Sep 20

An Encore Presentation of Space Rocket History #183 – Apollo 9 – Lunar Module Maneuvers Part 4

When Scott tried to release the lunar module, he did not hold the button long enough so the lander got hung on the capture latches.

LM in lunar landing configuration. Photographed from CM

LM in lunar landing configuration. Photographed from CM

McDivitt & Schweickart show Spider's landing gear to Scott before they pull away

McDivitt & Schweickart show Spider’s landing gear to Scott before they pull away

LM ascent stage photographed from the CM

LM ascent stage photographed from the CM

Sep 13

Space Rocket History #270 – Apollo 13 – The News Breaks

Cronkite did not look good. He called Schirra over and thrust a sheet of wire-service copy at him. Schirra scanned the text hurriedly, and with each sentence his heart sank. This was bad. This was worse than bad. This was . . . unheard of. He had a thousand questions, but there wasn’t time to ask……

Jules Bergman, ABC Science Editor

Walter Cronkite & Wally Schirra, CBS

Jim Lovell family except son James

Sep 05

Space Rocket History #269 – Apollo 13 – “Houston, we’ve had a problem.” – Part 4

EECOM, Sy Liebergot looked away from his monitor; the end, he knew, was at last here. Liebergot, through no fault of his own, was about to become the first flight controller in the history of the manned space program to lose the ship that had been placed in his charge.

Flight Director Glynn Lunney

Fuel Cells 1-3

Apollo Fuel Cell

Aug 29

Space Rocket History #268 – Apollo 13 – “Houston, we’ve had a problem.” – Part 3

As near as Lovell could tell, it would be a while before the ship’s endgame would play out. He had no way of calculating the leak rate in the tank, but if the moving needle was any indication, he had a couple hours at least before the 318 pounds of oxygen were gone.

Location of major electrical power subsystem equip.

Electrical power subsystem components in CM lower equip. bay

Hydrogen Cryogenic tank

Aug 23

Space Rocket History #267 – Apollo 13 – “Houston, we’ve had a problem.” – Part 2

By the time Flight Director Kranz heard Lovell’s report, of “Houston, we’ve had a problem. ” three controllers had reported related problems. Kranz was wondering which problem Lovell was reporting, as he started relaying the long list of warning indications from the spacecraft displays.

Gene Kranz Lead Flight Director for Apollo 13

EECOM, Sy Liebergot

CapCom, Jack Lousma

Aug 16

Space Rocket History #266 – Apollo 13 – “Houston, we’ve had a problem.” – Part 1

Swigert: I believe we’ve had a problem here!

CapComm: This is Houston. Say again, please.

Lovell: Houston, we’ve had a problem.

Section of Apollo CM main panel. H2 and O2 fan switches circled.

Section of Apollo CM Control panel. Main Bus A and B Undervolt lights circled.

Section of Apollo CM Control Panel. Cryogenic Tank Level indicators circled.

Aug 09

Space Rocket History #265 – Apollo 13 – Translunar Coast – The Calm Before the Storm

As Lovell prepared for the thruster adjustments, Haise finished closing down the LEM and drifted through the tunnel back toward the command module and Swigert threw the switch to stir all 4 cryogenic tanks.

Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo spacecraft comparison

Apollo Service Module diagram

Image from the unaired Apollo 13 TV show just before the problem occurred

Jul 31

Space Rocket History #264 – Apollo 13 – Orbit, Translunar Injection, Docking, and Extraction

Milt Windier’s team at mission control quickly reviewed the status of the remaining four engines, ran the computations for the new engine cutoff times, and passed them to the crew.

POGO. Experienced on the S-II stage of Apollo 13

Saturn V, S-II stage, engine cluster

Docking with the Lunar Module