Sep 26

Space Rocket History #271 – Apollo 13 – Free Return – Part 1

Kraft wanted to fire the descent engine now, get the ship back on its free-return slingshot course, and when it emerged from behind the moon and reached the PC+2 point, execute any maneuvers that might be required to refine the trajectory or increase its speed.

Apollo 13 explosion by Alan Bean

Jerry Bostick – FIDO

Chuck Deiterich – RETRO

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.