Everybody was wondering would they come back alive? Courtesy Spacecraft Films. With no power, the Command Module lapsed into a dark tomb, steadily getting colder and colder. Beads of moisture formed over all the surfaces, crusting the windows.
Occasional flashes of sunlight through the windows pierced the darkness lit only by their torches. Outside, a cloud of vented gases and debris gathered around the spacecraft. Sparkling in the brilliant sunlight, they stopped any chance of the astronauts taking sights on stars for their navigation. The LM was never designed to have a 27, kilogram dead Command and Service Module attached to it, so I literally had to learn to fly the vehicle all over again. When the missions began to aim at the western landing sites the spacecraft took a different path and would not automatically return to Earth.
Now they had to get back on to a free return trajectory, or they would miss the Earth by something like 70, kilometres. Possible Atlantic landing site. Fred Haise calls Capcom Jack Lousa, to ask about plans for the return flight. Starting at GET. Possible burn foreshadowed. Comms problems. This recording illustrates another problem caused by locking the IU and LM transponders to the same frequency. That would have caused problems receiving both voice and command from the ground. While there was only one 30 kHz voice subcarrier from the GDS Prime, the presence of two uplink carriers would have caused the interference that the crew was hearing.
Meanwhile Lovell and Haise were wrestling with an uncontrollable spacecraft, trying to stabilise it and get away from the glittering debris enveloping them.
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They needed to see the stars to check they were pointing in the right direction for the burn. Every ruse failed. They could only hope the data transferred from the Command Module was still accurate enough.
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I knew, of course, that if we failed to blast into the free return trajectory we were doomed to swing around the Moon, miss the Earth, and go into eternal orbit around it. Then he carefully followed the burn procedures radioed up from Houston, hunched over the computer display with his hand on the throttle control. Was Apollo 13 coming home? Soon the tracking data showed that the burn was perfect. Apollo 13 was going to round the moon at about kilometres instead of 97 kilometres above the surface and would return to Earth A long way away from the main recovery forces waiting for them in the Pacific, but at least it was back on Earth.
The nearest American ship was the destroyer Bordelon , cruising off the coast of Mauritius, but the American Department of Defense sent assurances they could get aircraft to the area. Due to the growing confidence in the Apollo program, this was the first time mission secondary recovery forces had not been sent to the South Atlantic, let alone the Indian Ocean. Now we have to talk about powering down.
The Lunar Module was only designed for two people for 45 hours, now it was going to have to support three bodies jammed in it for 90 hours. In the Lunar Module Haise was looking at the situation. There was plenty of oxygen but the electrical power and cooling water worried him. The LM had no fuel cells, only batteries for two days of normal operation, and the water used for cooling the electronic systems would run out about 5 hours before reentry by his calculations.
Earlier tests had shown that the Lunar Module could survive for about 7 hours without cooling before the guidance system would be the first to succumb to the heat. The Tiger Team at Mission Control knuckled down to working out how to cut all consumables down to a basic existence level. Kranz started talking about the strategy, what we were going to do going around the Moon and when we get back close to Earth we will power the spacecraft up and do the reentry That went on until we got very close to reentry, and it started taking on more and more refinement, until it finally got to the point that a crew started trying it in the simulators just to make sure these guys could actually do that.
It was an endless iteration of brokerages across those days, and you have to remember all the power analysis was done on arithmetic and slide rules — we never had any calculators. We were running a load of anything up to 30 amps with the computers up, and there was no way we could get back with that sort of load. I figured if we could get down to about 12 amps we would be okay. We only knew this from our ground computations.
Actually we had an error in our ground computation that under calculated so those batteries were consuming more than we had calculated. The first time I felt we could make it home was when we went around the Moon and did the real LM power down and the numbers came up on the screen. Before that there was a possibility they would not make it. Once we hit the 12 amps I was convinced we had it made. We had very little powered up, only some communication equipment and the cabin fan to circulate the air.
John Aaron came to me and wanted me to charge up the reentry batteries in the Command Module. We had concocted a scheme where we ran two CSM to LM umbilical cables backwards — they were designed for the CSM to send power to the LM — to heaters to keep some components warm while travelling to the Moon.
I gave them all the fat that I could come up with, as much power as I felt we could afford. Free return manouever planned for GET. Voice of America Commentary. This is 12 hours after the explosion and the comms is now much better. By on 15 April the crew in the crippled spacecraft had followed the ground instructions. We only had the radio for communications and a little fan to circulate the atmosphere. So there was no crowding during that period.stonbenfrelo.tk
The “Successful Failure” That Was Apollo 13 Essay
It finally became so cold that we all just stayed in the LM. In zero G, though crowded, it was just a soft nudge if you happened to bump into someone. Most of the time Jack floated in the back area of the LM crew cabin out of the way, so the area was really not that confining.
And it was good to have the three of us together in the same vehicle.
Apollo 13 and the Lessons of Leadership. | Cube Rules
They had cut their consumption of water down to grams per day. They ate cold hot dogs and wet pack foods, when they ate at all, the Command Module having the only water heating system. All the food and drinks were cold refrigerator cold! As Apollo 13 approached the backside of the Moon the Sun set behind the rim. An eerie darkness enveloped the spacecraft. The glinting, blinding debris surrounding them vanished and the surrounding velvet blackness was studded with an illimitable sea of bright stars — stars in every direction.
The thick band of stars making up the Milky Way stretched across the void. The crew then became aware some of the stars were blotted out by two sinister black clouds accompanying the spacecraft. They decided it was the debris from the explosion. They became subdued as they remembered the crisis-laden moments of the explosion until a voice from Earth broke the spell,. See you on the other side. View from Aquarius, with the Command Module at right.
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As they looped around the back of the Moon, at a maximum height of According to the Guinness Book of Records at this point Lovell, Swigert, and Haise set a record as the humans to travel the farthest away from Earth. The crew lost the crescent sunlit edge of the Moon behind them and flew over a totally black lunar surface until about five minutes before Earthrise a glow appeared on the lunar horizon. Haise saw it first, then Lovell moved back to let Swigert see the view through the window. Mare Moscoviense. View from Aquarius.
Apollo 13 rounds the Moon. This signal from the Apollo 13 Saturn IVB arrived about 30 seconds after impact, the peak amplitude was a factor of 20 to 30 times larger than the LM, and lasted for 4 hours, which was astounding to us. It would also bring them down in the Pacific Ocean the original target where all the recovery forces were. Due to the software in the LM not being able to accommodate the attached dead bulk of the CSM, Lovell had to fire the engine manually. In the computer room at Honeysuckle Creek it was anything but quiet.