It was an Omega Speedmaster watch that astronaut Jim Lovell and his crew used to time their 14-second turn on a disabled Apollo 13, manuevering the craft back into orbit for re-entry and turning a nearly catastrophic mission into what Lovell terms a "successful failure."

On Tuesday night Omega celebrated the safe return of the astronauts on that fateful flight 45 years ago with a star-studded gala of the sort rarely seen in Houston, turning an airplace hangar in Sugar Land into a glittery, multi-sensory moonscape. Omega brand ambassador George Clooney made a grand entrance (space fog included) to fête astronauts Lovell, Tom Stafford and Gene Cernan, alongside Omega president Stpehen Urquhart, Astronaut Wives Club actresses Yvonne Strahovski and Joanna Garcia Swisher and the ne plus ultra of Houston society.

Images by Craig Barrett/Getty Images for Omega. Text by Sarah Rufca.
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