With the world anxiously watching, Apollo 13, a U.S. lunar spacecraft that suffered a severe malfunction on its journey to the moon, safely returns to Earth.
On April 11, the third manned lunar landing mission was launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida, carrying astronauts James A. Lovell, John L. Swigert, and Fred W. Haise. The mission was headed for a landing on the Fra Mauro highlands of the moon. However, two days into the mission, disaster struck 200,000 miles from Earth when oxygen tank No. 2 blew up in the spacecraft. Swigert reported to mission control on Earth, "Houston, we've had a problem here," and it was discovered that the normal supply of oxygen, electricity, light, and water had been disrupted. The landing mission was aborted, and the astronauts and controllers on Earth scrambled to come up with emergency procedures. The crippled spacecraft continued to the moon, circled it, and began a long, cold journey back to Earth.
The astronauts and mission control were faced with enormous logistical problems in stabilizing the spacecraft and its air supply, as well as providing enough energy to the damaged fuel cells to allow successful reentry into Earth's atmosphere. Navigation was another problem, and Apollo 13's course was repeatedly corrected with dramatic and untested maneuvers. On April 17, tragedy turned to triumph as the Apollo 13 astronauts touched down safely in the Pacific Ocean.
APOLLO 13 was the third Apollo mission intended to land on the Moon.The craft was successfully launched toward the Moon,but the landing had to be aborted after an oxygen tank ruptured,severely damaging the spacecraft's electrical system.The flight was commanded by James A. Lovell with John L. "Jack" Swigert,Command Module pilot and Fred W. Haise,Lunar Module pilot.Swigert was a late replacement for the original CM pilot Ken Mattingly,who was grounded by the flight surgeon after exposure to German measles.
APOLLO 13 mission was launched on April-11-1970 at 13.13 CST.Two days later,on route to the Moon,a fault in electrical equipment inside one of the Service Module's oxygen tanks produced an explosion which caused the loss of both tanks oxygen,depriving the Service Module of electrical power.This forced the crew to shut down the Command Module to conserve its batteries and oxygen needed for the last hours of flight,and use the Lunar Module's resources as a "lifeboat" during the return trip to Earth.Despite great hardship caused by limited power,loss of cabin heat,shortage of potable water and the critical need to jury-rig the carbon dioxide removal system,the crew returned safely to Earth on April 17 and the mission was termed a "successful failure".
Posted by Zach Royer | 11:14 HAST | April 17th, 2011 Please share and like us on Facebook!
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