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Daily Picture: Mission Apollo 13

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Wed Feb 18, 2009 5:18 pm
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(NASA) – John L. “Jack” Swigert was one of three astronauts aboard the ill-fated Apollo 13 mission, which launched on April 11, 1970. Originally part of the backup crew, he was assigned to the mission just days before launch, replacing astronaut Ken Mattingly because the prime crew had been exposed to German Measles, or Rubella. Mattingly alone had no immunity to the disease, and NASA did not want to risk the possibility of him falling ill during the mission.

The mission was the third lunar landing attempt, but was aborted after the rupture of an oxygen tank on the spacecraft’s service module. Swigert, along with fellow astronauts Jim Lovell and Fred Haise, returned safely to Earth on April 17 after nearly 6 days. The crew received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1970.

The statue is on permanent display at the National Statuary Hall Collection in the United States Capitol, which is comprised of statues donated by individual states to honor persons notable in their history.

http://www.nasa.gov/images/content/313840main_image_1286_800-600.jpg

Image Credit: Jim Wilson (Used by permission)

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