Minute 072: So Long, Earth

February 05, 2019

Swigert and Haise look at Lovell, realizing he’s already seen the Moon. James Horner’s theme plays on a trumpet.

The distant Earth hangs in space.  Apollo 13, surrounded  by torn Kapton foil and debris, glides above the lunar surface.

“Aquarius, this is Houston,” says Capcom. “Expect loss of signal in approximately ten seconds.”

“So long, Earth, “says Swigert. “Catch you on the flip side.”

Lovell looks at his watch as the ship passes into the shadow of the Moon.

Back in the visitors’ gallery of Mission Control, all networks are showing coverage of Apollo 13. A videotaped press conference with Jack Swigert is being played on one of the monitors.

“And when you go into the shadow of the Moon,” says Swigert, “and the Moon is between you and the Sun, then you see stars that are more brilliant than the clearest nights here on Earth.”

Gene Kranz faces away from the monitors in the gallery.

“And then you pass into the lunar sunrise,” continues Swigert. “over the lunar surface, and, uh, that must be an awe inspiring sight. I can’t wait to see it myself.”

Frank Reynolds of ABC News appears in a contemporary video clip.

“The problem now is,” says Reynolds, “not so much a question of inadequate oxygen supply, but it is the rate of consumption of water, which is vitally  needed for the cooling operations of the electronic systems…”

Marilyn listens to static on her NASA squawk box in her bedroom.

In the LM, Fred Haise holds a camera that he would have used on the lunar surface.



Ed Harris as Gene Kranz
Tom Hanks as Jim Lovell
Kathleen Quinlan as Marilyn Lovell
Kevin Bacon as Jack Swigert
Bill Paxton as Fred Haise
Frank Reynolds as Himself

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