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Button, Apollo 13


Display Status:

This object is on display in the Apollo to the Moon exhibition at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC.

Collection Item Summary:

This button was worn by Eugene F. "Gene" Kranz, NASA Chief of Flight Control Division, during Apollo 13, the third lunar landing attempt. During that flight, mission control worked with Apollo contractors and the flight crew to solve several problems, foregoing a Moon landing but bringing the crew back to Earth safely.

As the leader of the "white team" in mission control, Kranz wore a different white suit vest, handsewn by his wife, Marta, for each mission, beginning with Gemini IX in 1966 and ending with Apollo 17 in 1972. Kranz wore this button displaying the Apollo XIII mission patch on the rather simple white vest created for Apollo 13. Although Kranz's trademark vests were well known at the time, Kranz's portrayal by actor Ed Harris in the 1995 film "Apollo 13" made the Apollo 13 white vest and its mission patch button iconic.

Collection Item Long Description:


Button, Apollo 13

Data Source

National Air and Space Museum


Do not reproduce without permission from the Smithsonian Institution, National Air and Space Museum

Credit Line

Gift of the Eugene F. Kranz Family.


  • Metal
  • Paint


3-D: 0.6 × 5.1cm (1/4 × 2 in.)

Country of Origin

United States of America





Inventory Number