Jan 02

Space Rocket History #284 – Apollo 13 – Mid-course Correction

Swigert counted down five, four, three, two, one.” 
Lovell pressed the big red engine button set in the bulkhead and once again felt the vibration below his feet. 
“Ignition,” Lovell said to his crew-mates.

Arnold Aldrich
Ken Mattingly & Joe Kerwin
Vance Brand & Jack Lousma

Dec 26

Space Rocket History #283 – Apollo 13 – Encouragement from the President

In the White House, President Nixon was very concerned for the Apollo 13 crew. Since Apollo 8’s successful lunar orbit, just one month before his inauguration, Nixon had developed a fascination with moon flight and a special admiration for the crew of that first circumlunar trip.

A phone call from Nixon

The Lovell family

Apollo 8 Crew

Dec 19

Space Rocket History #282 – Apollo 13 – Battery #2

At the manned spacecraft center in Houston, Don Arabian was in Building 45 when battery number two in Aquarius’ descent stage exploded.

Supercritical Helium (SHe) Tank

LM power system with Battery 2 circled

Don Arabian in 2015

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