientist Lee Silver and NASA scientist Farouk El-Baz, and extensive instructions as to what they should record once in space.

The mission would go awry on the third day. The astronauts had just done a televised tour of the lunar module before checking their air tanks due to a suspicious pressure reading. One of the oxygen tanks subsequently exploded. This damaged parts of the module and left the astronauts dangerously low on oxygen and battery power, so the astronauts were forced to abandon the moon landing. The subsequent hours were spent trying to figure out what the quickest and safest route home would be, with extensive and difficult calculations needed to solve the issue. The crew moved to the lunar module, which they used as a lifeboat despite the increasing dampness and cold. They would survive there for the next few days, navigating using the stars and landmarks on earth, before landing in the Pacific Ocean. On earth, the crew members and mission control staff became popular heroes, and Apollo 13 still occupies a special place in the global imagination.