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Movie Report : Apollo 13

By nicoleooshuguang Jul 07, 2011 1035 Words
"Apollo 13"
By starring Tom Hanks, Apollo 13 is a American drama film based on the book of "Last Moon" by Jim Lovell and Jeffrey Kluger. At the begining, Jim (Tom Hanks), Fred Haise (Bill Paxton) and Ken Mattingly (Gary Sinise) are the crew assigned to the Appllo 13 spacecraft. Their vision is to walk on the moon. However, few days before launching, Ken was informed that he could not fly because he had in exposed to the measles a week before. Jack Swigert took his place only with three days of preparation. Jim, as the leader of group, thought Jack was not the ideal partner, and doubted Jack's ability and experience if he have the possibility to undertake this important work. But at the moment, he accepted NASA's arrangement and gave the trust to Jack. Three days after launching, Jack was doing a routine procedure to stir the oxygen tanks, and found one of three oxygen tanks to being leaking. They had to give up their mission of Moon landing and shut down Odyssey's power, so it would keep them alive to go home. Undering the sudden unexpected situation, Gene Kranz who is the director of Apollo 13 in Houston's Mission Control Center, was quickly prompt in its response to these incidents. He decisively said :" we must bring them to home, and must not fail.", and then commanded each department of NASA rapidly promoting discussion of re-plan the flight plan. There were two opinions that faced in front of Gene making decision. One was using lunar module of spacecraft to fly around the moon and driving back. It would be very danger that there was not enough power to support their return. Another one is directly using power of command module to return. It would save the time, but likely cause the explosion of the spacecraft. Under the new vision of "bring them go home", Gene chose the security way, which fly around the moon, even it would make more troubles. This right decision is the most important fact causing the final success in the whole management. As another problem happened, which lack of oxygen, engineering team rapidly found out a solution which build up of air cleaner by using limit resource from spacecraft. Meanwhile, Ken also found a way to power up the command module with its limited power, writing a procedures. At the ending of Movie, it was a happy ending. All astronauts returned earth and went home. From this movie, it made me think a lot. Especially on the side of leadership. There is a significant difference between Jim and Gene, the two kind of leader. Jim, as a leader of astronauts' group, played a role as "manager" in a organization. " manager are people who do thing right" He accomplished by following the order, having responsibility for the whole activities. Jim's main role was to achieve objectives of the moon landing. He was responsible for aligning the individual's objectives with the organizational objectives. He had to be in close contact with the other astronauts, provide effective communication to be sure understand their condition. And he encouraged them in such extreme difficulty situation so that they could not lost hope and performed effectively to finish organizational vision. Meanwhile he gave trust to Jack when he shew bad performance during his preparation for launching, and even Jack made a major mistake, because Jim understand that they could not be successful without a team work. Jack also questioned those staffs on the earth that they would not consider distress as their own. Once a wave of serous depression and doubt spread out, any strong team will be destroyed. Jim solved this conflict with his calm mind and strong of will. He also committed to his work so as to set an good example for his team member under an atmosphere of tension. After this movie, the most deep impression was from Gene. His calm tone, firm command, decisive decision-making was so impressive. he took an important role during the return of Apollo 13. Gene, as the director of Apollo 13 in NASA, was a role as "leader" of the organization. His role is influencing, guiding in direction, action and opinion. "leader are those people who do the right thing". Gene was a kind of leader who not simply follow and master basic routines, but "creating dangerously." When spacecraft was out of control, oxygen tanks was shaking, the main warning light was turned on, the control center on the ground became upset and flustered. Gene stand out by using calm voice, said:" quiet, calm down, other support team is right away. We are to solve the problem, do not quote a pass." and immediately, comforted to astronauts that they was trying to solve problem. In fact, Gene maintained a certain orderliness in the rescue work, and stabilize the morale of the troops in good time, which is critical to solve the problem. Good psychology quality of leader is a important feature in such a critical moment. Gene was very good at using people's intelligence, because the power of individual is limited. He also actively listened the views of all of members, during the rescue work, he always said:" Is there any other suggestion?" and when there were many different opinions to debate, Gene acted decisively, showing power of leader and giving the final decisions. I remembered a moment that when the spacecraft had passed through the dangerous and back to earth, Gene straightened his clothes and said:" This is the most glorious moment" At that time, all people started to have a sense of responsibility to serve their country. Leader is to bring people's initiative into fill play, at such appropriate time.

Reference
Wikipedia.(1998). Apollo 13 (film). Retrieved December 2010, from http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apollo_13_%28Film%29

Atkinson, Nancy. 2010. Universe Today: 13 thing that saved Apollo 13. Accessed May 5, 2010, from
http://www.universetoday.com/63951/13-things-that-saved-apollo-13-part-13-the-mission-operations-team/

Warren Bennis and Burt Nanus. 2003. Leader: leading others, managing yourself. New York In-text:
(Bennis and Nanus 2003, 10)

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