Aug 16

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

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

Jul 25

Space Rocket History #263 – Apollo 13 – The Launch

During the Apollo era, North American-Downey built the Apollo Command & Service Module. After each completed spacecraft, Nasa conducted formal reviews of the build paper work before each vehicle was accepted for flight.

Apollo 13 launch day breakfast

Jack Swigert suiting up for launch

Launch of Apollo 13

Jul 11

Space Rocket History #262 – Apollo 13 – Commander Jim Lovell

Lovell completed four space flights and is one of only three men to travel to the Moon twice. Lovell accrued over 715 hours spent in space, and he saw a total of 269 sunrises from space on his Gemini and Apollo flights.

1966 photo of Jim Lovell posing with Gemini-Titan model

Jim Lovell at the Command Module Guidance and Navigation station during the Apollo 8 mission

Lovell in front of the launch pad before the Apollo 13 mission

Jun 27

Space Rocket History #260 – Apollo 13 – Command Module Pilot Jack Swigert

John Leonard Swigert Jr. aka Jack Swigert was born on August 30, 1931 in Denver, Colorado to parents John Leonard Sr. and Virginia Swigert.

Jack Swigert Apollo 13 CMP

Swigert on his fur chair

Astronaut Jack Swigert poses with model of the LM

Jun 20

Space Rocket History #259 – Apollo 13 – Introduction – Part 2

Just before the mission began things started to go wrong. The weekend before launch Charlie Duke, the backup lunar module pilot, came down with a case of German measles.

The original crew of Apollo 13

Apollo 13 backup crew

Apollo 13 actual crew, Lovell, Swigert, Haise

Jun 13

Space Rocket History #258 – Apollo 13 – Introduction – Part 1

Targeted for touchdown on the third lunar landing was a place known as the Fra Mauro range, a stretch of rugged, Appalachian-type mounds 110 miles east of the Apollo 12 landing site.

Apollo 13 Mission Patch

The planned destination of Apollo 13, Fra Mauro

Apollo 13 insignia