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Apollo 13 Heroes Reunite With Spacecraft In Kansas
04/19/2010

On the 40th anniversary of their miraculous return to Earth, the surviving astronauts of the Apollo 13 and several mission controllers reunited with their old spacecraft at the Kansas Cosmosphere.

"It looks familiar," said Apollo 13 astronaut Fred Haise. "It looks pretty beat up though."

Haise was joined by Apollo 13 Captain Jim Lovell as they both peered through the window of the command module at the Cosmosphere. It was the first time Haise had seen the ship since he climbed out of it on April 17, 1970.

The Apollo 13 mission was to be the third to land on the moon. An explosion knocked crippled their oxygen and electricity supplies.

Mission controllers in Houston were able to figure out a way to rig the craft to get them back home, turning a failed mission into one of NASA's greatest triumphs.

"I think the lesson we learned is you never give up," said Lovell.

Lovell has been making headlines for his criticism of President Obama's plans to end manned space flight.

Earlier this week, Obama responded by saying he wants to put an astronaut in Mars' orbit in the next 30 years.

In Hutchinson, Lovell said Obama's plan has no specifics and he doesn't understand how NASA will be able to develop the technology to send a man to Mars with future manned spaceflights now suspended.

"I think the Russians have finally won the space race," said Lovell.

Lovell worries Obama's plans will cripple the space program and leave future astronauts starring at the stars instead of reaching for them.

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