Apollo 13 Is the Name of a Mission, and a Movie
Apollo 13 is a well-known movie starring Tom Hanks. In addition, it is also a historical event. An explosion, whose cause is explained here, jeopardized not only the mission, but the astronauts’ lives.
Do you know how influential American movies are upon the English language? The actual phrase used was “Houston, we’ve had a problem.” Houston was the location of the NASA’s control center. However, in the movie Apollo 13, the line was changed to “Houston, we have a problem.”
Today, that phrase can be used to point out something that is a very large problem. It is also an example of understatement, where no words would be adequate to explain the situation. Perhaps more than its historical precedent, it was Tom Hanks’ rendition which is now more commonly used.