Apollo 13


Apollo 13

Written by 
Based on "Lost Moon" by Jim Lovell, Jeffrey Kluger

Director Ron Howard
Tom Hanks, Kevin Bacon, Bill Paxton, Gary Sinise, Ed Harris

Category    Leadership,Teams& Coaching      


Universal Pictures



Language English
140 min

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The true life story of the astronauts aboard the ill-fated Apollo 13. Apollo 13 was the third manned lunar-landing mission, part of Project Apollo under NASA in the United States. It launched on April 11, 1970. Two days after the launch, the Apollo spacecraft was crippled by an explosion, caused by a fault in an oxygen tank. The explosion damaged the Service Module, resulting in a loss of oxygen and electrical power. The crew used the Lunar Module as a “lifeboat” in space. The command module remained fully functional on its internal batteries, but they were needed for re-entry and landing so it was shut down shortly after the accident.

During the crisis, the astronauts and ground personnel in Ron Howard's space opera provide levelheaded, creative leadership. Gene Kranz (Ed Harris), in charge of flight operations in Houston, and Jim Lovell (Tom Hanks), commander of the 1970 Apollo lunar mission, share leadership duties when there is an explosion on Lovell's craft. These are not guys with big dreams and inspirational personalities; they are guys with an urgent problem that can be solved only through teamwork, ingenuity, and clear headed direction. They supply these attributes in spades. Kranz drives his team of wired, bleary-eyed technicians to ever greater lengths of inventiveness ('I suggest you gentlemen invent a way to put a square peg in a round hole, rapidly'), and Lovell oversees the implementation of the ground crew's ideas by men under the most horrific stress imaginable. Despite great hardship caused by severe constraints on power, cabin heat, and potable water, the crew successfully return to Earth. The mission was thus called a 'Successful Failure'. Since then the signature line 'failure is not an option' has worked its way into at least half the mission statements in many companies around the world.

Contributed by: Olympia Fantis