Nugget of Knowledge: Apollo 13, we have a problem

The quote said on board Apollo 13 wasn't exactly like in the movie

Nugget of Knowledge

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – Houston, we have a problem.

Was that the right quote?

Not quite.

It came from Jim Lovell, commander of Apollo 13, during the third manned trip to the moon in April 1970.

An oxygen tank exploded in the Service Module. Astronaut and command model pilot Jack Swigert was on the radio to mission control in Houston at the time and said, “Hey, we’ve got a problem here.”

The astronaut talking to them back in Houston, Jack Lousma, said, “This is Houston. Say again, please?”

Lovell cut in and said, “Houston, we’ve had a problem.”

“We’ve had a main B bus undervolt.”

“Roger, main B undervolt. OK, standby 13. We’re looking at it.”

So where did Houston, we have a problem come from?

From the movie, Apollo 13 in which Tom Hanks, playing Lovell, says that line. The screenwriter wanted to make it a bit more dramatic. That’s the line we all remember, not the real one.

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