Apollo 13: Lessons in Gravity

Topics: Gravitation, Moon, Earth Pages: 3 (891 words) Published: March 26, 2014

In the movie retelling the story of Apollo 13, there were many instances where gravity and its properties were relevant. The five main topics I have chosen I feel are the easiest to explain and understand. The first is the requirements of liftoff and how the astronauts will experience g forces. Next is coming into earth and how they will have to calculate the angle and speed at which they will have to re-enter at. Third I talk about the simulator and how it prepares them for conditions in outer space. Fourth I talk about the Orange drink floating around in the space craft and why that happens. Finally, I talk about the explosion and how it affects the astronauts for the rest of their voyage.

Liftoff, when the spaceship first takes off has the rockets firing and it slowly takes off and then gains velocity. Rockets launched into space can be suborbital (brief visit to space) or orbital (staying in motion around the Earth) or can escape Earth’s gravity to travel deeper into space.The rocket needs to gain enough velocity to at least leave earths atmosphere. For every planet there is an escape velocity, for a rocket it needs to be going at least that fast to leave the planet. If the spacecraft is going a little slower it may get sucked into the inner orbit of the planet. The official beginning of space is 100 km above the Earth’s surface, so it needs to get to at least that point with the rockets before it can use other forces to travel. This is similar to the what the physics book said about newton and a cannonball circling earth. If the spacecraft was going to slow the rocket would crash back to earth.

Coming into earth, their goal is to make sure they pass by the earth at a closer distance so they can come down in a spiral direction. This is the complete opposite of what they did at the moon at the speed they’re at if they pass by the earth at a specific distance they will go into orbit. The way they got back to earth was using the 30 second burst with the...
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