View Full Version : Apollo XIII

13th Apr 2004, 12:39
'Twas 34 years ago today that they discovered something was wrong...

Some details (http://www.lpi.usra.edu/expmoon/Apollo13/Apollo13.html)

Ric Capucho
13th Apr 2004, 12:56
"Houston, we have a problem".

Makes my hair stand up on end to even think about those words. That Apollo team did a fantastic job to get those fellows down. Huge effort both in and out of the capsule to make it all work out well in the end. Oh, and they still managed to do a bit of science whilst whizzing around the moon.

As often the case, one of mankind's finest moments started off with a bloody big cock-up.


13th Apr 2004, 13:51
Yeah, we can slag the yanks all we like, but when they get it right it is more than impressive.

13th Apr 2004, 13:57
So this is one of the Apollo missions that actually left the ground and...?! :\ :8 ;)

13th Apr 2004, 15:05
You probably already know, but there are a couple of amazing books covering the subject. One by James Lovell himself called Apollo 13 .

And the other 'Failure is not an option' by Gene Kranz who was the mission director (the guy in the white suit). I guess there are many others, but these I have read and would recommend

BTW, I last year I also read 'Last man on the moon' by Gene Cernon. Damned fine read it is too

Brave brave men

13th Apr 2004, 15:12
And no fluffy foamy bits hitting the tiles on that mission...:}

(OK, I'm goin'....!)

tony draper
13th Apr 2004, 15:40
Co-incidently tiz also the anniversary of mans first foray into space,43 years ago today Yuri Gagarin took off on his historic flight, incidently Jim Lovell never had a lot of luck, he went to the Moon twice and still never got to put his footprint on it, he Crewed Apollo 8 and Apollo 13.
I remember Apollo 13 very well and that messeage.


13th Apr 2004, 22:05
Yes, the horror of the news and the relief on splashdown!
I also remember that sad tragedy one year later (Sojus 11) and the shockwave of mourning worldwide despite the cold war.

14th Apr 2004, 00:30
Not that I'm supersticious (Mrs CR2 disagrees with spelling, but can't be bothered to argue, right or wrong).... Mate of mine told me that April 13th 1970 was also a Friday...

14th Apr 2004, 01:19
One of the best quotes from any movie is the one attributed to Gene Krantz. (Yeah yeah I know you weren't talking about the movie but I'm American so that's my reality.)

Just as the full horror of the mess they were in became evident, one of NASA's Public Relations men gasped - "This will be our biggest embarassment!"

Krantz replied, "No, sir, this will be our finest hour." And it was.

That's back when we could produce leaders like that. Krantz chewed glass and spit nails. He whipped the troops in line and brought the ship home. They don't make 'em like him anymore!

14th Apr 2005, 21:45

Also on the bbc site;


Well done to all involved.

I thought both the movie and the book was extremely well done.



tony draper
14th Apr 2005, 21:51
Tiz also 96 years ago today since a officer on the bridge of the Titanic said something similar.

14th Apr 2005, 22:06
Dave Scott, one of the dozen to have made a footprint on the moon (and driven the buggy) has been in the UK on a lecture tour promoting his and Leonovs joint book "Two Sides of the Moon". I went to his lecture a couple of weeks ago at Portsmouth. Lovely evening, autographed book, excellent talk, loads of questions. Don't know if he is still about but may be worth googling- you may be lucky.
Three of the dozen are no longer with us. I asked him how he felt being on the Moon for 3 days with just one engine to get them off, then another single engine to get them home. His answer was as I expected! I understand Aldrin 'broke the ignition' key of the Lunar Command module, but managed to get it started (key? Who was going to nick it? Were Liverpudlians up there already scouting around for radios, tyres and available motors?).

Onan the Clumsy
14th Apr 2005, 23:34
Houston, we have a problem (http://www.moviewavs.com/cgi-bin/moviewavs.cgi?Apollo_13=a13prob.wav)

14th Apr 2005, 23:35
Another great book, long out of print. Moonwreck, by Henry SF Cooper. I was a bit young to register the mission at the time, and was stunned to read this book as a teenager. Very contempory, copyright 1972!

As Robert Heinlen said, you can learn much more about something by watching it go wrong. The lines of flight controllers who appear to sit there watching telly, and the astronuts that just ride their cannonball & quote Star Trek techno-babble at each other don't appear to be working until they actually have something to talk ABOUT!

15th Apr 2005, 00:38
Where the ****'s all that water coming from?

15th Apr 2005, 07:21
During the the re-entry period of Apollo 13, it was not certain exactly where on Earth it might come down. I remember that we stopped all radio transmissions for a few minutes & listened out on Guard. This was at RAF Akrotiri, Cyprus and the orders to do so came from very high up.

Often wandered if this couple of minutes radio silence was global?

Krystal n chips
15th Apr 2005, 07:36
Careful now---this thread has probably induced apopletic rage amongst the conspiracy theorists :yuk: on this, one of their most "sacred" days. --------- I live in hope here of course :ok:

15th Apr 2005, 08:10
Houston, we've got a problem - Bobby Brown married your daughter!

As a child I remember being glued to the TV with awe during the Apollo missions. I figured that we would all get a chance to run around on Mars when I grew up. Those guys were and are heroes.

tony draper
15th Apr 2005, 08:35
I understand that the three occupants of Apollo 13 still hold the record for the fastest travelling human beings ever.

15th Apr 2005, 09:45
it's a good day to be doing this then.

soyuz launch (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/4447031.stm)

by the time he gets back, Krikalev will have spent 800 days in space!

15th Apr 2005, 09:57
I heard they used an Omega Speedmaster watch to time the LEM burn to get back home. Had the use a Breitling, I'm sure Breitling would have a commerative model for sale.

15th Apr 2005, 11:51
Not that I'm supersticious (Mrs CR2 disagrees with spelling, but can't be bothered to argue, right or wrong).... Mate of mine told me that April 13th 1970 was also a Friday...

My callendar says Monday-13-April-1970

15th Apr 2005, 11:53
You always get continuity errors in a movie..... :}

gas path
15th Apr 2005, 12:14
Nah! them Breitlings are no where near accurate enough:p

15th Apr 2005, 14:20
For the spaceflight buffs, this quote comes from "Apollo" by Murray and Cox:

" You can still hear the voices of the Apollo controllers, recorded for posterity on the tapes kept at Houston.....You can still hear the voices from the back room and the fainter voices of the astronauts themselves. What you cannot hear are the background noises of flight control - the micophones on the controllers' headsets were too highly directional.....Thus, at the point of the first lunar landing on Apollo 11 when Kranz had to call for quiet the listener must imagine the hubub for himself. On the first night of Apollo 13's troubles, when Lunney had to call for quiet, the tapes reveal nothing of the commotion that was distracting him.
But three minutes and fifty three seconds after Jack Swigert's "OK Joe" the screen at the right front of MOCR ("mission control") lit up with a TV image of Odyssey, it's main parachutes' safely deployed. That moment you can still hear. No microphone could have filtered out that pandemonium"

18th Apr 2005, 16:12
A brilliant book about the space programme and in particular the Apollo programme is "Carrying the Fire" by Michael Collins. I believe it's out of print but a good search in libraries should find it. (For those resident in sunny Luton, Luton Central library has it in Stack).

For some great archival footage, get the Australian DVD "The Dish". It's a cracking movie, loosely based on fact. It has some brilliant archival footage of the 60's and 70's space programme.
It's worth getting the DVD for that NASA footage alone. :D

18th Apr 2005, 17:36
I always get the mickey taken about "the dish" it was my choice of DVD when we finally got round to getting a player. The rest of the family were not impressed.

I agree though, good footage, and seems to capture the era.

I remember Apollo 13 like it was yesterday....I thought the Tom Hanks film was splendid.

Mac the Knife
18th Apr 2005, 17:47
karrank - "Another great book, long out of print. Moonwreck, by Henry SF Cooper. "

Agree - still got my copy.

I remember the whole family being glued to the TV. Wasn't young Jim Burke commentating as well? He went on to write a column for Scientific American that was remarable for it's overweening facetiousness - happily it's now been ditched.

PS: Boggs Spacebooks - http://www.boggsspace.com/ - are a fantastic source of space memorabilia. They tracked down a very rare volume that I read as a child and had a sentimental wish to see again. Tiptop service. Recommended.