"The explosion of oxygen tank number two was the defining moment of Apollo 13, and it marked the start of America’s finest hours in spaceflight. Astronauts Jim Lovell, Jack Swigert and Fred Haise thought that having one extra liquid oxygen tank was enough, If one failed, the other would get them safely home. An explosion that would tear away piping from both tanks was not considered possible. Unfortunately, it happened exactly that way.
"I have painted the explosion in space with particles of liquid oxygen, plus vaporized tank, wiring and insulation materials streaming away from tank number two. I do not believe an explosive cloud forms in the vacuum of space as it does on earth because everything I saw move in space moved in a straight line. There was no dirt cloud as we landed on the moon, just small pieces speeding away radially from the rocket exhaust.
"This scene was created to celebrate the motion picture, Apollo 13, directed by Ron Howard and starring Tom Hanks, Kevin Bacon, Bill Paxton and Gary Sinise. The movie tells the remarkable and inspiring store of how astronauts in deep space, and engineers and scientists on planet earth, worked together to change a potentially fatal tragedy into a triumph of human skill and spirit." – Alan Bean
Each print has been hand-countersigned by astronauts Jim Lovell and Fred Haise; actors Tom Hanks, Kevin Bacon, Bill Paxton, and Gary Sinise; and director Ron Howard.