Learn about the preparation and launch of the Apollo 13 Mission.
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Learn About the Apollo 13 Mission Part 1/2 April 13, 1970, in the mood of space engineers that NASA’s Houston Control Center could only be describe as relaxed. The Apollo 13 mission had successfully hurdled into space from the launch complex 39 A at the Kennedy Space Center at 2:30 P.M on April 11th. Now the flight is going as planned with astronauts James A. Lovell Jr., the commander, John L. "Jack" Swigert, the command module pilot and Fred W. Haise Jr., Lunar module pilot entertaining the ground crew with the observation that it was rather odd to be floating in a space capsule whilst listening to the theme music from 2001. Amidst the routine instructions Jack Lousma at the time heading the ground crew calls on Swigert to stir up the cryo tanks, a reference to the cryogenic oxygen tanks. Nothing appears to be on unduly abnormal, Swigert’s response, “Okay, stand by.” Suddenly, Swigert utters those fateful words, “Houston, we have a problem.” Words that would eventually bring the American nation and most of the world to stand still. Instantly, the ground crew become fully alert as Lousma replies stand by 13, we’re looking at it. Back to April the 11th launch day, preparations for the flight have gone to plan. Commander of the crew Jim Lovell, a veteran of three previous missions it overtake the moon at Christmas 1968 to board Apollo 8. The lunar modular pilot Fred Haise, this was his first time up. Jack Swigert, command module pilot, three days before he was on the backup crew but now replaced Ken Mattingly. Mattingly was drop from the mission because he’s been exposed to German measles who would watch the launch from Houston’s mission control. The Apollo 13 mission was planned as a lunar landing mission and the spacecraft was made up of the same component as all Apollo landing missions consisting of the two part command service module Odyssey and the two part lunar module Aquarius. As the result of the accident however, none of these components was used in precisely the way they were originally intended. [Demonstration] The launch proceeded smoothly with Mattingly obviously having mixed feelings as he watch the swift descent. On the one hand, delighted that his colleagues were safely on the way while some of the other a deep disappointment that he was an integral part of the action. During the launch, the second stage in board engine shot down early because of high amplitude longitudinal oscillations. However, uninominal tradictory parameters were achieved at orbital insertion. The earth orbital and translunar injection phases went as planned. Intended as the third lunar landing mission, Apollo 13 had a full roster of activities scheduled in addition to lunar surface activities such as experiments, sampling and photography. The photographic objectives of Apollo 13 which we obtained vertical and oblique stereo strips of lunar regions of scientific interest and to obtain photographs of the lunar and command service modules. But first Apollo 13 was required to burn out of earth orbit towards the moon. Then for free of the third stage and dock with the lunar module Aquarius. At the controls of the command module Odyssey, Jack Swigert advised his Houston control that he’s hugged off the craft. Aquarius had pull away from the sudden third stage, the SB4 and the relieved Swigert confirms he has a visual side of the rocket and other see on Aquarius are now on their way toward the moon.