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The attack was an utter failure. Fidel Castro had been a concern to U. That same day, the new car also debuted in Ford showrooms across America and almost 22, Mustangs were immediately snapped up by buyers. Named for a As the major Allied offensive masterminded by Robert Nivelle was failing miserably on the Western Front, British forces in Palestine make their second attempt to capture the city of Gaza from the Ottoman army on this day in In the wake of the failed British assault on Gaza On this day in , French General Henri Giraud, who was captured in , escapes from a castle prison at Konigstein by lowering himself down the castle wall and jumping on board a moving train, which takes him to the French border.

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On this day in , U. Lieutenant Colonel Boris T. Pash commandeers over half a ton of uranium at Strassfut, Germany, in an effort to prevent the Soviets from developing an A-bomb. Pash was head of the Alsos Group, organized to search for German scientists in the postwar This Day In History. World War II. Cold War. The normal procedure was to use the service module's RCS to pull the CSM away after releasing the LM along with the command module's docking ring, but the SM would be released before the LM, and was in any event inoperative.

Grumman , the manufacturer of the LM, called a team of six University of Toronto engineers, led by senior scientist Bernard Etkin , to solve the problem within a day. The team concluded that pressurizing the tunnel connecting the lunar module to the command module just before separation would provide the force necessary to push the two modules a safe distance away from each other just prior to reentry.

The team had 6 hours to accurately compute the pressure required, using slide rules. Too high a pressure could damage the hatch and its seal, endangering the astronauts on reentry; too low and the lunar module would not be sufficiently separated. Grumman relayed their calculation to NASA, and from there in turn to the astronauts, who used it successfully.

Ionization of the air around the command module during reentry would typically cause a four-minute communications blackout; Apollo 13's shallow reentry path lengthened this to six minutes, during which tension was heightened by the possibility that the vehicle's heat shield would fail. They flew to Hawaii, where President Nixon awarded them the Presidential Medal of Freedom , the highest civilian honor.

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Thomas Paine the award, but Paine recommended the mission operations team. Jim Lovell [99]. Worldwide interest in the Apollo program was reawakened by the incident; television coverage of which was seen by millions. Four Soviet ships headed toward the landing area to assist if needed, [] and other nations offered assistance should the craft have to splash down elsewhere. The rescue received more public attention than most spaceflights to that point, other than the first Moon landing on Apollo There were worldwide headlines, and people surrounded television sets to get the latest developments, offered by networks who interrupted their regular programming for bulletins.

Pope Paul VI led a congregation of 10, people in praying for the astronauts' safe return; ten times that number also offered prayers at a religious festival in India. An estimated 40 million Americans watched Apollo 13's splashdown, carried live on all three networks, with another 30 million watching some portion of the six and one-half hour telecast.

Even more outside the U. Jack Gould of The New York Times stated that Apollo 13, "which came so close to tragic disaster, in all probability united the world in mutual concern more fully than another successful landing on the moon would have". The resulting fire rapidly increased pressure inside the tank and the tank dome failed, filling the fuel cell bay SM Sector 4 with rapidly expanding gaseous oxygen and combustion products. The escaping gas was probably enough by itself to blow out the aluminum exterior panel to Sector 4, but there may also have been combustion products generated as nearby insulation may have briefly burned until the departure of the panel exposed the sector to space, snuffing out the fire.

As it went, the panel probably hit the nearby high-gain antenna, disrupting communications to Earth for 1. Mechanical shock forced the oxygen valves closed on the number 1 and number 3 fuel cells, putting them out of commission. Nonetheless, the switches Beech used were not rated for 65 volts.

At NAR's facility, Oxygen Tank 2 had been originally installed in an oxygen shelf placed in the Apollo 10 service module, SM, but was removed to fix a potential electromagnetic interference problem and another shelf substituded. The probability of damage from this was low, but it is possible that there was a loosely-fitting fill line whose fit was made worse by the fall. After some retesting which did not include filling the tank with liquid oxygen , in November the shelf was re-installed in SM, intended for Apollo 13, which was shipped to KSC in June After the tank was filled during the Countdown Demonstration Test, which began on March 16, , it could not be emptied through the normal drain line, and a report was written.

When it would not empty normally, the heaters in the tank were turned on to boil off the oxygen. The board conducted a test of an oxygen tank rigged with hot-wire ignitors that caused a rapid rise in temperature within the tank, after which it failed, producing telemetry similar to that seen with the Apollo 13 Oxygen Tank 2. For Apollo 14 , the oxygen tank was redesigned, with the thermostats upgraded to handle the proper voltage. The heaters were retained since they were necessary to maintain oxygen pressure. The stirring fans, with their unsealed motors, were removed, which meant the oxygen quantity gauge was no longer accurate.

This required adding a third tank so that no tank would go below half full. The third tank was placed in Bay 1 of the SM, on the side opposite the other two, and was given an isolation valve that could isolate it from the fuel cells and from the other two oxygen tanks in an emergency, and allow it to feed the CM's environmental system only. All electrical wiring in Bay 4 was sheathed in stainless steel.


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The fuel cell oxygen supply valves were redesigned to isolate the Teflon-coated wiring from the oxygen. The spacecraft and Mission Control monitoring systems were modified to give more immediate and visible warnings of anomalies. Apollo 13 was called a "successful failure" by Lovell. Because of the aborted landing, this experiment was never deployed. North American declined payment, noting that it had ferried three previous Grumman LMs to the Moon without compensation. The interior components were removed during the investigation of the accident and reassembled into boilerplate BPA, the water egress training module; and were subsequently on display at the Museum of Natural History and Science in Louisville, Kentucky , until The command module and the internal components were reassembled, and Odyssey is currently on display at the Cosmosphere in Hutchinson, Kansas.

The lunar module Aquarius re-entered Earth's atmosphere on April 17, Any surviving pieces fell into the deep ocean off the coast of New Zealand. The LM's remains fell to Earth over the Tonga Trench in the Pacific, one of its deepest points, and sank 10 kilometers to the bottom. Later helicopter surveys found no radioactive leakage. Lovell's lunar space suit helmet, one of his gloves, and the plaque that had been intended to be left on the Moon are on exhibit at the Adler Planetarium in Chicago, Illinois.

The movie Houston, We've Got a Problem , while set around the Apollo 13 incident, is a fictional drama about the crises faced by ground personnel when the emergency disrupts their work schedules and places additional stress on their lives; only a couple of news clips and a narrator's solemn voice deal with the actual crisis. Lovell publicly complained about the movie, saying it was "fictitious and in poor taste.

Houston, we Have a Solution: the Story of Apollo 13 - OpenMind

This was an accurate, if simplified, reconstruction of the events. Following the flight, the crew planned to write a book, but they all left NASA without starting it. After Lovell retired in , he was approached by journalist Jeffrey Kluger about writing a non-fiction account of the mission. Swigert died in and Haise was no longer interested in collaborating on a book.


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  • James Lovell, Eugene Kranz, and other principals have stated that this film depicted the events of the mission with reasonable accuracy, given that some dramatic license was taken. For example, the film changes the tense of Lovell's famous follow-up to Swigert's original words from, "Houston, we've had a problem" to " Houston, we have a problem ". Rather than showing the incident from the crew's perspective as in the Apollo 13 feature film, it is instead presented from an Earth-bound perspective of television reporters competing for coverage of the event.

    The production toured to other cities extensively in New Zealand and Australia in — The production traveled to the US and performed 45 shows in The "mailbox" at Mission Control during the Apollo 13 mission. Replica of the plaque with Swigert's name that was to replace the one attached to Aquarius that had Mattingly's name. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.


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    • This article is about the Apollo mission. For the film based upon it, see Apollo 13 film. For other uses, see Apollo 13 disambiguation. A failed crewed mission to land on the Moon. Apollo 13's damaged service module, seen from the command module, as it was being jettisoned shortly before reentry.

      Lovell, Jr. John L. Swigert, Jr. Fred W. Haise, Jr.

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      Apollo program. For the cause of the accident, see Apollo 13 Investigation and response. Houston, we've had a problem. Swigert and Lovell reporting the incident on April 14, [] " Houston, we've had a problem ". Play media. Nobody believes me, but during this six-day odyssey we had no idea what an impression Apollo 13 made on the people of Earth. We never dreamed a billion people were following us on television and radio, and reading about us in banner headlines of every newspaper published. We still missed the point on board the carrier Iwo Jima , which picked us up, because the sailors had been as remote from the media as we were.

      Paine to meet us, along with my wife Marilyn, Fred's wife Mary who being pregnant, also had a doctor along just in case , and bachelor Jack's parents, in lieu of his usual airline stewardesses. Lunar module Aquarius after it was jettisoned above the Earth. Retrieved August 18, January Archived from the original on July 31, Retrieved August 21, Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. Retrieved January 6, Universe Today.

      Retrieved September 15, August 6, Retrieved July 27, Daily News.

      The Lost Tapes

      New York, New York. Chicago Tribune. Apollo Lunar Flight Journal. February 17, Retrieved July 28, February 20, Apollo Lunar Surface Journal. Retrieved July 20, April 29, January 8, Lunar and Planetary Institute. Retrieved August 8, George C. Marshall Space Flight Center. June 20, Retrieved May 30, Archived from the original on December 13, Retrieved July 3, Apollo 13 Flight Journal.

      Retrieved August 5, Retrieved September 16, Retrieved August 12, Retrieved August 7, Retrieved August 27, May 30, Retrieved August 30, Apollo Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company. They only had sufficient consumables food, water, air etc for just over hours. They would need to carry out a second burn of the descent engine during their journey around the moon in order to speed up the return journey to just over hours.

      Lovell even chastised Swigert and Haise for taking photographs when they should have been running through the procedures designed to get them back to Earth. Using the sun to calculate the accuracy of their alignment, the crew carried out a second burn of the descent engines successfully setting them on a course for home. The crew splashed down in the Pacific Ocean at 1. They were picked up by the aircraft carrier Iwo Jima.

      The explosion caused damage to no. The damage went unnoticed and this same tank was installed on Apollo Prior to testing, the fixtures in the tank had been altered to allow it to accept 65 volts of power rather than 28 volts. However one part had been overlooked — the heater thermostatic switches.

      Apollo 13 Re-entry (1970)