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broncosteven
04-11-2010, 11:43 AM
40 years ago today Apollo 13 would clear the massive counter weights which held her Earthbound at 13:13est.

This would be Lovell's last mission, he would retire from NASA after meeting his goal to walk on the moon. Part of the "Next Nine" class that would follow the Original Mercury 7, Lovell had spent a week in space with Buzz Aldrin in the cramped Gemini capsule and orbit the moon in the historic Apollo 8 flight on Christmas eve 1968. Some said that flight single handedly saved 1968, one of the most turbulent years in American History.

The 1969 season was not kind to the Denver Broncos, they finished 5-8-1 and were swept by both KFC and Oakland. The NFL merger would take place the coming season.

As the craft reached orbit and the crew prepared for the S-IVB (TLI - Translunar Injection) burn, no one could forsee the events that would await them 200,000 miles from home.

elsid13
04-11-2010, 12:10 PM
http://www.udel.edu/physics/scen103/ZING/Apollo13Launch.jpg

Killericon
04-11-2010, 02:07 PM
Relevant, maybe interesting? (http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/home/science/Space-tomb-Study-adds-twist-to-Apollo-13-tale/articleshow/5785667.cms)

Tom G
04-11-2010, 02:24 PM
I knew Jack Swigert slightly, (business meeting, lunch, golf, 19th hole drinks). As I'm sure you all know, he ran for congress, won, but passed away before he was sworn in. Kevin Bacon played him in the movie version of the story.

OBF1
04-11-2010, 02:26 PM
Failure is not an option !!!

broncosteven
04-11-2010, 02:58 PM
I knew Jack Swigert slightly, (business meeting, lunch, golf, 19th hole drinks). As I'm sure you all know, he ran for congress, won, but passed away before he was sworn in. Kevin Bacon played him in the movie version of the story.

Very cool. I make sure to stop by his statue at DIA on my way home from Bronco games.

Got any good stories? Was he a Bronco fan?

broncosteven
04-11-2010, 03:13 PM
If anyone is interested in computing check out Eldon C. Hall's book "Journey to the Moon: The history of the Apollo Guidance Computer".

The CM and the LM each had a DSKY interface that used the concept of nouns and Verbs.

The computers memory was a series of "ropes" wired by hand and measured in words.

Very good book. It is amazing how many man hours went into creating the computers for the LM, CM, and Saturn V.

Tombstone RJ
04-11-2010, 03:54 PM
I knew Jack Swigert slightly, (business meeting, lunch, golf, 19th hole drinks). As I'm sure you all know, he ran for congress, won, but passed away before he was sworn in. Kevin Bacon played him in the movie version of the story.

He was a CU grad.

cmhargrove
04-11-2010, 04:11 PM
40 years ago today Apollo 13 would clear the massive counter weights which held her Earthbound at 13:13est.

This would be Lovell's last mission, he would retire from NASA after meeting his goal to walk on the moon. Part of the "Next Nine" class that would follow the Original Mercury 7, Lovell had spent a week in space with Buzz Aldrin in the cramped Gemini capsule and orbit the moon in the historic Apollo 8 flight on Christmas eve 1968. Some said that flight single handedly saved 1968, one of the most turbulent years in American History.

The 1969 season was not kind to the Denver Broncos, they finished 5-8-1 and were swept by both KFC and Oakland. The NFL merger would take place the coming season.

As the craft reached orbit and the crew prepared for the S-IVB (TLI - Translunar Injection) burn, no one could forsee the events that would await them 200,000 miles from home.

Hey Broncosteven, I know that the space program has been a passion of yours for some time - where did that come from? Is it just an interest, or have you been involved in that profession in some way?

elsid13
04-11-2010, 04:30 PM
Just so folks get a feeling on small a room they operated in:

the dimensions of VW bus
<table border="0" cellpadding="5" cellspacing="0"><tbody><tr valign="top"><td>Height </td><td>6'10"
2.08 m </td></tr><tr valign="top"> <td>Width </td><td>6'1"
1.844 m </td></tr><tr valign="top"> <td>Length </td><td>15'
4.57 m</td></tr></tbody></table>

Dimensions
Height: 36.2 ft 11.03 m
Diameter: 12.8 ft 3.9 m
Volume: 218 ft3 6.17 m3

Kaylore
04-11-2010, 04:51 PM
So awesome. Congrats one of the greatest engineering feats of all humanity.

T/F Bronco
04-11-2010, 06:16 PM
I remember this well. I was a Junior in High School in southern California. We were glued to the tv. I remember the first mercury flight and the first moon landing. It certainly was an awesome accomplishment in American history considering the turbulent years of Vietnam.

gunns
04-11-2010, 06:44 PM
It's on Dateline NBC right now. What those poor families went through. I remember watching TV, it was a true cliffhanger.

titan
04-11-2010, 07:50 PM
The Dateline show was good tonight - lots of interviews of the key players in the Apollo 13 saga (Lovell, Haise, Kranz, and others)

I was 13 years old in 1970 - my passion for following the space program as a kid was only second to my devotion to the Broncos. I watched every minute of coverage I could of the historic Apollo 11 and Apollo 12 flights, and couldn't understand why the networks were cutting back their coverage of Apollo 13. This was in the days of 4 tv stations in denver, the 3 major networks (abc, nbc, cbs), and no cable channels like cnn to cover the apollo 13 mission more in depth.

Once the accident happened the networks suddenly took notice, and the rest of the flight was covered in detail. I watched every minute. At school the mission was the subject of everyday conversation. "Do you think we are going to lose our astronauts?" a kid standing next to me in gym asked (I hardly knew him). The Apollo 13 saga suddenly had become mainstream - EVERYONE was following it not just space obsessed kids like myself.

When the astronauts returned home safely I remember feeling very happy, as were my family and friends. Only years later, in watching documentaries and reading books on the Apollo program, did I realize the danger the astronauts faced was much greater than the news reporting let on at the time.

After Apollo 13 life returned to normal in 1970. The Broncos had drafted local hero Bobby Anderson from CU as their #1 pick back in January. Anderson had a great college career but never did much as a pro (plagued by injuries). The town was excited about the Broncos first full year in the NFL in 1970, and the Broncos did have a big upset win at home against the defending super bowl champ KC Chiefs in September.

While interest and tv coverage of the NFL exploded starting in 1970, coverage of the apollo program went the other direction. With each remaining apollo mission I was disappointed that there was less and less network tv coverage.

broncosteven
04-11-2010, 07:55 PM
Hey Broncosteven, I know that the space program has been a passion of yours for some time - where did that come from? Is it just an interest, or have you been involved in that profession in some way?

I remember being interested in the space program as a kid but got into computers instead.

I saw a PBS Nova special on the Apollo 13 disaster, still the best program on the mission I have ever seen. Around that time Chris Kraft wrote his book and then it seemed like everyone in NASA wrote a book. I thought Gene's was the best and when I read his Tough and Competent speech post the Apollo 1 fire I was hooked. I was doing a lot of project management at the time and was amazed at how he managed his teams.

If you listen to the MOCR loops it is amazing how anyone could keep a handle on everything let alone trust his guys to come up with options without the threat of reprisals or accountablity for the failure. They just "Worked the problem" as each one came up.

I will post a break down of the events on the 13th.

Tombstone RJ
04-11-2010, 08:04 PM
I had a 45" record with the Apollo 11 landing recorded and my brother and I used to put it on our record player and listen to it in the late 1970s. The only other 45" my brother and I had was Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody. I played the crap out of that one...

broncosteven
04-11-2010, 08:04 PM
So awesome. Congrats one of the greatest engineering feats of all humanity.

I don't know how anyone could not be awed standing under the refurbished Saturn V at the KSC.

I can't wait to take my kids to the Kansas Cosmosphere to see the Odyssey Capsule when they are old enough. We stopped at the SAC museum in 2001 on route to a Bronco game because my wife didn't want to fly. Standing next to a SR-71 so close you could almost touch it was awesome.

It is as if our technology has taken 2 steps back from what it was from 1945-1972.

No ablity to send men into orbit after September and no craft that can do MACH 3 or better for long durations of time. Even the Concords are grounded.

bronco610
04-12-2010, 12:44 AM
Saw the title of the thread and didn't even need to guess the person who started it.
Well done sir, well done !!!!!!

Bronco Yoda
04-12-2010, 01:13 AM
Gene wore a pink thong that matched the pink lining of his vests :)

dbfan21
04-12-2010, 07:30 AM
40 years ago today Apollo 13 would clear the massive counter weights which held her Earthbound at 13:13est.

This would be Lovell's last mission, he would retire from NASA after meeting his goal to walk on the moon. Part of the "Next Nine" class that would follow the Original Mercury 7, Lovell had spent a week in space with Buzz Aldrin in the cramped Gemini capsule and orbit the moon in the historic Apollo 8 flight on Christmas eve 1968. Some said that flight single handedly saved 1968, one of the most turbulent years in American History.

The 1969 season was not kind to the Denver Broncos, they finished 5-8-1 and were swept by both KFC and Oakland. The NFL merger would take place the coming season.

As the craft reached orbit and the crew prepared for the S-IVB (TLI - Translunar Injection) burn, no one could forsee the events that would await them 200,000 miles from home.

I live in the same county as NASA & Kennedy Space Center. It has been celebrated locally and has been fun to re-live. What's sad is how the Obama administration has made so many changes to the structure of the space program that approximately 8,000 space center workers (highly educated aerospace engineers and managers) are going to lose their job by the end of the year. The economy in our area is going to really tank. I was not a huge fan of Obama before this news, but he's in the doghouse here in our area for sure! I have friends at NASA who have no idea what they're going to do once they're laid off.

Sad, sad stuff...

http://www.floridatoday.com/article/20100412/NEWS02/4120315/Save-Space-rally-draws-thousands-to-Cocoa-Expo

The article above gives some details

elsid13
04-13-2010, 05:25 PM
Tonight is the night at 2200 hours that the phrase was delivered into America history

Swigert: 'Okay, Houston, we've had a problem here.'
Duke: 'This is Houston. Say again please.'
Lovell: 'Houston, we've had a problem. We've had a main B bus undervolt.'

Chris
04-13-2010, 05:35 PM
I live in the same county as NASA & Kennedy Space Center. It has been celebrated locally and has been fun to re-live. What's sad is how the Obama administration has made so many changes to the structure of the space program that approximately 8,000 space center workers (highly educated aerospace engineers and managers) are going to lose their job by the end of the year. The economy in our area is going to really tank. I was not a huge fan of Obama before this news, but he's in the doghouse here in our area for sure! I have friends at NASA who have no idea what they're going to do once they're laid off.

Sad, sad stuff...

http://www.floridatoday.com/article/20100412/NEWS02/4120315/Save-Space-rally-draws-thousands-to-Cocoa-Expo

The article above gives some details

Hopefully build insanely cool products for consumers

broncosteven
04-13-2010, 07:27 PM
THE OFFICAL BRONCOSTEVEN APOLLO 13 TRIBUTE

While preparing my tribute to the 40th Anniversary of the Apollo 13 mission I came across a Time magazine article on Tom Hanks’ HBO Mini-series “The Pacific”. Over the course of the last 15 years Hanks has become the Steven Ambrose, David McCullough, and if you’re old enough to remember Bosom Buddies Deloris Kearns Goodwin, of the iPod generation. Hanks’ abilities to team up with great people and create great HISTO-tainment that is digestible by young and old has made learning history cool and even fun.

Although some of Hanks’ comments from this article have become a lightning rod for criticism he said something that struck a chord with me. While touring the Marine Corps training facility he talked about how he was impressed with the discipline the young Marines followed and the way it drew them together as a group, “Astronauts, test pilots, Army Rangers all adhere to a kind of self-government that is infectious”. Hanks goes on to say “The fact is, I have no inner discipline and Americans rigorously training to perform public service is inspiring to me”. Personally, I never have been able to explain my interest in great human accomplishments as succinctly as Hanks did in that quote.

Maybe this also explains why I have been attracted to football since the first time I saw a game on TV as a kid living in Denver. At its essence football is about execution, it requires 11 players working together executing their assignments for a common goal. Growing up I found a hero in Floyd Little and used to run around in my one Bronco tee shirt and pretend to evade defenders and go in for the touchdown. Then as I got older I realized the real game was won in the trenches, whereas before I thought the offensive and defensive linemen were just in the way I learned that plays were defined at the lines.

It is easy to be a fan of the QB throwing the last second TD or the RB who plows through the holes in the lines or the Astronaut setting foot on a moon 250,000 miles away. The real question is who are the real hero’s, who really got the Astronaut to his touchdown? The enemy scientist who surrendered to the US in the closing days of WWII with as much of his life’s work as he could pile on as many lorries he could commandeer? The president who challenged a generation to do the other things not because they are easy but because they are hard? The engineers who beat the swords of long range missiles into the plowshares of sub-orbital flight? The corporations who bid on the contracts and hired the engineers who designed the Capsules (CSM) and Lunar modules (LM)? The skilled workers who built the designs? The ground crews at the cape? The ground crews at Houston? The staff of the Mission Operations Control Room (MOCR)? These millions made up the starters on the offense that scored touchdowns at Tranquility base, Statio Cognitum or “Pete’s Parking lot”, Fra Mauro Base, Hadley Rille, Descartes Highlands, and lastly Taurus-Littrow.

I think Super Bowl XXXII is the greatest ever for a lot more reasons than just because I am a lifelong Bronco fan. The Drama of the great super bowls make them great it is not the final score that defines the game but how the players came together as a team to overcome obstacles and their burning desire to do anything they could to reach their goal. We as Bronco fans remember the lead changes in that game, TD overcoming a migraine after missing the second quarter, Elway “helicoptering” for first down yardage, the play of the smaller Denver offensive line gassing Glibert Brown and Reggie White in Denver’s Zone run game. Everyone had to contribute and execute when called on for the Broncos to win that day so much so that on Green Bay’s last possession Denver was forced to play two backup DB’s with the game on the line because the starters were knocked out on the play before. On April 13th through 16th 1970, it took thousands all over the world to ensure the safe return of the crew of Apollo 13. In my mind returning Jim Lovell, Fred Haise, and Rusty Swigart to earth after a catastrophic explosion nearly 200,000 miles away was NASA’s greatest achievement.

broncosteven
04-13-2010, 07:27 PM
Drum Roll.....

broncosteven
04-13-2010, 07:28 PM
Wait for it...

broncosteven
04-13-2010, 07:29 PM
Sy Leibergot said no one saw the data on their consoles at the exact moment of the explosion. Sy was manning the EECOM desk on Flight Director, Gene Kranz’s White team the night of April 13.

There were two issues with Apollo 13’s Oxygen Tank 2, there was a quality control issue that went undiscovered after the Tank was installed in the Service Module (SM) causing a wire to be frayed on the fan motor wires where it could cause a short and a spark that could ignite the tank. The second issue was that the instrumentation for tank 2 was erratic. EECOM could get a reading from Tank 1 because the two tanks were plumbed together and would have the same volume. Because of the instrument failure on Tank 2 Sy Leibergot requested that they stir the tanks for an accurate reading of the O2 in the tanks before the Astronauts sleep period. Sy was working with his EECOM team to figure out the math of how to get the reading for Tank 2 from Tank 1 while the request for the O2 stir was sent up by Capcom Jack Lousma.

If you read the accounts of the incident in the many books written about the flight or listen to the MOCR tape loops the first thing everyone talks about is the confusion. On the EECOM tape loop you can hear the housekeeping being done and then an ominous crackle after Swigert flipped the four switches to turn on the tank fans. No one knew that there was an explosion, including the crew, they felt a “bump” but could not tell at the time that an entire panel was gone from the Service Module (SM) and their lives were on the line.

Sy reported immediately that they lost pressure on both O2 tanks while the rest of the MOCR thought it was a battery issue with Main B bus showing undervolt. On the loop you can hear Sy stalling Kranz’s request for information by saying “We’ve got some Instrumentation Flight, let me add it up” while he worked with the rest of his EECOM team to find the core issue.

broncosteven
04-13-2010, 07:30 PM
It took eighteen minutes to realize that two of the three fuel cells that provided electrical power to the CSM were gone and could not be brought back online. On the loop Gene Kranz makes it clear that no one should touch the one good Main A bus “We’ve got a good Main A bus let’s make sure that whatever we do doesn’t screw up Main A”. After a minute Kranz comes back on the loop in a very terse and clipped tone and asks Sy to review the status, “What do you think we got in the spacecraft that’s good?”

Sy recounts in his book “Apollo EECOM – Journey of a lifetime” that during simulations in preparation for the upcoming Apollo 13 mission the controllers were thrown a curveball, a Kobayashi Maru if you will. In this simulation while Lovell and Haise were on the moon the SIMSUP threw in the following failure, they programmed the CSM to have an O2 tank explode just before it went around the moon and lost signal for the half hour trip. Sy says he saw the screens go “ratty” right before the LOS. When the signal was reestablished with Mattingly in the CSM it was too late, Sy says the simulation devolved into chaos before Kranz terminated it with the suggestion that a contingency plan be drawn up. This plan was drawn up after NASA had landed men on the moon, they had completed Kennedy’s goal of landing a man on the moon and returning them safely to Earth but with 5-8 more flights the MOCR team did not rest on their laurels.

46 minutes into the disaster Sy requested that the crew be moved to the LM and the power load be lessened so they could activate the LM and ensure to get all the readings needed to power up the CM before reentry. Kranz asked Sy if he had any ideas for increasing the pressure in O2 Tank 1. When Sy told Kranz about only having one hour and 54 minutes of power left in the CSM Kranz called down to the Real Time Computer Complex (RTCC) and asked that another machine (Mainframe) be brought up to run delogs so that the data could be analyzed to trace the causes of the failures. This small fact was one of many that saved the crew that night. When Sy asked Gene later who during the midst of the chaos he had the thought to bring up another Machine to track the problem Kranz said “I had it on a checklist on my console”. The genius of Gene as a project manager was that he realized well in advance of the Apollo missions what he would need to do in the event of an emergency and made sure he had a plan.

In Gene Kranz’s book “Failure is not an Option” Kranz writes about hearing about the “fog of battle” and it being the first time he experienced it. “The early minutes were confusing, all reports and data were suspect. Small fire fights occurred…we had no sense of the big picture”. It wasn’t until five minutes after the event that the report from the crew of the bang “hit” him. After that, he writes “I proceeded more deliberately and methodically”.

Gary Scott was working INCO that night, he called Kranz at the time of the explosion stating that the antenna had switched beam width. Gary knew the crew did not have time to point and select antennas so he recommended a fall back to the craft’s Omni antennas. During the first hour of the incident he continued to call out each antenna switch (the CSM had 4 Omni antennas) as the craft’s attitude changed and approaching Gimbal lock at times. Had MOCR lost contact with the Odyssey the attention of the crew and control team would have been diverted from critical tasks. Kranz considered Scott a hero for his “patient, timely, undistracted management of the data stream while everything else was falling down about my team”.

broncosteven
04-13-2010, 07:33 PM
The puzzle didn’t come together for Kranz until Lovell reported “we are venting something. We are venting something out into the-into space- it looks like a gas!” Gene said at this point “the only thought on my mind was survival.” On the EECOMM loop you can hear Kranz in the background giving one of his patented speeches. Gene cuts to the chase focusing his team and ordering that they “cut the chatter” at the consoles and get back on the voice loops. Kranz then settles his team by pointing out that they have the LM to help bring the crew home. Then Kranz clarifies that no one do anything to lose the remaining power in the last fuel cell and that oxygen and attitude control propellants are saved. Most of this speech is buried in the background of Liebergots recording but at the very end Gene’s voice crescendos, “…let’s not make it any worse by guessing.”

The event occurred an hour before Kranz’s White team was scheduled to turn over to Glynn Lunny’s Black team. Kranz made the smart decision to transition his team to Lunny’s help the fresh team stabilize the situation then analyze the data logs. Kranz was hit with “the chilling fear that I had missed something important". I had hoped fresh minds might pick up on it.” Once the shift turnover was completed Kranz wanted to pull his team “into a quiet corner, nail down the cause, then start on a plan to rescue the crew.” “We were the lead team. It was our responsibility to take over management of the crisis”.

By this time Chris Kraft arrived, Kraft, Kranz, and black team flight director Lunney gathered in the trench to discuss the plan to get the crew home. Lunney had the trench look at maneuvers with ignition and they had two options, direct abort and flying around the moon. Direct abort would mean jettisoning the LM and firing the main engine using all the remaining fuel. Kranz and Lunney both favored the longer trip around the moon using the moons gravity to slingshot the craft back to Earth. Windler, leader of the Maroon team, had joined the meeting and lobbied for a direct abort because of the lack of remaining power on the ship. During the debate it became clear to Kranz, Lunney, and Kraft that the best option was to take the long way home and take the chances with the LM power and buy time to build the come-home procedures. Kranz felt they could come up with a plan to find the power needed. Kranz said ”to this day I still cannot explain why I felt so strongly about this option.” His Intuition told him “Don’t use the main engine.”

Kranz’s White team assembled at 10:30pm CDT on April 13th. Kranz then broke his team into smaller Tiger teams to tackle the procedures that needed to be defined. John Aaron was charged with the spacecraft resources, Bill Peters focused on the LM lifeboat, Arnie Aldrich was in charge of reentry. All leads were given priority access to everything and anything in another classic Kranz speech “They will ask for things you never thought you would be called on to do and answer questions you never expected to be asked. I want nothing held back, no margins, no reserves. If you don’t have an answer, they need your best judgment and they need it now.” Not only does Kranz lay out his expectations but he follows up his instructions brilliantly lifting the burden of accountability from their shoulders “Whatever happens we will not second guess you. Everything goes in the pot.”

Kranz talks about using the same brainstorming techniques they used in creating mission rules, procedures, training debriefings allowing his team to work in a comfort zone that was natural to them. Gene closes the meeting with the following “When you leave this room, you must believe this crew is coming home. I don’t give a damn about the odds and I don’t give a damn that we haven’t done anything like this before. Flight control will never lose a man an American in space. You’ve got to believe, your people have got to believe, that this crew is coming home.” With those words ringing in their ears the Tiger teams gathered to “Work the problem”.

broncosteven
04-13-2010, 07:34 PM
The White team worked on many issues over the course of the remaining 4 days. There would be 2 burns of the LM engine, which was not designed to burn while attached to the CSM, to speed the return of the crew and ensure the angle of reentry. Lovell proved that Astronauts were not “Spam in a can” or along for the ride his pilot expertise was on full display during those maneuvers. Bill Peters Tiger team would encounter the need to develop an adapter created out of found items on the spacecrafts in order to get a square CO2 scrubber into a round hole. Aaron and Aldrich would spend many hours in the simulator working on the power up and reentry procedures. It was imperative that the crew did not release the LM before power up was complete on the CM and all the guidance information was migrated to the CM’s computer which had been dormant for four days.

On April 17, 1970 the MOCR White team took their places at their consoles. As the spacecraft was pulled into the gravity of the Earth it gained speed like a runaway train. After all the power up procedures were completed one last task remained. Jettison of the LM and SM. With all hatches battened down and everything stowed away. Swigert threw the switch to jettison the LM. After the LM was clear the Service module was released.

Just a few seconds of video and some fuzzy pictures show the extent of the damage, on the loop Lovell reports that a whole side of the spacecraft missing. Haise stated that it looked the bell of the SM engine was damaged “unless that’s just a dark brown streak. It’s really a mess.” Lovell: “And Joe, looks like a lot of debris is just hanging out the side near the antenna”. The intuition that Kraft, Lunney, and Kranz shared early as the incident was unfolding became fact as the crew reported the extent of the damage.

The last tense moments of the flight of Apollo 13 occurred during reentry. After the reports of the state of the SM there was fear that the Odyssey’s heat shield had been damaged. There was no way to check it, instrumentation said it was intact but instrumentation also said the main engine was online. RETRO had predicted the blackout period but as Odyssey hurtled through the atmosphere and was ionized into silence the calculated blackout time came and went. Gene asked if the clocks were good, they were, one minute and twenty eight seconds past the expected acquisition time the report from a downrange aircraft came across the loops “ARIA 4 has acquisition”. Once the parachutes were deployed and shown on the monitors Gene said he cried, he found himself standing at his console crying until the crew hit the water. Once the frogmen extracted the crew and brought them aboard the carrier the job of the MOCR and the countless thousands of support personnel came to an end. Their crew was home. Kranz summed it all up “We – crew, contractors, controllers – had done the impossible. The human factor had carried the day.”

In an emergency it is the early decisions that define the outcome. Great leaders allow their teams to work a problem toward solution without fear of reprisals, they let the best options develop out of the “fog of war” and drawing on years of planning and preparation make the tough educated guesses that win the day.

Steven Henricksen April 13, 2010 on the 40th Anniversary of Apollo 13.
Excerpts from
“Apollo 13 (originally published as Lost Moon)” Jim Lovell and Jeffery Kluger, Houghton Mifflin Co, 2000
“Failure is not an Option” Gene Kranz, Berkley Books, April 2000
“Apollo EECOM, Journey of a lifetime” Sy Liebergot with David M. Harland, Apogee books 2003

milehighJC
04-13-2010, 07:57 PM
Thanks, that was an awesome read.

I was a space nut as a kid, and clearly remember sitting transfixed in front of my Dad's TV for the Apollo 11 moon landing, Apollo 12, and again as the drama of Apollo 13 unfolded.

Fast forward to 1996 - I was at an business event in Boca Raton. It was a combination business meeting/recognition event, and as we neared the key note speaker part of the agenda, the big screen lit up with a clip from the Movie Apollo 13. As it was a hot film at the time, everyone was expecting that it was the intro for the "typical" motivational speaker - I cant begin to explain the excitement as I realized that the voice that said "Houston, we have a problem" was not Tom Hanks, but Jim Lovell himself.

The next two hours + were incredible. Lovell and Kranz told the story together, and answered every question that the 200 or so attendees could come up with. They stayed to meet and greet everyone. The teamwork, the dedication, and the sheer will that that team showed to bring the crew home safely was spectacular. No fictional Hollywood movie script could possibly come close to drama of the real events. That night was a truly special moment for all of us that were there.

Think I might have to fire up my copy of Apollo 13 on the big screen later tonight!

jc

broncosteven
04-14-2010, 02:00 PM
Thanks, that was an awesome read.

I was a space nut as a kid, and clearly remember sitting transfixed in front of my Dad's TV for the Apollo 11 moon landing, Apollo 12, and again as the drama of Apollo 13 unfolded.

Fast forward to 1996 - I was at an business event in Boca Raton. It was a combination business meeting/recognition event, and as we neared the key note speaker part of the agenda, the big screen lit up with a clip from the Movie Apollo 13. As it was a hot film at the time, everyone was expecting that it was the intro for the "typical" motivational speaker - I cant begin to explain the excitement as I realized that the voice that said "Houston, we have a problem" was not Tom Hanks, but Jim Lovell himself.

The next two hours + were incredible. Lovell and Kranz told the story together, and answered every question that the 200 or so attendees could come up with. They stayed to meet and greet everyone. The teamwork, the dedication, and the sheer will that that team showed to bring the crew home safely was spectacular. No fictional Hollywood movie script could possibly come close to drama of the real events. That night was a truly special moment for all of us that were there.

Think I might have to fire up my copy of Apollo 13 on the big screen later tonight!

jc

You are one lucky dude! I hope some day to shake Gene's hand.

I went to bed last night after posting the above and watched the movie. I got a kick out of the fact that I missed the actual time frame by only 5 minutes. I forgot how much they changed all the MOCR stuff in the film.

Houshyamama
04-14-2010, 02:44 PM
You are one lucky dude! I hope some day to shake Gene's hand.

I went to bed last night after posting the above and watched the movie. I got a kick out of the fact that I missed the actual time frame by only 5 minutes. I forgot how much they changed all the MOCR stuff in the film.

you scary

broncosteven
04-14-2010, 03:18 PM
you scary

I tried to put the moves on the wife while the movie was on but that didn't workout.

Houshyamama
04-14-2010, 03:32 PM
I tried to put the moves on the wife while the movie was on but that didn't workout.

What you SHOULD do is turn your basement into an exact replica of the command center with all the rows of the computer screens and put mannequins in the seats with head sets on. Then you could roam around the room shouting out instructions and pep talks like "Not on my watch!".

broncosteven
04-14-2010, 03:50 PM
What you SHOULD do is turn your basement into an exact replica of the command center with all the rows of the computer screens and put mannequins in the seats with head sets on. Then you could roam around the room shouting out instructions and pep talks like "Not on my watch!".

How do you know I am not already bored with that and moving on to this:

http://klabs.org/history/build_agc/
Block I Apollo Guidance Computer (AGC):
How to build one in your basement

broncosteven
04-14-2010, 04:12 PM
Bert Rutan's comments on the privitization of NASA by the Obama Adminstration:

My basic concern is that the real value of NASA's contributions that
America realized in the 60s and early 70s is now being completely
discarded. How can we rationalize a surrender of our preeminence in
human spaceflight? In my mind, the important NASA accomplishments are
twofold: 1) The technical breakthroughs achieved by basic research (not
by Development programs like Constellation) and 2) The Forefront Manned
Exploration that provided the inspiration for our youth to plan careers
in engineering/science and that established the U.S. as the world leader
in technology.

In short, it is a good idea indeed for the commercial community to
compete to re-supply the ISS and to bring about space access for the
public to enjoy. I applaud the efforts of SpaceX, Virgin and Orbital in
that regard and feel these activities should have been done at least two
decades ago. However, I do not see the commercial companies taking
Americans to Mars or to the moons of Saturn within my lifetime and I
doubt if they will take the true Research risks (technical and
financial) to fly new concepts that have low confidence of return on
investment. Even NASA, regarded as our prime Research agency has not
recently shown a willingness to fly true Research concepts.

For years I have stated that a NASA return-to-moon effort must include
true Research content, i.e. testing new concepts needed to enable
forefront Exploration beyond the moon. The current Ares/Orion does not
do that. While I have been critical of Constellation for that reason, I
do not think that NASA should 'give up' on manned spaceflight, just that
they should be doing it while meeting the 1) or 2) criteria above.

Some have guessed that my recent comments are based on my overall
displeasure with the Obama Administration. they are not; however it does
seem that the best technical minds in U.S. industry are still striving
to find HOW America can continue to be "exceptional", while the
Administration does not want America to BE "exceptional".

Burt Rutan


I agree with Rutan, NASA has been content to be teamsters hauling product into orbit on the 40 year old shuttle platform and has not found anyway to innovate outside of the mixed success of the Mars landers.

Without a challenge to complete a great feat with acheiveable goals along the way there is no way anything will be accomplished. Can the public sector step up? Possibly but what is their goal? A craft for US orbital manned space flight, sub-orbital flights for the rich and famous, better and faster spacecraft propulsion, a privately funded manned mission to mars?

It is now up to rich financiers who wanted to be Astronauts as kids to fund our next giant leap.

Bronco Yoda
04-14-2010, 04:25 PM
It's going to be a real sad day when we all watch the last shuttle go up... and realize that we have nothing to replace her with. I really thought we'd have gone back to the moon by now preparing for beyond.

elsid13
04-14-2010, 04:40 PM
It's going to be a real sad day when we all watch the last shuttle go up... and realize that we have nothing to replace her with. I really thought we'd have gone back to the moon by now preparing for beyond.

It is very disappointing and very disturbing that we are leaving space to others. There has been no vision for NASA in long time and that really hurt us. I still hope that NASA would form something like DARPA to kick start us back into space.

Houshyamama
04-14-2010, 06:54 PM
How do you know I am not already bored with that and moving on to this:

http://klabs.org/history/build_agc/
Block I Apollo Guidance Computer (AGC):
How to build one in your basement

That is some serious nerdery
http://www.smileyvault.com/albums/CBSA/smileyvault-cute-big-smiley-animated-024.gif (http://www.smileyvault.com/)

broncosteven
04-14-2010, 07:40 PM
That is some serious nerdery
http://www.smileyvault.com/albums/CBSA/smileyvault-cute-big-smiley-animated-024.gif (http://www.smileyvault.com/)

He handwired all the rope memory. I am not sure I have the patience for that.

Houshyamama
04-14-2010, 08:21 PM
He handwired all the rope memory. I am not sure I have the patience for that.

If I'm not mistaken, didn't it take a team of people (was it MIT?) months to do that?

broncosteven
04-14-2010, 08:35 PM
If I'm not mistaken, didn't it take a team of people (was it MIT?) months to do that?

They contracted the work out. They had to train the lines to meet the new Quality Control guidelines. They found too many issues with the ropes and the circuits so they pulled the best people off the line and let them work at their own pace in a back room. They defined the procedures through the help of MIT people among others.

The AGC's had a failure % of something like 99.955 (FROM MEMORY I am too lazy to look up the exact # in the book Journey to the moon flight of Apollo guidance computer). Today's IT shops expect 5 9's uptime or 99.999 and they are not sending men to the moon.

The hardest part was after the memory and circuits were produced they had to get it mounted in the CM/LM while other sub-contractors were working or yet to work and the possibility of damage was very high.

It is amazing all that had to be done and thought of to pull this whole project off back then with PRE silicon circuits.

Chris
04-14-2010, 08:38 PM
America can't focus the way it used to. Media is fractured for better or worse. I'm not sure when we'll be back with a full space program... but we'll be back.

broncosteven
04-17-2010, 01:49 PM
40 years ago today, April 17th 1970, Apollo 13 splashed down successfully completing one of NASA's greatest missions.

Despite the triumph of saving all hands Apollo 13 would convince President Nixon to cut the last 3 moon missions ending at Apollo 17 instead of Apollo 20.

Alan Sheppard, the last of the Original 7, will land on the moon in Apollo 14 at Apollo 13's landing site, Frau Mauro. This mission will be uneventful and by the book.

Apollo 15 will find the "Genesis" rock proving how the moon was made. Apollo 15 would be the 1st extended, "J mission", with the lunar lander and extended EVA's. There would also be a stamp scandal, Irwin and Mitchell smuggled stamps aboard the LM in their personal kits, they stamped them while on the moon during their rest periods then sell them to a coin/stamp collecter when they return. When news broke of this there was a hearing and they were sactioned for their actions. Edgar Mittchell would also performed ESP tests done during crew rest periods while enroute/on the moon/return, they would be inconclusive but he would go on to establish the institute of Noetic sciences.

Apollo 16 would include Ken Mattingly as the CM, he would stay in orbit just like his original crewmembers of Apollo 13. Charlie Duke would be so spiritually affected by landing on the moon that he would become a Christian and start his own non-traditional church.

Apollo 17 would leave hipster Astronaut Gene Cernan's footprint as the last of men on the moon. The 1st actual geologist Harrison Schmitt would land and work on the moon proving that real scientists could operate out in the harsh environment of space.

NASA would never have such a clear goal or the funding seen during the ramp up to Apollo. The nation and the world would mostly forget the accomplishments outside of Apollo 11 and 13.

I realized when Floyd was in the run for the HOF there were many Bronco fans who are great fans and very knowledegable about football and the Broncos who didn't feel they couldn't support Floyd or didn't get as excited because they were too young to see him play. I have come across people not excited or want to get involved because they were too young for Apollo. I also know friends who can tell you what happened in every episode of every Star Trek series ever made who were not familiar with Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, etc.

Apollo is our history our legacy, it is an epic human adventure of men going where no man had gone before.

The next time you look up at the moon, point to it and tell whomever your with, " Starting 41 years ago 12 American men walked on the moon and returned safely to their homes on Earth". Maybe that will spark whoever your with to find out more about our history in space.

Thanks to all who contributed and thanks for following this thread!

titan
04-17-2010, 01:59 PM
Thanks for a great thread broncosteven. Fascinating period of history which I followed closely as a kid. A few years ago I was playing Trivial Pursuit with a group and the question came up "what was the name of the rocket Gemini 8 docked with in space?" "Agena" I said, much to the surprise of the people I was playing with. I remembered that from all the space coverage I watched growing up.