Dec 12

Space Rocket History #281 – Apollo 13 – Homeward Bound

There was now cause for optimism in Mission Control. At the TELMU station, where the Lunar Module’s environmental signs were being continually monitored, the readings of the carbon dioxide concentrations aboard Aquarius were steadily dropping all day long.

Jack Lousma – One of the Capcoms for Apollo 13

Vance Brand (standing right) another Capcom for Apollo 13

Taken by Apollo 13 on the way home

Dec 05

In Honor of NASA Mars Probe “InSight” – An Encore Presentation of Space Rocket History #46 – Mariner 4

Mariner 4’s primary objective was to conduct closeup scientific observations of Mars and to transmit these observations to Earth. Additional goals included performing field and particle measurements in interplanetary space, and providing experience and knowledge of engineering capabilities for interplanetary flights of long duration…

Mariner 4

Mariner 4

Launch on Atlas-Agena

Launch on Atlas-Agena

Mariner 4's Photo Path

Mariner 4’s Photo Path

Nov 28

Space Rocket History #280 – Apollo 13 – Carbon Dioxide

In a healthy spacecraft, the CO2 meter should climb no higher than 2 or 3 millimeters of mercury. When it rose above 7, the crew was instructed to change their lithium hydroxide canisters. If it was allowed to rise above 15, the first signs of CO2 poisoning would set in.

Carbon Dioxide Threatens Astronauts

Lovell & Swigert work with temp hose connections. CO2 scrubber in background

The CO2 scrubber

Nov 21

Space Rocket History #279 – Apollo 13 – Leaving the Moon – Part 2

In the satellite room of the carrier Iwo Jima, the communications man sat back and removed his headset. He knew, that Apollo 13 was in fact coming their way.

Seismometer left on Moon by Apollo 12 detects 13’s S-IVB stage impact

Ptolemaeus & Alphonsus photographed from Apollo 13

Moon photographed from Apollo 13 on its journey home

Nov 14

Space Rocket History #278 – Apollo 13 – Leaving the Moon – Part 1

Lovell’s disappointment with Kranz’s decision to not run another star check was quickly becoming academic since the time to conduct it was running out anyway.

Apollo 13 Saturn IVB upper stage impact point

Apollo 13’s view from Aquarius as it rounds the Moon

Leaving the Moon

Nov 08

Space Rocket History #277 – Apollo 13 – Approaching the Moon

“They’re all coming out,” Swigert said, straining for a glimpse through Lovell’s window. 

“You said it,” Lovell said. “There’s Nunki, there’s Antares. We may have enough here for that confidence check.” 

Gimbal Lock

Oblique view of lunar far side, photographed from Apollo 13

View of the lunar far side showing crater Tsiolkovsky taken from Apollo 13

Oct 31

Space Rocket History #276 – Apollo 13 – Minimizing Power – Part 3

According to the profiles Bill Peters and his electrical specialists calculated, it was possible to power the LEM with just 12 amps. Under normal conditions it needed about 55 amps of current to run.

View of the moon from Apollo 13

Alan Shepard commander of Apollo 14 monitors Apollo 13 MCC comm

Lovell & Swigert on Apollo 13

Oct 24

Space Rocket History #275 – Apollo 13 – Minimizing Power – Part 2

“The first burn, Griffin explained, would be a long one. Pushing the descent throttle all the way to the full position, Lovell would leave it there for more than six minutes before shutting the engine down.

This maneuver, which for simplicity’s sake Griffin called the superfast burn, would put the crew down in the Atlantic Ocean on Thursday morning, just thirty-six hours from the scheduled PC+2 time later that night.”

Impromptu Apollo 13 meeting

Prayer service for astronauts