Almost Full Moon

Space Mission
Apollo 13, April 1970


Photo Description
Vintage chromogenic print on a fiber-based Kodak paper, 20.2 x 25.4 cm. ‘A Kodak Paper’ watermarks on verso, n umbered NASA AS13-60-8703 in red in top margin


‘Even though though the crew [of Apollo 13] remained calm, they also knew they were in serious trouble as Mission Control worked frantically to come up with life-saving answers, as recalled Gene Kranz: “By the end of the second day, this crew is two hundred thousand miles from Earth. They are fifty thousand miles from the surface of the Moon, and entering a phase of the mission called entering the lunar sphere of influence. This is where we cross over from the boundary of the Earth’s gravity to the lunar gravity. For a very short period of time – about four hours – you have two mission abort options. One goes around the front side of the Moon, the other goes completely around the Moon. But you have got to make up your mind quick, because for these options, time is running out.”’
_Colin Burgess, The Greatest Adventure, p.202

[NASA description] This outstanding view of a near full moon was photographed from the Apollo 13 spacecraft during its trans-Earth journey homeward. Though the explosion of the oxygen tank in the Service Module (SM) forced the cancellation of the scheduled lunar landing, Apollo 13 made a pass around the moon prior to returning to Earth. Some of the conspicuous lunar features include the Sea of Crisis, the Sea of Fertility, the Sea of Tranquility, the Sea of Serenity, the Sea of Nectar, the Sea of Vapors, the Border Sea, Smyth’s Sea, the crater Langrenus, and the crater Tsiolkovsky.