The Apollo 13 Mission

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<ul><li><p>THEAPOLLO 13</p><p>MISSION</p></li><li><p>Judy L. Hasday, Ed.M.</p><p>Chelsea House Publishers</p><p>Philadelphia</p><p>THE APOLLO 13</p><p>MISSION</p><p>OVERCOMING ADVERSITY</p><p>Introduction by James Scott Brady,Trustee, the Center to Prevent Handgun Violence</p><p>Vice Chairman, the Brain Injury Foundation</p></li><li><p>CHELSEA HOUSE PUBLISHERS</p><p>PRODUCTION MANAGER Pamela LoosART DIRECTOR Sara DavisDIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY Judy L. HasdayMANAGING EDITOR James D. GallagherSENIOR PRODUCTION EDITOR J. Christopher Higgins</p><p>Staff for The Apollo 13 MissionASSOCIATE ART DIRECTOR Takeshi TakahashiDESIGNER Keith TregoPICTURE RESEARCHER Lynn Isaacson Fairbanks</p><p> 2001 by Chelsea House Publishers, a subsidiary of Haights Cross Communications.All rights reserved. Printed and bound in the United States of America.</p><p>The Chelsea House World Wide Web site address is:</p><p></p><p>First Printing</p><p>1 3 5 7 9 8 6 4 2</p><p>Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data</p><p>Hasday, Judy L., 1957The Apollo 13 Mission / Judy Hasday.</p><p>p. cm. (Overcoming adversity)Includes bibliographical references and index.ISBN 0-7910-5310-5 ISBN 0-7910-5311-3 (pbk.)1. Apollo 13 (Spacecraft)Juvenile literature. 2. Project Apollo (U.S.)Juvenile literature. 3. Space vehicle accidentsJuvenile literature. [1. Apollo 13 (Spacecraft).2. Project Apollo (U.S.). 3. Space vehicle accidents.] I. Title. II. Series.TL789.8.U6 A538453 2000629.454dc21 00-038374</p><p>Frontispiece: The Apollo 13 command module Odyssey splashesdown at the end of its long and eventful journey through space.</p><p>To my best friend Cherylthanks for always being there for me.</p><p>The author would like to express special thanks to Mr. EugeneKranz for taking the time to discuss his thoughts about hiscareer with NASA and the Apollo 13 mission.</p></li><li><p>CONTENTS</p><p>On Facing Adversity James Scott Brady 7</p><p>AN ILL-FATED MISSION NUMBER 11</p><p>WE CHOOSE TO GO TO THE MOON 21</p><p>ONE SMALL STEP FOR MAN,ONE GIANT LEAP FOR MANKIND 35</p><p>THE PINNACLE OF AN ASTRONAUTS CAREER 51</p><p>HOUSTON, WEVE HAD A PROBLEM 59</p><p>A LIFEBOAT FOR APOLLO 73</p><p>ODYSSEY, HOUSTON STANDING BY, OVER 87</p><p>A SUCCESSFUL FAILURE 101</p><p>Chronology 108</p><p>Appendix: An Interview with Gene Krantz,Lead Flight Director for the Apollo 13 Mission 111</p><p>Bibliography 116</p><p>Index 117</p><p>1</p><p>2</p><p>3</p><p>4</p><p>5</p><p>6</p><p>7</p><p>8</p></li><li><p>OVERCOMING ADVERSITY</p><p>TIM ALLEN</p><p>comedian/performer</p><p>MAYA ANGELOU</p><p>author</p><p>THE APOLLO 13 MISSIONastronauts</p><p>LANCE ARMSTRONG</p><p>professional cyclist</p><p>DREW BARRYMORE</p><p>actress</p><p>DREW CAREY</p><p>comedian/performer</p><p>JIM CARREY</p><p>comedian/performer</p><p>BILL CLINTON</p><p>U.S. president</p><p>TOM CRUISE</p><p>actor</p><p>MICHAEL J. FOX</p><p>actor</p><p>WHOOPI GOLDBERG</p><p>comedian/performer</p><p>EKATERINA GORDEEVA</p><p>figure skater</p><p>SCOTT HAMILTON</p><p>figure skater</p><p>JEWEL</p><p>singer and poet</p><p>JAMES EARL JONES</p><p>actor</p><p>QUINCY JONES</p><p>musician and producer</p><p>ABRAHAM LINCOLN</p><p>U.S. president</p><p>WILLIAM PENN</p><p>Pennsylvanias founder</p><p>JACKIE ROBINSON</p><p>baseball legend</p><p>ROSEANNE</p><p>entertainer</p><p>MONICA SELES</p><p>tennis star</p><p>SAMMY SOSA</p><p>baseball star</p><p>DAVE THOMAS</p><p>entrepreneur</p><p>SHANIA TWAIN</p><p>entertainer</p><p>ROBIN WILLIAMS</p><p>performer</p><p>BRUCE WILLIS</p><p>actor</p><p>STEVIE WONDER</p><p>entertainer</p></li><li><p>I GUESS ITS a long way from a Centralia, Illinois, train yard to theGeorge Washington University Hospital Trauma Unit. My dad was ayardmaster for the old Chicago, Burlington &amp; Quincy Railroad. As achild, I used to get to sit in the engineers lap and imagine what it was liketo drive that train. I guess I always have liked being in the drivers seat.</p><p>Years later, however, my interest turned from driving trains to driv-ing campaigns. In 1979, former Texas governor John Connally hiredme as a press secretary in his campaign for the American presidency.We lost the Republican primary to a former Hollywood star namedRonald Reagan. But I managed to jump over to the Reagan campaign.When Reagan was elected in 1980, I was sitting in the catbird seat, ashumorist James Thurber would saypoised to be named presidentialpress secretary. I held that title throughout the eight years of the Rea-gan administration. But not without one terrible, extended interruption.</p><p>It happened barely two months after the Reagan administration tookoffice. I never even heard the shots. On March 30, 1981, my life wentblank in an instant. In an attempt to assassinate President Reagan, JohnHinckley Jr. armed himself with a Saturday night speciala low-quality, $29 pistoland shot wildly as our presidential entourageexited a Washington hotel. One of the exploding bullets struck me justabove the left eye. It shattered into a couple dozen fragments, some ofwhich penetrated my skull and entered my brain.</p><p>7</p><p>ON FACING ADVERSITYJames Scott Brady</p></li><li><p>INTRODUCTION</p><p>The next few months of my life were a nightmare of repeatedsurgery, broken contact with the outside world, and a variety of med-ical complications. More than once, I was very close to death.</p><p>The next few years were filled with frustrating struggles to functionwith a paralyzed right side, struggles to speak and communicate.</p><p>To people who face and defeat daunting obstacles, ambition is notbecoming wealthy or famous or winning elections or awards. Wordslike ambition and achievement and success take on very differ-ent meanings. The objective is just to live, to wake up every morning.The goals are not lofty; they are very ordinary.</p><p>My own heroes are ordinary folksbut they accomplish extraordi-nary things because they try. My greatest hero is my wife, Sarah. Shesaccomplished a lot of things in life, but two stand out. The first hasbeen the way she has cared for me and our son since I was shot. Atremendous tragedy and burden was dropped unexpectedly into herlife, totally beyond her control and without justification. She couldhave given up; instead, she focused her energies on preserving ourfamily and returning our lives to normal as much as possible. Week byweek, month by month, year by year, she has not reached for themiraculous, just for the normal. Yet in focusing on the normal, she hashelped accomplish the miraculous.</p><p>Her other most remarkable accomplishment, to me, has been spear-heading the effort to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and chil-dren in America. Opponents call her a gun grabber; I call her anational hero. And I am not alone.</p><p>After a seven-year battle, during which Sarah and I worked tire-lessly to educate the public about the need for stronger gun laws, theBrady Bill became law in 1993. It was a victory, achieved in the faceof tremendous opposition, that now benefits all Americans. From thetime the law took effect through fall 1997, background checks hadstopped 173,000 criminals and other high-risk purchasers from buyinghandguns, and the law has helped to reduce illegal gun trafficking.</p><p>Sarah was not pursuing fame, or even recognition. She simplystarted at one pointwhen our son, Scott, found a loaded handgun onthe seat of a pickup truck and, thinking it was a toy, pointed it at Sarah.</p><p>8</p></li><li><p>INTRODUCTION</p><p>Fortunately, no one was hurt. But seeing a gun nearly bring a secondtragedy upon our family, Sarah became determined to do whatever shecould to prevent senseless death and injury from guns.</p><p>Some people think of Sarah as a powerful political force. To me,shes the person who so many times fed me and helped me dress dur-ing my long years of recovery.</p><p>Overcoming obstacles is part of life, not just for people who arechallenged by disabilities, illnesses, or tragedies, but for all people. Nomatter what the obstaclefear, disability, prejudice, grief, or a diffi-culty that isnt likely to just go awaywe can all work to make thisworld a better place.</p><p>9</p></li><li><p>Apollo 13 lifts off from Pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 2:13 P.M. onApril 11, 1970.</p></li><li><p>11</p><p>1</p><p>AN ILL-FATED MISSION NUMBER</p><p>Do surprises turn you on? Then this is your day for the unexpected.horoscope for Aquarius in the Houston Post, April 13, 1970</p><p>VERY EARLY ON APRIL 11, 1970, while most Americans werestill asleep, the Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral, Florida,bustled with activity. Located on the northern end of FloridasAtlantic coast, the cape was home to the National Aeronautics andSpace Administration (NASA) space program. On this spring Satur-day morning a 363-foot-tall Saturn V moon rocket idled on Pad A atLaunch Complex 39. Superchilled oxygen and hydrogen fuel emittedvapors into the air from the craft, forming milky white puffs thatmade it seem as though the rocket were alive and breathing. Exceptfor a flood of powerful spotlights aimed at the rocket, the rest of thelaunchpad was dark.</p><p>Later in the day the Saturn V rocket would carry a three-man crewon a voyage to the moon, the second such trip since the momentous</p></li><li><p>James A. Lovell Jr., one ofNASAs most experiencedastronauts, had originallybeen selected to command thethree-man crew for the Apollo14 mission. Lovell was pleasedwhen his crews assignmentwas switched to Apollo 13,because it meant he would gethis chance to walk on themoon six months earlier.</p><p>first manned lunar landing nine months ear-lier, in July 1969. That was when the astro-nauts of Apollo 11Neil Armstrong,Edwin Buzz Aldrin Jr., and MichaelCollinsachieved the goal President JohnF. Kennedy had set forth in 1961, when hechallenged America to land a man on themoon before the end of the decade.</p><p>Kennedy did not live to see Armstrongand Aldrin maneuver their lunar module(LM), named Eagle, to an area of themoon known as the Sea of Tranquility. But millions of people around the worldwatched from their homes as the historicjourney was televised. At 4:18 P.M. easterndaylight time (EDT) on July 20, 1969,Eagle touched down. Seconds later Arm-strongs words were transmitted back toEarth: Houston, Tranquility Base here.The Eagle has landed. Countless hours ofdesign, engineering, building, and testingby NASA and its contractors had beensuccessful. The United States had put menon the moon, more than 200,000 milesfrom Earth.</p><p>As dawn spread across Cape Canaveralon April 11, 1970, the astronauts of the</p><p>Apollo 13 mission were already preparing themselves forliftoff. In their comfortable quarters at the KennedySpace Center, Donald Deke Slayton, a former astro-naut who had been promoted to director of flight crewoperations, roused the men from sleep. Apollo 13 mis-sion commander James A. Lovell Jr., a veteran of threeprevious space missions, quickly rose to get ready for thelaunch; Lovells crewmates, LM pilot Fred W. Haise Jr.and command module (CM) pilot John L. Jack SwigertJr., followed.</p><p>THE APOLLO 13 MISS ION12</p></li><li><p>AN I LL -FATED MISS ION NUMBER 13</p><p>The men took the last hot showers they would have for10 days, and then visited the missions medical team for afinal checkup. They joined Slayton and the Apollo 13backup crew for the traditional send-off breakfast of steakand eggs, and then began preparing for the launch.</p><p>Soon after, Lovell, Haise, and Swigert emerged fromthe dressing area of the Space Center in their finely tunedbut bulky space suits and helmets. They smiled, waved,and gave cheerful thumbs-up signs to the crowd gatheredoutside the building before they were whisked away in anair-conditioned van to Pad 39A. There an assistance crewaccompanied the astronauts on a 33-story gantry elevatorride to the space capsule. After the three had climbed intothe capsule cockpit, the crew closed and sealed the hatch.Apollo 13 was less than three hours from takeoff.</p><p>So far the mission was proceeding smoothly, despite themutterings of superstitious types who believed that the mis-sion number13made it a doomed flight. Some pointedout that the entire mission had ominous numerologicalovertones. When the digits contained in the date of thescheduled launch4/11/70were added together, forexample, they totaled 13. Furthermore, Apollo 13 wasscheduled to lift off at 1:13 P.M. Houston time1313 bymilitary clocks. (The launch took place in Florida at 2:13P.M. eastern standard time [EST], one hour later than inHouston, where Mission Control was located.) And if themission continued on schedule, Apollo 13 would enter themoons gravitational field on April 13.</p><p>Of course, there had been a few problems with the mis-sion, but that was not unusual. For example, the missionsoriginal CM pilot, Thomas Ken Mattingly II, withwhom Lovell and Haise had trained for two years, wasgrounded seven days before the launch after doctors dis-covered that hed been exposed to measles. Then, justbefore launch, ground tests indicated a possible problemwith the insulation in a helium tank on the LM. Still, thesewere not earth-shattering problems, and NASA officials,</p></li><li><p>The Apollo 13 astronautsselected this emblem for theirmission. Based on Romanmythology, it depicts horsespulling the chariot of the SunGod (Apollo) from the earthto the moon. The Latin mottomeans, From the moon,knowledge.</p><p>and even Lovell himself, were more amused than worriedby the supposed omens surrounding the mission. Theywere not about to let such beliefs affect hard, quantifiable,scientific logic. In the book Lost Moon, Jim Lovelldescribes the prevailing sentiment: Bringing one ofhumanitys greatest scientific endeavors eyeball to eye-ball with one of its most enduring superstitions had anirresistible appeal, and most people applauded the hubris[exaggerated pride], the cmon-I-dare-you arrogance, offlying the mission anyway, and even embroidering a bigloud XIII on the patches of the suits the astronautswould be wearing throughout the flight.</p><p>The countdown to launch proceeded without incidentas Lovell, Haise, and Swigert completed their systemchecks. This mission did not attract the huge crowds thathad crammed every inch of the cape and its surroundingarea when Apollo 11 had taken off for the moon. The</p><p>THE APOLLO 13 MISS ION14</p></li><li><p>AN I LL -FATED MISS ION NUMBER 15</p><p>nations interest in the space program had begun to wanesomewhatafter all, how do you continue to generateenthusiasm once the goal of landing on the moon hasbeen reached? </p><p>The Apollo program may have begun to lose its attrac-tion for the public, but for Jim Lovell it was a dream cometrue. Apollo 13 would probably be his last mission, andcommanding the flight that would take him to the moonand actually walking on the moon, as only four otherhuman beings had to that pointwas an unimaginablethrill. For Haise and Swigert there was nothing humdrumabout this mission either. It was their first and they hadtrained long and hard to get where they were. Now it wasactually about to happen. They were going to the moon!</p><p>With all systems go (ready for launch), the finalcountdown began. At T-minus-8.9 seconds (8.9 secondsbefore launch), Apollo 13s ignition sequence began. At T-minus-2 seconds all five S-IC engines ignited. The SaturnV, with the crew of Apollo 13 atop it, began to lift off amida thunderous, roaring crescendo and a huge cloud ofsmoke and flames, clearing the tower and soaring sky-ward, away from Earth.</p><p>Five minutes into the flight the astronauts felt a slightvibration, and then one of the five S-II booster engines cutoff two minutes earlier than scheduled. It wasnt a prob-lem, though: the four remaining engines burned 34 sec-onds longer to compensate, and the booster, with plenty offuel, burned an additional nine seconds to put the craft intoorbit. Three hours later the crew of...</p></li></ul>