The defining moment of the Apollo XIII flight was when oxygen tank number two of the Odyssey service module exploded. This began what many would consider America's finest hours in space exploration.
"I have painted the explosion in space as a number of individually distinct particles streaming away from tank number two. The particles are liquid oxygen, vaporized tank and wiring and insulation materials - everything near the point of detonation. I do not believe that an explosive cloud forms in the vacuum of space because everything I saw in space moved in a straight line. For example, there was no dirt cloud as we landed on the Moon - just small pieces of dirt radially speeding away.
"This print was created to celebrate the motion picture 'Apollo 13' which tells the remarkable and inspiring story of how astronauts deep in space and the engineers on Earth worked together to change an almost fatal tragedy into a triumph of human skill and spirit."
Countersigners: astronauts Jim Lovell and Fred Haise; actors Tom Hanks, Kevin Bacon, Bill Paxton, Gary Sinise and director Ron Howard.
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