13 MORE Things That Saved Apollo 13, Epilogue: The ‘Failure is Not an Option’ Attitude

To celebrate the 45th anniversary of the Apollo 13 mission, Universe Today has been featuring “13 MORE Things That Saved Apollo 13,” discussing different turning points of the mission with NASA engineer Jerry Woodfill. Today, we let Jerry have the final word as he talks about a different aspect of the Apollo 13 mission. Written […]

13 MORE Things That Saved Apollo 13, part 13: Jim Lovell’s 90 Degree Wrong Turn

For our final installment of this series of 13 More Things That Saved Apollo 13, we’ll look at an event that has not been widely addressed, but it may have been one of the most crucial scenarios which might have ended in disaster and death for the crew in the final minutes of the rescue. […]

13 MORE Things That Saved Apollo 13, part 12: The ‘Trench’ Band of Brothers

To celebrate the 45th anniversary of the Apollo 13 mission, Universe Today is featuring “13 MORE Things That Saved Apollo 13,” discussing different turning points of the mission with NASA engineer Jerry Woodfill. In the original Mission Operations Control Room (MOCR) at the Manned Spacecraft Center in Houston, a group of NASA flight controllers sat […]

13 MORE Things That Saved Apollo 13, part 11: The Caution and Warning System

To celebrate the 45th anniversary of the Apollo 13 mission, Universe Today is featuring “13 MORE Things That Saved Apollo 13,” discussing different turning points of the mission with NASA engineer Jerry Woodfill. The air to ground transcript from the time of the explosion on Apollo 13 demonstrates the confusion of what was happening: Jim […]

13 MORE Things That Saved Apollo 13, part 10: ‘MacGyvering’ with Everyday Items

To celebrate the 45th anniversary of the Apollo 13 mission, Universe Today is featuring “13 MORE Things That Saved Apollo 13,” discussing different turning points of the mission with NASA engineer Jerry Woodfill. The night of the explosion on Apollo 13, engineers working in Mission Control and the back-up Mission Evolution Room (MER) assessed the […]

13 MORE Things That Saved Apollo 13, part 9: Avoiding Gimbal Lock

It was an unlikely case, having an Apollo command ship disabled thousands of miles from Earth. But during the Apollo 9 mission, the crew had actually conducted a test of firing the Lunar Module’s engines while it was docked to the Command Module. It turned out to be fortuitous to have considered such a situation, […]

13 MORE Things That Saved Apollo 13, part 8: The Indestructible S-Band/Hi-Gain Antenna

The explosion of a liquid oxygen tank in Apollo 13’s Service Module violently propelled debris and a 13-foot (4 meter) outer panel of the SM out into space. Later, the crew saw the damage when they jettisoned the SM prior to reentering Earth’s atmosphere. Commander Jim Lovell described the scene: “There’s one whole side of […]

13 MORE Things That Saved Apollo 13, part 7: Isolating the Surge Tank

Join Universe Today in celebrating the 45th anniversary of Apollo 13 with insights from NASA engineer Jerry Woodfill as we discuss various turning points in the mission. Within minutes of the accident during the Apollo 13 mission, it became clear that Oxygen Tank 2 in the Service Module had failed. Then Mission Control radioed up […]

13 MORE Things That Saved Apollo 13, part 6: The Mysterious Longer-Than-Expected Communications Blackout

Join Universe Today in celebrating the 45th anniversary of Apollo 13 with insights from NASA engineer Jerry Woodfill as we discuss various turning points in the mission. The final scenes of the movie Apollo 13 depict the spacecraft’s dramatic reentry into Earth’s atmosphere. As the seconds count beyond the time radio blackout should have lifted, […]