Thirteen An “exciting” minute-by-minute account of the Apollo 13 flight based on mission control transcripts from Houston (The New York Times).
On the evening of April 13, 1970, the three astronauts aboard Apollo 13 were just hours from the third lunar landing in history. But as they soared through space, two hundred thousand miles from earth, an explosion badly damaged their spacecraft. With compromised engines and failing life-support systems, the crew was in incomparably grave danger. Faced with below-freezing temperatures, a seriously ill crew member, and a dwindling water supply, a safe return seemed unlikely.
Thirteen is the shocking, miraculous, and entirely true story of how the astronauts and ground crew guided Apollo 13 to a safe landing on earth. Expanding on dispatches written for the New Yorker, Henry S. F. Cooper Jr. brings readers unparalleled detail on the moment-by-moment developments of one of NASA’s most dramatic missions.
“Cooper’s Thirteen is exciting. . . . Close to what may be an authentic poetry of our period.” —The New York Times
“Make no mistake about it. Thirteen tells a marvelous story. A lot of readers will take the book at a single gulp, unable to stop reading.” —The Washington Post
“[An] impressive piece of reportorial research . . . Compelling reading.” —Chicago Tribune
Henry S. F. Cooper Jr. (1933–2016) was the author of eight books about NASA and space exploration, including Thirteen: The Apollo Flight That Failed. After graduating from Yale, he spent thirty-five years covering the space program as a staff writer for the New Yorker. A descendant of writer and environmentalist James Fenimore Cooper, he fought to preserve Otsego Lake, also known as Glimmerglass, a prominent feature in his ancestor’s writing. Cooper retired in Cooperstown, New York, bordering the lake he and his ancestor had both protected.