“Houston we have a problem” (Lovell). These are the words Commander Jim Lovell shared with mission control when terror struck the spacecraft two hundred thousand miles into its journey to the Moon. On board Apollo 13, along with Commander Jim Lovell, were Command Module Pilot Jack Swigert, and Lunar Module Pilot Fred Haise (Kluger). After given a command from Houston to turn on the hydrogen and oxygen tank stirring fans, the spacecraft’s Service Module exploded followed by loss of electrical power and control of the ship. Forced to abort the mission, the crew faced many obstacles in attempt to return home safely. On Earth, “America watched the desperate efforts of mission control to bring the crew home in what many consider NASA’s finest hour” (Kluger).
Apollo 13 was the seventh manned mission in the American Apollo space program (Cole). The spacecraft was broken into two different ships, the Command Module and the Lunar Module (Cole). The command Module was named Odyssey; and its purpose was to house the astronauts, and return them home through re-entry. The Lunar Module was named Aquarius; and its purpose was to transport astronauts from the Command Module to the surface of the Moon (Kluger). The crew consisted of Commander Jim Lovell, Command Module Pilot Jack Swigert, and Lunar Module Pilot Fred Haise. Apollo 13 launched on April 11, 1970, at 13:13 from the Kennedy Space Center, Florida. Apollo 13 was intended to land at Fra Mauro, but after an explosion in the Service Module the ship was forced to abort and return home. Apollo 13 splashed down on April 17, 1970 in the South Pacific Ocean.
Only fifty-five hours into the flight, the Command Module suffered an explosion leaving the spacecraft crippled. This incident occurred fifty-nine seconds after Jack Swigert was ordered to give the oxygen tanks a stir to prevent an over intake by the crew of carbon dioxide. As the master alarm sounded off the crew knew they were in danger (NASA). Apollo...
Cited: "Apollo 13: Sixty-five Volt Mishap." Nature 226.5250 (1970): 1001. Print.
Cole, Michael D. Apollo 13: Space Emergency. Springfield, NJ: Enslow, 1995. Print.
"Encyclopedia Astronautica Apollo 13." Apollo 13. Web. 27 Mar. 2012. <http://www.astronautix.com/flights/apollo13.htm>.
"Human Space Flight (HSF) - Apollo History." NASA Human Space Flight. Web. 27 Mar. 2012. <http://spaceflight.nasa.gov/history/apollo/apollo13/index.html>.
Lovell, Jim, and Jeffrey Kluger. Apollo 13. New York: Pocket, 1995. Print.
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