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Apollo 13 Service Module
IMAGE ABOVE: With the Service Module badly damaged—which included propulsion and life support—Apollo 13 needed new untried procedures to bring the crew home alive.
To the public, moon landings began to look routine. Even easy. They weren’t.

Apollo 12 followed the first moon landing, but people didn’t pay much attention. Worse, the camera on the lunar surface failed so there was no live TV to watch astronauts Pete Conrad and Al Bean stroll on the lunar surface.

Apollo 13 looked to be more of the same—another spectacular feat generating only yawns from a bored public. Instead, something went terribly wrong and the public watched with anxious intensity.