Apollo XIII Mission Badge

Apollo 13’s designated landing site was near Fra Mauro crater; the Fra Mauro formation was believed to contain much material spattered by the impact that had filled the Imbrium basin early in the Moon’s history. Dating it would provide information not only about the Moon, but about the Earth’s early history. The landing site was near what was dubbed Cone crater, a site where an impact was believed to have drilled deep into the lunar regolith. Due to the roughness of the terrain, the selected landing site was over a mile (two kilometers) from Cone crater, but Lovell, who as commander was to perform the landing, had the option of setting down closer if he believed he could do so safely. NASA initially had few high-quality photographs of that location, but after Apollo 12 took more from orbit in November 1969, Fra Mauro was confirmed as Apollo 13’s landing site.