Apollo 13: Is It Really Successful Failure?

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Many astronauts seem to like the Apollo 13 movie, but being technically minded folk they also enjoy pointing out what actually happened during that so-called “successful failure” that landed safely on this day in 1970. Thomas “Ken” Mattingly was supposed to be on that crew, but was yanked at the last minute because he was exposed to the German measles. The movie shows him wallowing on the couch with a can of beer before hearing of an oxygen tank explosion on board. He then spends most of the movie stuck in a simulator, helping to save the three men on board the spacecraft. Real life wasn’t quite the same as the movie portrayed, the real Mattingly said in a 2001 interview with NASA. For one thing, Mattingly had no assigned role in the rescue
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