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Apollo 13 was a ship that tried to go to the Moon. Apollo 11 landed on the Moon first. Apollo 13 went to space 9 months after Apollo 11. It was the third ship to try and land on the Moon. Apollo 13 launched on April 11, 1970.

On the way to the Moon, there was an explosion. The explosion destroyed a lot of the spaceship. The part of the ship they were sat in ran out of oxygen. They had to go into the moon lander to survive. NASA had to work very hard to make the moon lander into a lifeboat.

The astronauts and NASA had to solve many problems to return to Earth. They had no power, no water and they had to fix parts of the ship to live. Apollo 13 returned to Earth on April 17, 1970. In 1995, a movie called Apollo 13 was made about the disaster.

Difficult words

Launched (v): To set a boat or rocket in motion.

Destroyed (v): Break completely.

Oxygen (n): A gas in the air that humans need to live.

Survive (v): To stay alive.

Disaster (n): A terrible event.

Activities

For listening practise, listen to the recorded article here:

British English:

American English:

Match the Synonym!

 1. Launched  A. Go
 2. Destroyed  B. Live
 3. Oxygen  C. Accident
 4. Survive  D. Break
 5. Disaster  E.  Gas

True or False?

1. Apollo 13 was the third ship to land on the Moon. T / F

2. The flight went very well. T / F

3. NASA had to work very hard. T / F

4. The ship ran out of oxygen. T / F

5. The astronauts never lost power. T / F

Unscramble the sentence!

1. on / the / Apollo 11 / landed / moon / first

2. was / try / to / and land / It / third ship / the

3. lot / destroyed / The / a / explosion

4. the / go / They / had to / into / moon lander

5. hard / work / had / NASA / to / very

Listening and Vocabulary

Listen to the article and fill in the words OR practice vocabulary and fill in the words.

British English:

American English:

Explosion Solve Moon
Lifeboat Land Called

Apollo 13 was a ship that tried to go to the Moon. Apollo 11 landed on the (1)_________ first. Apollo 13 went to space 9 months after Apollo 11. It was the third ship to try and (2)_________ on the Moon. Apollo 13 launched on April 11, 1970.

On the way to the Moon, there was an (3)____________. The explosion destroyed a lot of the spaceship. The part of the ship they were sat in ran out of oxygen. They had to go into the moon lander to survive. NASA had to work very hard to make the moon lander into a (4)___________.

The astronauts and NASA had to (5)_________ many problems to return to Earth. They had no power, no water and they had to fix parts of the ship to live. Apollo 13 returned to Earth on April 17 1970. In 1995, a movie (6)___________ Apollo 13 was made about the disaster.

Conversation Questions

Take turns speaking with a partner or try to answer on your own:

1. Did you find this article interesting? Why or why not?
2. Did you learn anything new from this article? If so, what?
3. What do you think of this story?
4. Did you know about Apollo 13 before you read this story?
5. Have you seen the Apollo 13 film with Tom Hanks?
6. Have there been any famous disasters that were avoided in your country?
7. What do you think about the Apollo space program?
8. Do you think people would watch if humans went to the Moon again?
9. Have you ever been in a dangerous situation like these astronauts?
10. What do you think about people many years go thinking that going to the Moon would be routine in the future?
11. What technology would you like to see in 30 years?
12. Is space travel still important today?
13. Do you think space travel will ever be the same as air travel today?
14. Would you like to go to space? Why or why not?
15. 4 Apollo missions went to the Moon after Apollo 13, do you think they would have gone if the Apollo 13 astronauts had died?
16. How do you handle stressful situations?
17. Do you think astronauts who are currently on the international space station should stay there because of the coronavirus?
18. Do you like being away from home for a long time?
19. Do you think normal people will ever live in space or on another planet?
20. Is there anything you would like to ask the astronauts of Apollo 13?