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I Didn't Know That...

March 09, 2000

Q: What happened to the Apollo 13 lunar module after the astronauts returned to Earth?

A: When an explosion in the service module damaged systems and the power supply in the Apollo 13 spacecraft while it was on the way to the moon, the three astronauts were forced to make the rest of the round trip in the lunar module, which had its own power supply. When the three returned to the ground, the lunar module was left in a low orbit around Earth, according to NASA historian Roger Launius. The orbit decayed rapidly because of atmospheric drag, and the lunar module burned up in the atmosphere only a few weeks later, he said.

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