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It has long been believed the crew of the near-doomed Apollo 13 mission would have frozen in the infinity of space had Nasa failed in its dramatic rescue to bring them back to Earth. However new research has revealed the vessel would probably have burned in the planet's atmosphere, debunking the theories noted in the history books. Scientists have always thought that the stricken capsule would have drifted on a never-ending journey billions of miles through space as a tomb, carrying the frozen bodies of the crew.
But computer simulations now show the spacecraft and its astronauts would have been pushed back to the Earth's atmosphere. Andrew Chaikin, a space historian and author who worked on the investigation into the theory, told the Times: 'For so long it was assumed that Apollo 13 would be an everlasting monument to the space programme just circling forever in space. 'Now we know it would have been a very different story.' Calculations by Philadelphia-based company Analytical Graphics Inc (AIG) started 10 years ago have now been published on a video to mark the 40th anniversary of the mission this weekend.