The ill-fated Apollo 13 missions launched on this day, April 11th, 47 years ago today in the year 1970. The mission was famously portrayed in the 1995 film Apollo 13 which, while somewhat inaccurate on many elements, and slightly altered for the sake of drama, still told the story well enough for most people to be well aware of it.
The mission would go pretty much flawlessly for the first 2 days, nearly 56 hours total, before a standard protocol of stirring the oxygen tanks; thanks to damage that was undiscovered in the number 2 Oxygen tank, a spark was generated which caused the infamous explosion. The crew would have to spend the next 4 days simply trying to stay alive, given the problem of 3 people trying to survive in the Lunar Module, a machine really designed for 2 people to stay on the Moon. That’s phrasing the story of Apollo 13 almost too simply, in some ways, but for the sake of brevity it works.
In any case, this article isn’t about the mission failure but the launch, which was damn near flawless – the only issue was the failure of the center engine on the second stage – this, of course, wasn’t anything the Saturn V couldn’t compensate for.
Here I’ve decided to share the CBS feed of the launch – Apollo 13 doesn’t have the best launch footage, but it works.
Also provided here is some alternate footage and audio – this is more “raw” footage, but also has the issue of rolling… often.. so, it’s better for its audio than it is for it’s video in many ways.