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

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

Nov 08

Space Rocket History #277 – Apollo 13 – Approaching the Moon

“They’re all coming out,” Swigert said, straining for a glimpse through Lovell’s window. 

“You said it,” Lovell said. “There’s Nunki, there’s Antares. We may have enough here for that confidence check.” 

Gimbal Lock

Oblique view of lunar far side, photographed from Apollo 13

View of the lunar far side showing crater Tsiolkovsky taken from Apollo 13

Oct 17

Space Rocket History #274 – Apollo 13 – Minimizing Power – Part 1

Electricity was in short supply. A fully functioning, up-and running LEM required about 55 amps of current to operate.

Ken Mattingly, Joe Kerwin

Tom Kelly Grumman Engineer

Kraft, McDivitt, Gilruth

Oct 10

Space Rocket History #273 – Apollo 13 – Free Return – Part 3

Lovell toggled the “master arm” switch to On and glanced around to see if everything else was in order. Guidance control was set to “Primary Guidance”; thrust control was on “Auto”; engine gimbals were enabled; the propellant quantity, temperature, and pressure looked good; the ship was maintaining the correct attitude.

John Aaron – Steely Eyed Missle Man

Glynn Lunney – Flight Director

Gerry Griffin – Flight Director