WI: Apollo 13 becomes the most expensive suborbital flight in history?

Pretty much what it says on the tin, 5 minutes 40 seconds into the flight, the pogo oscillations on the center engine cause the thrust frame of the S-II to crack, forcing a Mode II abort. Apollo 13 splashes down in the Atlantic minutes later.

How does this affect the space program to have the third lunar landing mission being an embarrassing failure?
 
. . . the pogo oscillations on the center engine cause the thrust frame of the S-II to crack, forcing a Mode II abort. . .
Just as planned for, right?

I mean, a potential problem which we anticipated and planned for. And a response pretty much by the book.

And this is very different from the unlikely series of events which occurred before and during the actual Apollo 13.

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In OTL, we only took a modest 8-and-a-half months between Apollo 13 and 14.

So, we might have a six month gap instead, and with that seemingly small difference, we get Apollo 18, before budgetary constraints hit home.
 
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Pretty much what it says on the tin, 5 minutes 40 seconds into the flight, the pogo oscillations on the center engine cause the thrust frame of the S-II to crack, forcing a Mode II abort. Apollo 13 splashes down in the Atlantic minutes later.

How does this affect the space program to have the third lunar landing mission being an embarrassing failure?
Hunh. I never knew that problem happened on Apollo 13!
 
IOTL, the pogo oscillations on that engine caused the center engine to shut down early, which allowed the mission to the moon to proceed.

Here, I’m proposing that the center engine doesn’t shut down, but breaks apart the S-II stage.

Had it been any other engine it would have been much worse: asymmetric thrust so the rocket would have started spinning out of control.
 
Had it been any other engine it would have been much worse: asymmetric thrust so the rocket would have started spinning out of control.
Not really. An asymmetric thrust situation can be addressed by shutting down the opposing engine. Leads to a mission abort, of course, but depending on the timing you weren't going to the Moon anyway.
 
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