Minute 133: A Successful Failure

August 12, 2020

Jim Lovell looks up from the life raft outside the returned Odyssey spacecraft.

Later, on the deck of the Iwo Jima, Lovell, Haise, and Swigert exit the helicopter, wearing blue flight suits and sporting Iwo Jima caps.

Marilyn and the Lovell family are elated seeing the crew on television.

The crew of the Iwo Jima applauds. Swigert and Haise wave at the crew.

Lovell narrates: “Our mission was called a successful failure, in that we returned safely, but never made it to the Moon.”

A “Welcome Back” sign appears on the Mission Control monitor, as Mission Control applauds.

The crew of Apollo 13 walks past a cheering Iwo Jima crew.

Lovell narrates: “In the following months, it was determined that a damaged coil built inside the oxygen tank sparked during our cryo stir and caused the explosion that crippled the Odyssey. It was a minor defect that occurred two years before I was even named the flight’s commander. Fred Haise was going back to the Moon on Apollo 18, but his mission was canceled because of the budget cuts, he never flew in space again. Nor did Jack Swigert. Who left the astronaut corps and was elected to Congress from the state of Colorado.”



Tom Hanks as Jim Lovell

Bill Paxton as Fred Haise

Kevin Bacon as Jack Swigert

Kathleen Quinlan as Marilyn Lovell

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