View Full Version : Apollo 13: "Houston, we've got a problem"

04-13-2005, 04:07 AM
On this day of April 13 1970...

Apollo 13 was launched on Saturn V SA-508 on 11 April 1970 at 19:13:00 UT (02:13:00 p.m. EST) from pad 39A at Kennedy Space Center.

A television broadcast was made from Apollo 13 from 02:24 UT to 02:59 UT on 14 April and a few minutes later, at 03:06:18 UT Jack Swigert turned the fans on to stir oxygen tanks 1 and 2 in the service module. The Accident Review Board concluded that wires which had been damaged during pre-flight testing in oxygen tank no. 2 shorted and the teflon insulation caught fire. The fire spread within the tank, raising the pressure until at 3:07:53 UT on 14 April (10:07:53 EST 13 April; 55:54:53 mission elapsed time) oxygen tank no. 2 exploded, damaging oxygen tank no. 1 and the interior of the service module and blowing off the bay no. 4 cover. With the oxygen stores depleted, the command module was unusable, the mission had to be aborted, and the crew transferred to the lunar module and powered down the command module.

Apollo 13 was intended to be the third mission to carry humans to the surface of the Moon, but an explosion of one of the oxygen tanks and resulting damage to other systems resulted in the mission being aborted before the planned lunar landing could take place. The crew, commander James A. Lovell, Jr., command module pilot John L. Swigert, Jr., and lunar module pilot Fred W. Haise Jr., were returned safely to Earth on 17 April 1970.


The picture above shows the Apollo 13 Service Module after it was released from the Command Module and set adrift in space about 4 hours before re-entry of the CM into the Earth's atmosphere. "There's one whole side of that spacecraft missing", Jim Lovell said as the Apollo 13 astronauts got their first view of the damage that had been caused by the explosion. This blurry photo taken by the astronauts shows the extent of the injury to the Apollo 13 spacecraft, which exposed most of the inside of the service module to space. The Service Module was towed all the way back to Earth after the explosion in order to protect the Command Module heat shield.



The Apollo 13 Lunar Module (LM or LEM) was originally supposed to land at the Fra Mauro region of the Moon.


The Apollo 13 mission was aborted as a lunar landing mission on 13 April 1970, 2 days after launch, when an oxygen tank on the Command and Service Module (CSM) overheated and exploded. The LM, designed to support two astronauts for 45 hours, was used as a lifeboat to house the three astronauts (Commander James A. Lovell Jr., CSM pilot John L. Swigert Jr., and LM pilot Fred W. Haise Jr.) for 90 hours, as the CSM could not provide life support. Energy and water consumption were cut drastically for the duration of the trip, and the CM lithium hydroxide cannisters, used to scrub carbon dioxide out of the air, were adapted for use on the LM. The Apollo 13 continued on to the Moon, and the LM descent engine was used to accelerate the spacecraft around the Moon and back to Earth. The LM was jettisoned shortly before reaching Earth, the astronauts returning to the Command Module for the reentry. The LM re-entered and burned in the Earth's atmosphere over the southwest Pacific, any surviving pieces impacted in the deep ocean off the coast of New Zealand.

04-13-2005, 05:51 AM
It's unreal how far we've come. From 1903, trying to keep bits of wood, string and paper together for a few seconds of flight, to spacecraft circling the moon....

Thanks for the reminder, Woofiedog.

04-13-2005, 07:54 AM
It's unreal how far we have come. From 1969 trying to keep bits of skin, blood, and bones alive for a few hours on the moon's surface, to a glider circling the Earth.

Thanks for the reminder, Cajun. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

I can't find that giant looooong Chuck Yeager interview posted a few days ago, but he Blasts the NASA beuracracy.

04-13-2005, 09:29 AM
What hasn't Yeager blasted? Consider the source, folks. Mr. Yeager never seems to have a single good thing to say about anyone except himself or those close to him. I respect him for his accomplishments as a pilot but always view what he says with a skeptical mindset.

04-13-2005, 09:57 AM
Okay, I can edit out the small part about the Yeager interview. Its not needed anyway. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

04-13-2005, 10:45 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by SKIDRO_79FS:
What hasn't Yeager blasted? Consider the source, folks. Mr. Yeager never seems to have a single good thing to say about anyone except himself or those close to him. I respect him for his accomplishments as a pilot but always view what he says with a skeptical mindset. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


04-13-2005, 11:31 AM
Didn't they, like, make a movie about that?

04-13-2005, 05:49 PM
about which?...Yeager...'The Right Stuff'

or 'Apollo 13' ?

The answer is yes. Both were great films.

04-13-2005, 05:55 PM
They should make a Bud Anderson movie. Or maybe one about Don Gentile

04-13-2005, 10:28 PM
Of course I could not find the posted Yeager interview, it was posted at teh sinhq...

~> http://www.simhq.com/simhq3/sims/boards/bbs/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic;f=127;t=002005

I'd like to see a European made movie (NOT Hollywood!!) of USA Spanish Civil WAR volunteer Frank Tinker. They do have some restored I~16s now that would make great filming.

04-14-2005, 12:45 AM
Or Gabby or Bong.

04-14-2005, 01:08 AM
A Bud Anderson movie might be kinda boring, since his Mustang was never even scratched by the Jerries. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

Seriously though, a remarkable man and quite a life story considering his flight test career and Vietnam service.

This passage from his book would indeed be perfect for a riveting scene:

May 27, 1944, Capt. C. E. "Bud" Anderson's flight was attacked by Me 109s while protecting B-17s en route to Ludwigshaven, Germany. After breaking up their attack, Anderson ends up in a dramatic one on one dogfight at high altitude. The Me 109 makes a hard left climbing turn. Anderson cannot follow and counters by overshooting, climbing steeply trading airspeed for altitude. The Messerschmitt reverses his turn and tries to follow, but can't bring his 20mm cannon to bear on the steeply climbing P-51. The Me 109 shudders, stalls and falls away. Anderson reverses and follows. The German dives away, but seeing the Mustang now on his tail he again makes a hard left climbing turn. This time Anderson attempts to stay inside the turn of his opponent. The German reverses his turn and pulls up steeply in a bid to out climb the Mustang. Anderson follows, closes and fires the four .50 caliber machine guns getting good hits at 300 yards. The Messerschmitt bursts into smoke and flames. As it hangs on its propeller, Old Crow pulls along side for a closer look. The stricken Me 109 slowly turns and falls at high speed straight down from 33,000 feet, making a tremendous explosion as it impacts the ground. This marked Capt. Anderson's 7th victory.


04-14-2005, 01:14 AM
Anyway, sorry to be an accessory to thread hijack. Back to the Astronaut boys.

"Welcome home."


04-14-2005, 01:26 AM



04-14-2005, 01:28 AM
GR142_Astro... Great Photo's!

04-14-2005, 01:52 AM
A few more Photos of Apollo 13...



<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Read Below</span>

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Crew onboard Apollo 13 making carbon dioxide adapter. </span>


<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">The final sightings, both deliberate and accidental, of each mission would come during reentry over the Pacific. NASA added camera pods to the Apollo Range Instrumentation Aircraft (later Advanced Instrumentation Aircraft, ARIA) platforms, generating pictures such as S69-15592 of Apollo 8 (right), originally found here Numerous bits of debris, presumably from the Service Module, appear as well as the fireball around the Command Module. </span>




04-15-2005, 10:19 PM
Cool additional shots Woofiedog. I especially like the watch presentation piece. Sorry to bump so late, but this is my first chance to check back in on this.

While the movie has a bit of hollywood style drama, I did recently see another confirmation of its attempt for accuracy. The cigar munching frog on the recovery helo (see the pic I posted) is also in the film.

By the way, that's the first time I've seen that shot of Yeager and the Mustang. Luv it! Totally sums up how he must feel about that ship. Now I am off to hit all these links!

http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

04-15-2005, 10:44 PM
GR142_Astro... I never noticed the Frog before. LoL!
I agree about the Movie being a little over done... but I remember at the time the whole country was on the ends of our seats waiting for news about the crew making it back home.
And Thank's for your commits... I hope you enjoy the Links about Yeager. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-happy.gif

04-16-2005, 12:32 AM
OMG woofiedog stop it with those pimped out pics of yourself! they are too funny!

04-16-2005, 06:32 AM

Yeah, PimpieDog cracks me up.

I've listened to some actual radio transcripts from a few of the Apollo flights and they would not make good movie material. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif The communication is very flat, matter of fact, and all business. In fact the actual quote from Lovell is, "Houston, we've had a problem here," and you can hardly detect any excitement in his voice.

Finally, here's a hats off to Ken Mattingly who in hindsight was luckily left behind with a phantom case of the German measles. Turns out, he was one of the few people with such a thorough and intricate knowledge of the CM and was likely the most qualified human being to get the ship and crew back. NASA lucked out like that on numerous occasions.



04-16-2005, 10:41 PM
http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif I relayed your messages to Woofiedog! LOL!
They tend to leave Ken Mattingly's part out or only add a few comments about his role in most articles. You might say Ken was Apollo 13 Lucky Star... and was a major reason for their safe return with all his work with the Ground Unit.
Great Story!