I just finished watching the film with Sam today. It took a bit of time for him to stop calling Lovell "the guy who sounds like Woody." But he seemed to enjoy the film and, for the most part, to understand it.
Of all the stories from the Space Race, Apollo 13's triumphant ordeal has fascinated me the most. I remember first hearing about it on the spring 1970 episode of Our World when I was about 10. I find the tale of those three astronauts and all who worked to help them on earth remarkable. The fact that Russia offered to help, but that there was nothing they could do, haunts me. I can't imagine how agonizing it was for Americans to watch through the news bulletins.
Apollo 8, Challenger, and Columbia were devastating, but they were also sudden. There were multiple points in Apollo 13's ordeal where the mission could have cost the astronauts their lives. That's considerable tension for several days.
I watch this film again against the backdrop of the shuttle program's termination. I'm saddened that our manned exploration of space is stalled. Despite the expense, I loved the pursuit of glory along with the pursuit of science. I feel like we're going to miss something as we pause from sending men and women into space. I hope we resume before too long.