Apollo 13

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Apollo 13

Postby Webb » Sat Apr 11, 2015 3:28 am

Apollo 13 was the seventh manned mission in the American Apollo space program and the third intended to land on the Moon. The craft was launched on April 11, 1970, at 13:13 CST from the Kennedy Space Center, Florida, but the lunar landing was aborted after an oxygen tank exploded two days later, crippling the Service Module (SM) upon which the Command Module (CM) depended. Despite great hardship caused by limited power, loss of cabin heat, shortage of potable water, and the critical need to jury-rig the carbon dioxide removal system, the crew returned safely to Earth on April 17.

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"Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell no!" - Sen. John Blutarsky

You know, this used to be a helluva good country. I don't understand what's gone wrong with it. - George Hanson, 1969

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Re: Apollo 13

Postby Apex » Sat Apr 11, 2015 6:55 am

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Re: Apollo 13

Postby Webb » Sat Apr 11, 2015 4:10 pm

Oxygen tank 2 was a known problem that NASA felt was an acceptable risk.

How Apollo 13 Launched With a Bomb on Board

On April 13, 1970, Apollo 13’s oxygen tank 2 famously ruptured, taking a piece of the cylindrical service module with it and damaging oxygen tank 1 in the process. The precious gas vented out into space and the crew was left in a crippled spacecraft with only the command module’s reentry batteries for power. Luckily, they were on their outbound journey to the Moon and were able to stretch the lunar module's consumables and use this small spacecraft as a lifeboat. The explosion was a rare combination of human error and flawed design. From the moment it was installed in Apollo 13’s service module, oxygen tank 2 was a ticking time bomb.

Oxygen tanks were installed in the Apollo service module in pairs as a shelf. The shelf that flew on Apollo 13 had originally been installed in service module 106, the spacecraft that eventually went to the Moon with Apollo 10, but was removed in October of 1968 for upgrades. The process wasn’t smooth. Technicians failed to notice one of the bolts keeping the shelf in place hadn’t been removed, and when they tried to lift the shelf out of the spacecraft it caught on the bolt and fell back into place. It bounced, possibly hitting the fuel cell installed about the oxygen shelf in the process, before settling back into its installed position.

No one gave the issue much thought, and the oxygen tank shelf was upgraded and installed in service module 109, the spacecraft assigned to Apollo 13.

During pre-flight testing, technicians ran into constant problems with oxygen tank 2. It pressurized well but didn’t depressurize smoothly. But again, no one gave the issue much thought. If the tank could hold oxygen as it was designed to do, it would provide a crew with the vital gas in flight ...
"Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell no!" - Sen. John Blutarsky

You know, this used to be a helluva good country. I don't understand what's gone wrong with it. - George Hanson, 1969

A bad day at golf is better than a good day at work.


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Re: Apollo 13

Postby Romulus111VADT » Sat Apr 11, 2015 9:05 pm

I have several actual NASA pictures from that mission. I went to Cape Kennedy in the early 70's and bought several packs of pictures from Apollo 8 thru 13. The ones for Apollo 11 are really nice. All are 8x10 and most are color. I have several uniform patches from the missions as well.

I've always wondered if they'd ever be worth anything. Maybe in 100 years....... :D
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Re: Apollo 13

Postby Webb » Sat Apr 11, 2015 10:10 pm

Cape Canaveral was renamed Cape Kennedy in 1963 but the locals didn't like the concept of changing the name of a 400 year old landmark to that of a Massachusetts senator so they changed it back in 1973, as was Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

The Merrit Island launch facility was permanently renamed John F. Kennedy Space Center.

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"Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell no!" - Sen. John Blutarsky

You know, this used to be a helluva good country. I don't understand what's gone wrong with it. - George Hanson, 1969

A bad day at golf is better than a good day at work.


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Re: Apollo 13

Postby Cannon Gray » Thu Nov 26, 2020 7:18 am

Exactly then the famous phrase was born "Ok Houston, we got a problem here."
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Re: Apollo 13

Postby TommyJo » Fri Dec 18, 2020 6:58 am

Webb wrote:Cape Canaveral was renamed Cape Kennedy in 1963 but the locals didn't like the concept of changing the name of a 400 year old landmark to that of a Massachusetts senator so they changed it back in 1973, as was Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

The Merrit Island launch facility was permanently renamed John F. Kennedy Space Center.

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Thank you! This is interesting information. I didn't know they wanted to rename Cape Canaveral after Kennedy.
It probably would be really weird for a while. But then you would get used to it.
Probably good that they didn't do that.
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