This official NASA document - converted for accurate flowing-text ebook format reproduction - provides the complete transcription of the Apollo 13 post-flight debriefing given by astronauts Lovell, Haise, and Swigert, with their first-hand description of the harrowing flight. This ebook is an invaluable addition to the library of anyone interested in the Apollo moon landings.
Contents include: SUITING AND INGRESS * STATUS CHECKS AND COUNTDOWN * POWERED FLIGHT * EARTH ORBIT AND SYSTEMS CHECKOUT * TLI THROUGH S-IVB CLOSEOUT * TRANSLUNAR COAST * LUNAR MODULE FAMILIARIZATION * SPACECRAFT EMERGENCY * LUNAR FLYBY THROUGH 2-HOUR MANEUVER * TRANSEARTH COAST * ENTRY * LANDING AND RECOVERY * COMMAND AND SERVICE MODULE SYSTEMS OPERATIONS * LUNAR MODULE SYSTEMS OPERATIONS * FLIGHT DATA FILE * FLIGHT EQUIPMENT AND GOVERNMENT-FURNISHED EQUIPMENT * VISUAL SIGHTINGS * PREMISSION PLANNING * MISSION CONTROL * TRAINING * HUMAN FACTORS
Apollo 13 was supposed to land in the Fra Mauro area. An explosion on board forced Apollo 13 to circle the moon without landing. The Fra Mauro site was reassigned to Apollo 14.
At 5 1/2 minutes after liftoff, John Swigert, Fred Haise and James Lovell felt a little vibration. Then the center engine of the S-II stage shut down two minutes early. This caused the remaining four engines to burn 34 seconds longer than planned, and the S-IVB third stage had to burn nine seconds longer to put Apollo 13 in orbit.
Days before the mission, backup lunar module pilot, Charles Duke, inadvertently exposed the crew to German measles. Command Module Pilot Ken Mattingly had no immunity to measles and was replaced by backup command module pilot, John Swigert.
Ground tests before launch indicated the possibility of a poorly insulated supercritical helium tank in the lunar module, or LM, descent stage, so the flight plan was modified to enter the LM three hours early in order to obtain an onboard readout of helium tank pressure.
The No. 2 oxygen tank, serial number 10024X-TA0009, had been previously installed in the service module of Apollo 10, but was removed for modification and damaged in the process. The tank was fixed, tested at the factory, installed in the Apollo 13 service module and tested again during the Countdown Demonstration Test at NASA's Kennedy Space Center beginning March 16, 1970. The tanks normally are emptied to about half full. No. 1 behaved all right, but No. 2 dropped to only 92 percent of capacity. Gaseous oxygen at 80 pounds per square inch was applied through the vent line to expel the liquid oxygen, but to no avail. An interim discrepancy report was written, and on March 27, two weeks before launch, detanking operations resumed. No. 1 again emptied normally, but No. 2 did not. After a conference with contractor and NASA personnel, the test director decided to "boil off" the remaining oxygen in No. 2 by using the electrical heater within the tank. The technique worked, but it took eight hours of 65-volt DC power from the ground support equipment to dissipate the oxygen. Due to an oversight in replacing an underrated component during a design modification, this turned out to severely damage the internal heating elements of the tank.
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