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.
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……
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.
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.
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.
Swigert: I believe we’ve had a problem here!
CapComm: This is Houston. Say again, please.
Lovell: Houston, we’ve had a problem.
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.
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.