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Apollo 13: Life with the Lovells during NASA's 'finest hour'

On the anniversary of the April day in 1970 when Apollo 13′s three-man crew — commander Jim Lovell and pilots Jack Swigert and Fred Haise — returned safely to Earth, LIFE.com commemorates the mission with a series of intimate, stirring photos made at the Lovells’ Texas home in the very midst of the crisis. See all the pictures at LIFE.com.

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Marilyn Lovell, wife of Apollo 13 commander Jim Lovell, reads a newspaper at home, April 1970. The newspaper headline in her lap, from the Houston Chronicle: "3 Astronauts Lives Hang on LM; Chance of Safe Return 'Excellent.'"
Bill EppridgeTime & Life Pictures/Getty Images

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A hand-written note from astronaut James Lovell to his family, promising to take them on vacations to Acapulco and Aspen, 1970.
Bill EppridgeTime & Life Pictures/Getty Images

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Marilyn Lovell, wife of astronaut Jim Lovell, on the phone during the Apollo 13 crisis, April 1970.
Bill EppridgeTime & Life Pictures/Getty Images

At home with Apollo 13 astronaut Jim Lovell's family in 1970

From left: Astronauts Pete Conrad and Buzz Aldrin; James Lovell's mother, Blanch; Barbara Lovell (chin in hand); Neil Armstrong (standing); Jeffrey, Marilyn and Susan Lovell, all watching TV at the Lovell home during the Apollo 13 crisis, April 1970.

Bill EppridgeTime & Life Pictures/Getty Images

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After splashdown, Marilyn Lovell hugs her 4-year-old son Jeffrey. 'It was the most beautiful sight I've seen in my whole life.'"
Bill EppridgeTime & Life Pictures/Getty Images

Apollo 13: Life with the Lovells during NASA's 'finest hour'

On the anniversary of the April day in 1970 when Apollo 13′s three-man crew — commander Jim Lovell and pilots Jack Swigert and Fred Haise — returned safely to Earth, LIFE.com commemorates the mission with a series of intimate, stirring photos made at the Lovells’ Texas home in the very midst of the crisis. See all the pictures at LIFE.com.

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