Apollo 13 Notes

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In the move Apollo 13 the stages of group development can be seen in the relationships with the Astronauts Lovell, Haise, Mattingly and Swigert. When we first see the Astronauts they are a well-oiled machine. They know each other’s movements and they can predict what one another is going to do next. The Astronauts are confident in each other which make them more confident in the success of their mission.

Then Mattingly is removed from the mission just two days before take-off and replaced with Swigert, instantly the whole groups dynamic changes. Lovell and Haise do not trust Swigert and they are uncertain of his abilities. We can see how this uncertainty affects them as a team. In one scene when they are practicing in the simulator we can see how Lovell and Haise do not trust Swigert, how they feel he is a “Hot shot” and this ultimately leads to Swigert trying to prove himself and ends up killing them in the simulator. We see this strain again when they are aboard Apollo 13 when Swigert is told by Mission Control to stir the tanks and there is a malfunction. The first words out of Haise’s mouth directed toward Swigert are: ”What did you do wrong?” This malfunction had nothing to do with Swigert’s experience. Because if Lovell or Haise were told to stir the tanks, no one would have questioned them.

As the movie progresses we see Swigert is usually the odd man out when Lovell and Haise need to trust and depend on each other. The groups dynamic starts to shift the longer the men are aboard the ship in space. Swigert starts to become more of an asset instead of a liability when offering his expertise. When Mission Control finally figures out what is needed to do to get them back to Earth, Swigert is trusted by Lovell and Haise to run the protocol and ultimately is given the controls by Lovell to finally fly them home. By the end of the movie they are a solid team and trust each other.

Swigert’s interpersonal needs are to be successful in his mission and be...
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