06/12/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Apollo 13 Astronauts Describe EXPLOSION On Board The Nightmare Mission To The Moon (VIDEO)

April 11 marked the fortieth anniversary of Apollo 13, the "nightmare" mission to the moon that was aborted due to the rupture of an oxygen tank.

In honor of the mission's anniversary, a Dateline story that aired Sunday evening investigated the "real people" of Apollo 13, probing the personalities, emotions, and challenges of the individuals connected to the fateful journey to space.

The hour-long special featured interviews by Matt Lauer with Apollo 13 astronauts Jim Lovell and Fred Haise, Mission Control Director Gene Kranz, and the spouses of the astronauts on board the craft.

The segment below, one of four in the hour-long feature, chronicles in chilling detail the crew and command center's reaction to the explosion of the space shuttle's oxygen tank--and John. L. Swigert's famous transmission: "Houston, we've had a problem."

"I heard a loud bang and a metallic sound," said one astronaut. "I knew right away it was not a normal circumstance."

"As soon as we received this call, our data just went wild," Kranz recalls. "It was screwy. And for 60 seconds, it was literally chaos in this room."

See all four parts of the Dateline report here.


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