Questions tagged [apollo-13]

Questions regarding Apollo 13 which is launched as a part of American Apollo space program by Saturn v from Kennedy Space Center in April 11, 1970 carrying three crew members but lunar landing was aborted because of rapture of oxygen tank and few technical problems after injection to orbit

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68
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1answer
7k views

Why did the Apollo 13 crew extend the LM landing gear?

From the Apollo 13 radio transcript, as they're going through the Lunar Module activation checklist: 060:58:58 Lousma: Okay. The only item on page 10 is to deploy the landing gear. 060:59:06 ...
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What was Apollo 13's “Little Jolt” after MECO?

Disclaimer: This is a question about the 1995 film Apollo 13; I know Hollywood should always be taken with a moon-sized grain of salt, so the question should read as both "Is this true" and "What was ...
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Without the accident, would Apollo 13 still have been the farthest crewed mission from the Earth?

This answer notes that the Apollo 13 crew holds the record for the distance that humans have traveled beyond Earth. Had the mission exactly followed the flight plan, would they still have been the ...
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When did Jack Swigert realize that he forgot to file his taxes?

As portrayed in the film Apollo 13, astronaut Jack Swigert forgot to file his taxes: JACK SWIGERT: Well uh, if anyone from the IRS is watching, I forgot to file my 1040 return and I meant to do ...
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Did Apollo 13 produce any scientific results?

Despite an explosion and other setbacks, Apollo 13 landed safely back on Earth on April 17, 1970. Even though the astronauts did not make it to the lunar surface, were any scientific results reported?...
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Was Apollo 13 radio blackout on reentry longer than expected?

According to the movie Apollo 13 (1995) the radio blackout on reentry was quite a bit longer than expected. Very dramatic, yes, but: Did that really happen, and if so, why was it so much longer ...
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Was not saving the Apollo 13 astronauts ever considered as an option?

This is a bit of a morbid question, but every source I have checked makes it seem like the moment Apollo 13 had their accident and everyone understood the gravity of the situation, everyone was in ...
31
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Was the Apollo 13 CO2 problem a matter of capacity, or of rate?

During Apollo 13, an explosion in the service module caused the command module to lose electrical power. This required using the environmental control system of the lunar module to remove carbon ...
27
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Was a one way trip to the moon considered by the crew of Apollo 13?

I watched the fantastic movie "Apollo 13" recently and there was one scene that stood out as it looked like the crew was considering making a one way trip and landing on the moon. The script goes ...
25
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Was the Apollo 13 CM guidance computer fully shut down?

I was watching the movie Apollo 13, and one thing struck me as quite odd. According to Wikipedia, [Movie director Ron] Howard went to great lengths to create a technically accurate movie, employing ...
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Why did Apollo 13 not use the electronics waste heat to raise the Lunar Module cabin temperature?

From Apollo 13 Mission Report: For the metric impaired like me, 41 °F is 5 °C, 54 °F is 12.2 °C and 60 °F is 15.6 °C. About 300 W of waste heat plus the body heat of three astronauts, about 250 W, ...
24
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Did Apollo 13 “barbecue roll” under the propulsion of the lunar module?

Apollo spacecraft were often put in a "barbecue roll" (officially called passive thermal control mode), which slowly rotated the spacecraft along its main axis. Without this maneuver, one side of the ...
24
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Were the Apollo CO₂ scrubber canister designs unified after Apollo 13?

After the problem realized when trying to put up three astronauts for an extended stay in the Apollo 13 LEM, namely that the square CM CO₂ scrubbers didn't fit in the LEM's slots, were they redesigned?...
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Why did NASA collect so much data about electrical phenomena at the Apollo 13 launch site?

Apollo 13 was launched at Kennedy Space Center on April 11, 1970. The mission report devotes a considerable amount -- over 7 pages -- to a set of electrical measurements at the launch site: The ...
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Who developed the mathematics used to correct the trajectory of Apollo 13?

The 1967 NASA technical note D-4246, Midcourse Guidance Procedure with Single Position Fix Obtained From Onboard Optical Measurements describes correcting the trajectory of a spacecraft traveling ...
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Why would oxygen be stored as a super critical fluid?

Organic Marble just answered a question about Apollo 13 in terms of the storage of Oxygen, and posted some fascinating stuff, including the fact that Oxygen was stored as a super-critical fluid. I ...
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What happened to Apollo 13 LM descent stage?

I see in the accounts of the Apollo 13 mission that the descent stage engine of the LM were used to propel the joined spacecraft into a return trajectory to earth and that the crew remained in the LM ...
20
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Size of Apollo era astronauts

I had read that the early astronauts were all 'short guys'. This made a lot of sense. A short man can have as much stamina and endurance as a large man, yet eat less, consume less oxygen & (...
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What kept crosswinds from pushing Apollo rockets into their own gantry?

Watching this unnamed Saturn V launch (Apollo 13?), I see the gantries pull away, and the rocket takes 13 seconds to clear the tower. That seems like enough time ...
19
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267 views

Were any Apollo-13-specific procedures added to standard training?

The Apollo 13 accident required a number of unusual procedures to be followed, some of which had to be improvised or learned on the spot. For example: Jim Lovell found that it was difficult to ...
18
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Why wasn't the Apollo 13 Service Module jettisoned until hours before reentry?

Looking at the Apollo 13 mission timeline within three hours after the explosion of O2 tank two all oxygen in the SPS was completely depleted. Fuel cells #1 and #3 were off line. CM had even started ...
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At what angle did Apollo 13 need to reenter?

The Apollo missions, like most all missions since, used a heat shield to keep from disintegrating in the atmosphere. This approach had its flaws, however. For one, if your approach was too shallow, ...
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Could an Apollo astronaut have put their foot through the hull of the LEM?

In this interview (part of the extra material from the Apollo 13 film), Tom Kelly of Grumman talks about the construction of the Apollo LEM. In particular he mentions that the "skin" of the LEM was ...
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What does “stirring tanks” mean?

The Apollo 13 disaster occurred right when the "oxygen tanks were stirred". What does that mean? What benefits does it give? What would happen if they didn't stir the tanks?
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What exactly makes the “bang-bang-bang-bang-bang-bang-bang!” sound just before “Houston, we have hard dock.” in the Apollo 13 movie?

About seven seconds after "Capture!" and just before "Houston, we have hard dock" in the feature film Apollo 13 there are about seven loud bangs at about 3 Hz repetition. At this ...
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Did USSR discontinue radio transmissions, relocate ships, to aid the US in response to Apollo 13?

In this article there is following statement by Dr. Ernst Stuhlinger: Let me only remind you of the recent near-tragedy of Apollo 13. When the time of the crucial reentry of the astronauts ...
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Why was the Apollo CM main engine thought to be unreliable on Apollo 13?

When Apollo 13 had most of its internal systems destroyed by an explosion, NASA decided that the best course of action would be to fire the main engine on the dark side of the moon to send the capsule ...
15
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Could the Apollo 13 crew have survived the CO2 issue using their spacesuits

In the book on the ill-fated Apollo 13 mission there is a chapter that contains an overview of the consumables on board the spacecraft, and whether or not they might pose a problem to the survival of ...
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What is this unlikely-looking contraption (“plutonium battery and scientific equipment”) they're making Jim Lovell cary around a parking lot?

The BBC's Did nuclear spy devices in the Himalayas trigger India floods contains the following image and caption. Questions: What scientific equipment and which plutonium battery is this? Since this ...
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Did they manufacture six space suits for Apollo astronaut James A. Lovell?

An Apollo astronaut got three space suits, one for training on Earth, one for flight and one as backup. James A. Lovell did fly on Apollo 8 as Command Module pilot and on Apollo 13 as Mission ...
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“Failure is not an option” is really a quote of flight director Gene Kranz?

"Failure is not an option" is attributed to Gene Kranz, flight director of Gemini, Apollo and Space Shuttle missions. In the movie Apollo 13, Ed Harris says it but IMDB trivia states that it was not ...
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Why did Apollo 13 need to ration water?

Drinking water in the lunar module originated from four water tanks: two in the ascent stage and two in the descent stage. (Unlike the CSM, there were no fuel cells to make more water.) Section 7.2....
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How were the Apollo 13 CM and LM able to undock without the engines of the SM?

During a normal Apollo mission, the command/service module was undocked from the lunar module using the reaction control system engines on the service module. (Although the command module had some ...
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1answer
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Puzzler: Precisely what maximum distance from the Earth did the Apollo 13 astronauts achieve?

tl;dr: Both this answer and this answer quote Wikipedia to state that the Apollo 13 astronauts reached 404,171 km from Earth. I'm not able to reproduce that value. According to JPL's Horizons the ...
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What's a “delog”?

Listening to the mission control audio loops on Apollo In Real Time in the immediate aftermath of the Apollo 13 explosion, I hear flight director Kranz asking about "delogs": ...
9
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Did Charlie Duke actually get the measles?

Deke Slayton: Jim, we've got a problem. I got some blood work back from the lab. Charlie Duke has the measles. Jim Lovell: [Unconcerned] So we need a new back-up. Deke Slayton: You'...
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Coordination of RCS on Apollo CSM/LM

The RCS thrusters on the Apollo Service Module were positioned approximately around the center of mass of the ship, such that translational maneuvers wouldn't unnecessarily rotate the ship. While the ...
9
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Did Apollo 13 CM reach thermal equilibrium when it was powered down?

It was reported that the CM cabin temperature dropped to 43°F. Was that the equilibrium, or would it have gotten colder if it had remained in space longer. If that wasn't equilibrium was there an ...
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Ken Mattingly was also a bachelor, so why did everyone give Jack Swigert a hard time?

The Apollo 13 Flight Journal notes that Swigert's bachelor status was near legendary, even in contemporary times. The prime CMP Ken Mattingly was single as well, incidentally, but did not enjoy ...
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Why didn't the Apollo 13 crew wear their spacesuits in the LM?

In the Apollo 13 movie, the crew take refuge in the Lunar Module, the temperature drops and they suffer the cold in their shirtsleeves. Is this accurate? Is there a reason they couldn't wear their ...
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Were more lunar module LiOH cartridges just a spacewalk away?

The modularized equipment stowage assembly (MESA) was a drawer in the base of the lunar module descent stage which stored equipment and supplies. The modularized equipment stowage assembly (MESA) ...
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Did any part of the Apollo 13 LiOH adapter return to Earth?

During Apollo missions, carbon dioxide expelled by the astronauts' breath was removed by lithium hydroxide cartridges in command module and lunar module. Apollo 13 infamously had a problem with ...
6
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Had using the LEM's engines for a lunar abort “never been tried like this?”

From the 1995 film Apollo 13, GRUMMAN REP: I just want you to know the engines never been tried like this. That's all I'm trying to tell you. Is it true that Grumman had never considered such a ...
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Was Apollo 13's engine really damaged?

According to this answer, turning on Apollo 13's Service Module Propulsion System was considered risky since ground control ditn't know if it was damages in the explosion Perform a PC+2 hour abort ...
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1answer
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Why were these Apollo 13 items moved to the lunar module before jettison?

The movie Apollo 13 illustrated the true fact that some items which were not intended to be returned to Earth were brought back anyway, to compensate for weight which would not be returned. However, ...
5
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Why did Apollo 13 need to scrub the air in the LM?

One of the dramatic moments of Apollo 13 (in real life, not just the movie) was when they had to build scrubbers for the LM ("fit the square peg in a round hole"). Why did they have to do that? The ...
5
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What were the uses of the RTGs in the Apollo spacecrafts?

I was listening to the Plutonium episode of "the Elements" on the BBC, and between 07:00 and 08:30 they talked about uses of plutonium such as spacecraft power and heat. While the returning astronauts ...
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Why were the openings of the LiOH canisters in Apollo different shapes in the first place?

Many of you probably know the famous "square peg in a round hole" situation on Apollo 13. All three astronauts were in the LM and there was a build up of CO2 from the astronauts exhaling. They had to ...
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From where is this sequence in the Apollo 13 (movie) extra material showing Gene Kranz?

In the Apollo 13 movie extra material, there are several documentary shots interspersed with commentary about the makings of the movie. I am interested in the sequence beginning at about 29 minutes (...
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How do you find lunar flyby using Apollo 13 mission report data?

Link to mission report: https://www.hq.nasa.gov/alsj/a13/A13_MissionReport.pdf So Im trying to do analysis on the mission phases of Apollo 13 but my part is to only focus on the flyby part. My ...