A group of engineers was honored Tuesday for concocting a plan using plastic bags, cardboard and duct tape to save Apollo 13's astronauts after their spacecraft was crippled by an explosion.
Astronauts Jim Lovell, Fred Haise and Jack Swigert would have died without the engineers' quick thinking, said John Schneiter, president of GlobalSpec, the New York company that presented the award -- a crystal globe.
Sunday marked the 35th anniversary of the spacecraft's return to Earth after its aborted moon mission. It was crippled by an oxygen tank that exploded, raising concerns the carbon dioxide the astronauts expelled from their lungs as they breathed would eventually kill them.
The astronauts had lithium hydroxide canisters to cleanse their spacecraft of carbon dioxide, but some of the backup square canisters were not compatible with the round openings in the lunar module.