Apollo 13 Minute Podcast

By Apollo 13 Minute

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A minute-by-minute analysis of director Ron Howard's 1995 feature film, Apollo 13

Episode Date
Minute 001: A Ron Howard Film
James Horner’s score begins. Fade in. The Universal logo animation, the word UNIVERSAL across a cloudless planet Earth, appears, and resolves into the title card “UNIVERSAL – AN MCA COMPANY.” The title fades to black. TITLE: “Imagine Entertainment Presents” TITLE: “A Brian Grazer Production” TITLE: “A Ron Howard Film” Over-exposed video appears, a step-framed image […]
Jun 24, 2018
Minute 002: A Mere Eighteen Months
Narrator continues: ” on which Man has ever embarked.” Gus Grissom reaches for the control panel of Apollo 1’s Command Module. A spark leaps out from the panel. Narrator: “After trailing the Russians for years with our manned space program, and after that sudden and horrible fire on the launch pad during that routine test […]
Jun 26, 2018
Minute 003: One Hand on the Wheel
Jack Swigert is explaining to Tracy how docking works in space. “It’s called a probe,” says Swigert, waving the long neck of a beer bottle at a tall glass. “Is that true?” asks Tracy, smiling. TITLE: BILL PAXTON “Absolutely,” says Swigert, “and, Tracy, I’ll tell you: when you feel that thing slide in, and everything’s […]
Jun 27, 2018
Minute 004: Put on Walter!
Ken Mattingly looks at photos of the Moon, hung in Jim Lovell’s study. “I wouldn’t mind being up there tonight,” he says to Ken Haise. “God, who wouldn’t?” replies Haise. TITLES: “LOREN DEAN, CLINT HOWARD” “Don’t worry, ” continues Haise, “Our day’s coming. They’re not gonna cut the program before Number Fourteen.” “You know, my […]
Jun 28, 2018
Minute 005: Somebody to Wave Him Off
The house guests clap for Apollo Eleven’s backup crew. On the screen, the upside-down image of the LM’s ladder appears. “Ooh, there he is!” says Marilyn, carrying a tray of empty champagne flutes. “There he is, everybody! Quiet down – here he is!” Lovell pulls a cigar out of his mouth. “Hey, kids!” he calls […]
Jun 29, 2018
Minute 006: Let’s Sell the House
Jim Lovell and the assembled guests witness Neil Armstrong’s descent to the lunar surface, on the family TV set. “on this July 20th, Nineteen Hundred and Sixty-Nine,” intones Walter Cronkite on TV. “It’s one small step for man,” says Armstrong, “One… giant leap for mankind.” “His quote was, That’s one small step for man, one […]
Jul 02, 2018
Minute 007: Just Sixty Nautical Miles Down
Marilyn and Jim Lovell are in their backyard, after the Apollo XI Moonwalk party is over. “When you were on far side on Eight, I didn’t sleep at all,” says Marilyn, leaning into her lawn chair, “I just vacuumed, over and over again.” “Christopher Columbus,” says Jim, looking at the Moon, “Charles Lindbergh… and Neil […]
Jul 03, 2018
Minute 008: Where’s My Mountain?
Marilyn and Jim Lovell are in their backyard, in lounge chairs, after the Apollo XI Moonwalk party is over. Jim holds his thumb up, obscuring the distant Moon. “Where’s my mountain?” asks Marilyn. “Well, it -” begins Jim, “It’s right up by the — okay, you see where the shadow crosses — the white area […]
Jul 04, 2018
Minute 009: Give Me a Lever Long Enough
Guest Host: Jennifer Levasseur Curator, National Air & Space Museum Jim Lovell is narrating a tour of the Vehicle Assembly Building. He explains that astronauts are only the most visible members of a very large team. ” — right down to the guy sweeping the floor, are honored to be a part of it,” explains […]
Jul 05, 2018
Minute 010: Something’s Come Up
  Jim Lovell is explaining to Congressional VIPs why further Apollo missions are necessary.  Behind them, inside the VAB, the S-IV-B being lowered from the ceiling connects with the S-II stage. “Are there any other questions?” asks Lovell. A female visitor timidly raises her hand. “How – how do you go to the bathroom in […]
Jul 06, 2018
Minute 011: A Slight Change in Destination
  Jim Lovell arrives at the top of the stairs in his home, in the middle of an argument between his daughter and Marilyn about appropriate Halloween costumes. “Hey everybody,” says Jim. His daughter Barbara closes her bedroom door. “Jim!” says Marilyn, surprised. “Marilyn, trick or treat!” replies Jim. “You know that Easter vacation trip […]
Jul 09, 2018
Minute 012: See What He Does with This One
GUEST HOST: AMY YOUNG OF THE SPACE STATION MUSEUM NOVATO, CALIFORNIA Jim and Marilyn Lovell are discussing Jim’s assignment to the Apollo 13 mission. Marilyn shakes her head in disbelief.  “I can’t believe it,” she says, “Naturally, it’s thirteen. Why, thirteen?” “It comes after twelve, Hon,” replies Jim. Marilyn smiles back at him. In the […]
Jul 10, 2018
Minute 013: Seven Seconds of Sheer Terror
Lovell, Mattingly, and Haise are in the Command Module SIM, attempting to dock with the LM. “We’ll go ahead and recycle the valves,” says Mattingly. Lovell closes and reopens the valve switches for circuits B and D. “They’re all gray,” reports Lovell.  Mattingly alters the pitch position dial. Outside, the video camera moves closer to […]
Jul 11, 2018
Minute 014: Ken, Get Your Helmet On!
GUEST HOST: GRAPHIC NOVELIST BRIAN FIES Lovell, Mattingly, and Haise just finished a three hour simulation in the CM SIM. “Yeah, I know,” replies Ken, “but my rate of turn is still a little too slow there, I really think we should work it again.” Lovell looks at Mattingly. “Well, let’s get it right!” says […]
Jul 12, 2018
Minute 015: Fast as a Bullet from a Gun
GUEST: GRAPHIC NOVELIST BRIAN FIES Jim Lovell is hanging out the side of a decompressing Command Module. The frame of his seat breaks, and knocks Lovell away from the Apollo CSM and LM assembly in deep space. Lovell tumbles end over end. A giant, bloodshot eye fills the screen. Marilyn Lovell awakens in her bedroom […]
Jul 13, 2018
Minute 016: The Door
Guest: Jennifer Levasseur, Curator, National Air & Space Museum, Washington, DC   In Jeff Lovell’s bedroom, Jim Lovell is talking to his son about the Lunar Module. “– only holds two people.  It’s just for landing on the Moon. And I take the controls, and I steer it around, and I fly it down, adjusting […]
Jul 16, 2018
Minute 017: Lucky 13
Guest: EAA Intern Abby Riley In Jay Lovell’s bedroom, Jim Lovell is talking to his son about the Apollo One fire. “– and, uh, well a lot of things went wrong on that fire,” continues Jim Lovell. “Did they fix it?” asks Jay Lovell. “Oh yes,” replies Jim Lovell, “Absolutely. We fixed it. It’s not […]
Jul 17, 2018
Minute 018: You’re Gonna Miss a Hell of a Show
GUEST: NANCY O’KANE Jim Lovell restarts his stalled car. “So, I was looking at the kids’ school schedule coming up,” says Marilyn. “Yeah?” says Jim. “It’s a very busy week,” she continues. “Yeah,” says Jim. “I’m thinking about,” continues Marilyn, “not going to the launch.” Jim looks at her. “Huh,” he says. “The kids need […]
Jul 18, 2018
Minute 019: Bring Us Back a Moon Rock
Marilyn Lovell just informed Jim that she doesn’t want to go to the launch. Inside a helicopter hangar, Jim Lovell walks out to the T-38 flight line. He passes by several airmen. “Jim!” says one of the airmen. “Hey guys!” Lovell responds. “See you in a few weeks!” “Take care!” says the other airman. “Bring […]
Jul 19, 2018
Minute 020: An Astronaut’s Last Mission
GUEST: ERIK LINDBERGH The crew of Apollo 13 is discussing superstitions about the number thirteen. Mattingly says he had a black cat “walk over a broken mirror under the Lunar Module ladder, and it didn’t seem to be a problem.” “And we also considered a real helpful letter we got from a fellow,” continued Haise, […]
Jul 20, 2018
Minute 021: Charlie Duke has the Measles
The Saturn V continues down the crawlerway. “Fredo and I are going to be going over the lunar experiments tomorrow,” says Lovell to Walter, the technician, “and Ken’s going to be back in the simulator. We’re going to be going over the flight plan tonight, as well.”  He shakes hands with a pad technician. Pointing […]
Jul 23, 2018
Minute 022: If You Hold Out for Ken
The NASA Director is explaining the options for the Apollo 13 mission to Jim Lovell. “We can either scrub Mattingly, go with Swigert,” says the Director, “or we can bump all three of you to a later mission.” Lovell pauses. “I’ve trained for the Fra Mauro highlands,” says Lovell. “and this is — Flight Surgeon […]
Jul 24, 2018
Minute 023: Medical Guys
GUEST: PODCASTER BRETT STILLO The woman steps into the bedroom, wearing a towel and drying her hair. Jack Swigert lets out a whoop in his bedroom. Back in the SIM room, Ken Mattingly is reacting to the news that he’s been bumped from the Apollo 13 crew. “Well,” he says, “I-uh,  — damn. Medical guys! […]
Jul 25, 2018
Minute 024: This was My Call
GUEST HOST: PODCASTER BRETT STILLO Mattingly is dealing with the loss of his seat on the mission. “Swigert,” says Mattingly, “he’ll do fine.  He’s, uh, he’s strong.” Lovell and Haise continue to say nothing. “It’ll be a hell of a mission – – one for the books,” says Mattingly. Lovell looks at Mattingly, but says […]
Jul 26, 2018
Minute 025: I’m Going to Manual
GUEST: NASA FLIGHT DIRECTOR BILL REEVES   Lovell remains in his chair, after having told Ken Mattingly he’s no longer on the Apollo 13 crew. The scene shifts to Jack Swigert, manning the left seat in a Command Module simulator during a reentry sequence. “Trajectory is holding steady,” says Swigert, “We’re right on the line.” […]
Jul 27, 2018
Minute 026: Char Broiled
Warnings start beeping in the Command Module SIM during a mock reentry. “We’re at twelve Gees,” says Swigert. “Twelve Gees,” repeats Lovell, “We’re burning up.” “Dammit,” says Deke, at the simulator console. “I gave ’em a false indicator light, right at entry interface,” says the Sim controller, “Even Mattingly didn’t get it the first time.” […]
Aug 06, 2018
Minute 027: Any of Our Germs
Deke Slayton and Jim Lovell are talking about Jack Swigert’s poor performance in the Command Module simulator. “If I had a dollar for every time they killed me in this thing,” says Lovell, “I wouldn’t have to work for you, Deke.” Deke merely looks at Lovell. “Well,” says Lovell, “we have two days. We’ll be […]
Aug 07, 2018
Minute 028: You Can’t Live Without Me
Jim Lovell looks across the road and is surprised when he sees a familiar face winding through the line of parked cars. It’s Marilyn. Jim smiles. “Well, hey,” he says, “that looks like Marilyn Lovell! But it can’t be – – she’s not coming to the launch!” “I heard it was gonna be a hell […]
Aug 08, 2018
Minute 029: I Vunder Vhere Guenter Wendt?
The crew of Apollo 13 is suiting up for launch. “Ah! Guenter Wendt!” says Lovell to the Pad Leader.  “I vunder vhere Guenter Wendt?” says Lovell. Gunter smiles. “Jim!” says Guenter. “You walk on the Moon, ya?” “Ya, ya – we walk and –” Jim winces as the technician applies alcohol to the heart sensor. […]
Aug 09, 2018
Minute 030: Gonna Give These Guys a Beautiful Ride
Marilyn Lovell has just lost her wedding ring down a hotel shower drain. “Oh, God no!” she whispers, frantically tugging at the drain cover.  She gives up, and leans back against the shower wall. “Oh, no,” she says. Meanwhile, Jim Lovell pushes his head through the opening at the top of his spacesuit, as the […]
Aug 10, 2018
Minute 031: Thirty Days ‘Til This Blasts Off
Swigert has his helmet on and is suited up. “Do yo need more air?” asks the technician. Swigert shakes his head. At the VIP viewing area, several cameramen position a group of cameras mounted on a swivel platform. “Marilyn, hey!” says Mary Haise, as Marilyn Lovell maneuvers her way between children on the viewing platform. […]
Aug 13, 2018
Minute 032: The Old Needle and Thread Again
GUEST: ACTOR RORY AYLWARD The gantry elevator door opens, and the crew steps out, Lovell leading the way to the White Room and the Command Module. The morning sun sparkles on the Atlantic coastline, viewed from the top of Pad 39A. In Houston’s Mission Control Center, a video screen shows the image of the Saturn […]
Aug 14, 2018
Minute 033: Gimme a Go / No Go for Launch
Guenter Wendt shakes hands with Jim Lovell, as Guenter prepares to close out the White Room before launch. Back in Houston, Gene Kranz has donned his new vest for the flight. The other controllers applaud. “Hey, Gene!” says a controller, “I guess we can go now!” “Save it for splashdown, guys,” replies Kranz. Guenter closes […]
Aug 15, 2018
Minute 034: We Are Go For Launch
Flight Director Gene Kranz is “going around the horn,” asking for a Go / No-Go from the individual controllers. “Recovery?” asks Kranz. “Go!” replies Recovery. “CAPCOM?” asks Kranz. “We’re Go, Flight,” replies the CAPCOM. Kranz presses a button on his console. “Launch Control, this is Houston. We are Go for launch.” TITLE: LAUNCH CONTROL CENTER, […]
Aug 16, 2018
Minute 035: Ignition Sequence Start
A rumbling noise startles Haise and Swigert. “Fuel pump,” explains Lovell. “This is it. A few bumps, and we’re hauling the mail.” The five F-1 engines of the Saturn V are shrouded in fog. In Houston, Mission controllers watch simultaneous television feeds on KTRK – ABC, KHOU – CBS, KPRC – NBC, and the NASA […]
Aug 17, 2018
Minute 036: The Clock is Running
  The flames at the base of the LUT begin to flow back inside, toward the flame trench. The crew seats shudder as the rocket lifts off the pad. “The clock is running!” announces Lovell.  The Mission Elapsed Time displays 00001, then 00002. Fuel lines separate between the LUT and the spacecraft. The massive hold-down […]
Aug 20, 2018
Minute 037: Get Ready for a Little Jolt, Fellas
The Command Module’s DSKY reports the ship is Program 11, Verb 16, Noun 62, reporting lines +00062, +00152, and +00032. “Velocity, right on the line,” says Swigert, looking at the instrument panel’s eight-ball. “Roll complete!” says Lovell, “We are pitching!” “Thirteen,” says the CAPCOM, “Stand by for Mode One Bravo.” Flames expand at the base […]
Aug 21, 2018
Minute 038: Center Engine Cutoff
Riding into orbit, the instrument panel suddenly reports a problem with the S-II’s center engine. “Houston, this is Thirteen,” says Lovell, “We’ve got a center engine cut-off, go on the other four?” On the big video screen at Mission Control, the telemetry shows Engine Five to be offline. “Thirteen, we show the same, ” says […]
Aug 22, 2018
Minute 039: Our Glitch for This Mission
Despite the early center engine cutoff on the S-II stage, Apollo 13 continues into orbit. “Looks like we just had our glitch for this mission,” says Lovell. Back on Earth, Ken Mattingly looks at the empty launch pad, then slowly turns to get back in his Corvette. “Thirteen, stand by for staging,” says CAPCOM. “Roger […]
Aug 23, 2018
Minute 040: Proud, Happy, and Thrilled
The cabin is filled with floating helmets and gloves in zero gravity, as the astronauts play with these drifting items in the Command Module. The smoky contrail of the launch hangs in the Florida sky. “Oh boy,” says Marilyn Lovell, “I hope I can sleep.” “Mom,” says Margaret Haise, “That was loud!” “Here, hold my […]
Aug 24, 2018
Minute 041: Fredo, You Okay?
FIDO is looking at the numbers for the Trans Lunar Injection. “It’s on the money!” says FIDO, “Looks good, Flight.” “Roger, FIDO,” says Gene Kranz. “Okay, guys – – we’re going to the Moon! “Flight, we have reacquisition of signal at Hawaii,” says a controller.  On the big display screen at the MCC, a graphic […]
Aug 27, 2018
Minute 042: Command Module Pilot
GUEST: SPACE SHUTTLE CDR CHARLIE PRECOURT The CSM and the S-IV-B hang in deep space. “We’re ready for CSM separation,” says Swigert. “Okay, SM RCS iso valves are all gray, ” says Lovell. “Okay, Swigert – – Command Module Pilot – – she’s all yours.” Swigert presses the JETTISON SLA button. The four SLA panels […]
Aug 28, 2018
Minute 043: Come on, Rookie, Park That Thing
Jack Swigert, Command Module Pilot, is about to retrieve the Lunar Module from the S-IV-B. “Thrusting forward,” says Swigert, nudging the RCS controller. “One hundred feet,” says Haise, watching out his window. “Watch the alignment now,” says Lovell. Swigert fires two bursts with the RCS jets, and glances at Lovell. “Hey, don’t worry, guys,” says […]
Aug 29, 2018
Minute 044: Capture
Jack Swigert,  is just about to dock the Apollo CSM with the LM. Looking through the reticle, Swigert sees that he’s aligned with the target. The CSM probe pin is aimed directly at the LM’s drogue. Swigert makes a slight roll thrust. There’s a grinding noise. “Capture,” says Swigert. “That’s it!’ says Lovell.  The A […]
Aug 30, 2018
Minute 045: The Constellation Urion
It’s the change of shift at Mission Control. Everyone is being updated on mission status for each station. The scene fades. TITLE: DAY 3 APRIL 13 The CSM and Lunar Module are in rotisserie mode, rolling along the long axis of the two spacecraft. Lovell is using the urine collection system in the lower equipment […]
Aug 31, 2018
Minute 046: Stupid Beatles Breaking Up
GUEST HOST: STAR WARS MINUTES’ PETE THE RETAILER Barbara Lovell is having an argument with her mother about… “the stupid Beatles breaking up!” says Susan Lovell. “They’re not stupid! You’re stupid!” shouts Barbara. “Barbara! Barbara!” says Marilyn, “I know you’re in mourning…” “I’m not going, Mom!” says Barbara. “Dad won’t even know if we’re there!” […]
Sep 17, 2018
Minute 047: Spirit in the Sky
“Spirit in the Sky” by Norman Greenbaum begins to play. Haise spins the cassette player in zero gravity. Fred Haise’s children, watching in the visitors’ gallery at Mission Control, laugh. Mary Haise smiles. Jim Lovell looks displeased. “That was supposed to be the Theme to 2001, in honor of our Command Module, Odyssey, but there […]
Sep 18, 2018
Minute 048: Forgot to File
Fred Haise is demonstrating orange juice in zero gravity. “Lemon Tree,” sung by Trini López, begins to play. In Mission Control, Marilyn Lovell is talking to Henry Hurt. “Do they know they’re not on the air?” asks Marilyn. “We’ll tell them when they get back,” replies Henry. “Uh, well, if – if anyone from the- uh, […]
Sep 19, 2018
Minute 049: Gotcha
GUEST: CLASSICS PROFESSOR CHARLES CHIASSON Jim Lovell continues his narration of the TV broadcast from Apollo XIII, as “Honkey Tonkin'” by Hank Williams plays in the background. “Well, folks, as you can probably tell, ” says Lovell, “the Aquarius isn’t much bigger than a couple of telephone booths. The skin of the LM in some […]
Sep 20, 2018
Minute 050: A Pleasant Evening
GUEST: ACTOR BRETT CULLEN   Jim Lovell is completing the narration of the Apollo XIII TV broadcast. “-Aquarius, and return to the Odyssey,” says Lovell, ” our next broadcast will be from Fra Mauro, on the surface of the Moon. So, this is the crew of the Apollo Thirteen, wishing everyone back on Earth  a […]
Sep 21, 2018
Minute 051: Houston, We Have a Problem
Jack Swigert is completing several housekeeping tasks on Odyssey. “And then,” says CAPCOM, “if you could give your oxygen tanks a stir…” “Roger that,” says Swigert. EECOM puffs his pipe and looks at his console. Swigert toggles the O2 switches 1 and 2 to ON. Deep inside the Service Module, a wire burns and splits. […]
Dec 17, 2018
Minute 052: Main Bus B Undervolt
The MAIN BUS B UNDERVOLT warning light turns on, followed by the CMC (Command Module Computer) alarm light. “We have a Main Bus B undervolt,” says Lovell, throwing a switch on the battery selector indicators. “We’ve got a lot of thruster activity here, Houston.” “What’s the story with the computer now?” asks Swigert. “It just went […]
Dec 18, 2018
Minute 053: A Quadruple Failure
EECOM is looking at his monitor and can’t believe the readings. “– reading a quadruple failure? That can’t happen!” says EECOM. “It’s gotta be instrumentation.” “Let’s get that hatch buttoned,” says Lovell to Swigert as they diagnose the problem in the Command Module. “Maybe the LM got hit by a meteor.” “That tunnel’s really torquing […]
Dec 19, 2018
Minute 054: We are Venting Something
“C – Charlie!” says Haise, reading off information to Houston. “-and B are barber-poled,” adds Swigert. “Houston,” says Lovell, “I’m switching over Quad C to Main A.” He throws a switch. “Roger that, Thirteen, “says CAPCOM. “Okay,” says Swigert, “Fuel Cell One, Fuel Cell Three, we got a Main Bus B undervolt,  Cryo pressure Two […]
Dec 20, 2018
Minute 055: Let’s Work the Problem, People
“Roger, Odyssey – – we copy you’re venting,” says CAPCOM. All the flight controllers start talking over each other. It rapidly becomes a cacophony of voices. “Okay, listen up!” says Kranz. “Quiet down. Quiet down!  Let’s stay cool, people. Procedures, I need another computer up in the RTCC. I want everybody to alert your support […]
Dec 21, 2018
Minute 056: The Ship’s Bleeding to Death
Lovell leans over in his couch, and looks at the dials. The Number One tank pressure is dropping. “Two hundred pounds and falling,” says Haise. “Oh-Two Tank Two, still zero,” says EECOM. “Tank One, Two Eighteen PSI and falling.” “Is that what you’re getting?” asks Haise. “Confirm!” “Uh, we’re seeing the same, Thirteen,” says CAPCOM. […]
Dec 24, 2018
Minute 057: The Whole Smash
EECOM is trying to figure out how to resolve the issue of the oxygen tank leak. “We can save what’s left in the tanks and we can run on the good cell,” he explains to Gene Kranz. “You close them, you can’t open them again. You can’t land on the Moon with one healthy fuel […]
Dec 25, 2018
Minute 058: We Just Lost the Moon
In the Command Module, Jim Lovell tries to digest this order to shut down the fuel cells. “– the fuel cells? Did I hear you right?” asks Lovell. “Yeah, they heard me right,” says Kranz to CAPCOM. “Tell them we think that’s the only way they can stop the leak.” “Yeah, Jim,” says CAPCOM, “uh, […]
Jan 02, 2019
Minute 059: If This Doesn’t Work
The three astronauts look at the pressure gauge, which continues to fall. “If this doesn’t work,” says Swigert, “we’re not gonna have enough power left to get home.” Staring at the meter, the gauge stands at 200 PSI, then begins to drop precipitously. EECOM watches his console as the pressure and quantity continues to drop. […]
Jan 03, 2019
Minute 060: The Lunar Module Just Became a Lifeboat
“Guys, listen up, here’s the drill,” says Kranz to the other controllers, “We’re moving the astronauts over to the LM. We’ve gotta get some oxygen up there. TELMU, Control, I want an emergency power-up procedure, the essential hardware only! GNC, EECOM — we’re going to be shutting down the Command Module at the same time. […]
Jan 04, 2019
Minute 061: A Bad Way to Fly
Lovell and Haise are going through quick procedures to get the LM up and running, while the CSM fires its thrusters to try and steady the two spacecraft. “Uh, Houston, ” says Lovell, “Be aware that I’ve moved from the Command Module into the LM.” Meanwhile, Gene Kranz talks to fellow Flight Director Glynn Lunney. […]
Jan 14, 2019
Minute 062: A Double Check of the Arithmetic
Command Module is running low on power. “– about eight minutes remaining,” says CAPCOM. “Okay,” says Swigert. “Fuel cell pumps off, Oh Two fans, Tank Two off.” “Okay, uh, Houston, check me,” says Lovell, “I’ve completed these gimbal conversions, but, uh, I need a double-check of the arithmetic.” “Uh, yeah,” says CAPCOM, “You can go, […]
Jan 15, 2019
Minute 063: ABC’s Science Editor Jules Bergman
Dick Cavett is delivering his evening monologue on TV. Ken Mattingly is reclining on a couch, watching sullenly and drinking a beer out of a can. “It’s a great day in New York,” says Cavett. “It’s girl-watchers’ weather. I like those ingenious girl watchers who put on Con Edison helmets and dig trenches in the […]
Jan 16, 2019
Minute 064: Did We Miss a Step Here?
ABC News Science Editor Jules Bergman is on the Lovell TV set, talking about the mishap, and explaining the LM’s use as a… “-life boat,” continues Bergman, “so they’ll have electrical power for their radios on the Command Module. Apollo 13 is also apparently losing breathing oxygen, and the astronauts may have to use the […]
Jan 17, 2019
Minute 065: Flying with a Dead Elephant
“What happened?” asks Glynn Lunney. The flight controllers in the “trench” hold their hands up in the air. Aquarius and Odyssey tumble in space. The RCS thrusters on Aquarius fire. “We’re all out of whack,” says Lovell. “We’re trying to pitch down but we’re yawing to the left. Why can’t I null this out?” Jim […]
Jan 18, 2019
Minute 066: Was it the Door?
In her living room, Marilyn watches ABC News on TV. Science Editor Jules Bergman describes “the terseness of Kraft, and the grim lines of Jim McDivitt. This has been a very close call, and we’re not out of the wood yet. Not by a long shot.” Marilyn gets up to check on her youngest son, […]
Jan 28, 2019
Minute 067: Computer Off
Jim Lovell is telling Mission Control they’ve had to learn to “fly all over again, but we’re doing better now, over.” “Roger that, Aquarius,” says Capcom. “Have ’em close it out,” says Flight Director Glynn Lunney. “Jack,” says Capcom, “uh, we can close out your procedure now.” “Now,” replies Swigert,”do we know for sure that […]
Jan 29, 2019
Minute 068: Improvising a New Mission
Jack Swigert leaves the darkened Command Module through the tunnel to the LM. “Freddo,” says Jim Lovell, “We’re going to have to execute some sort of a burn here. It’s just a matter of when.” Lovell notices Swigert at the back of the LM. Swigert steadies himself with a hand on the docking port. “Did […]
Jan 30, 2019
Minute 069: Free Return Trajectory
FIDO White Team Jerry Bostick is in favor of a free-return trajectory. “It’s the option with the fewest question marks for safety.” “I agree with you,” says Kranz, “Use the Moon’s gravity, slingshot them around.” “No,” says the Grumman representative, “The LM will not support three guys for that amount of time!” “It barely holds […]
Jan 31, 2019
Minute 070: The Grumman Guys
One of the flight controllers speaks up. “I was wondering what the Grumman guys think about this.” The Grumman rep shrugs. “We can’t make any guarantees,” he says. “We designed the LM to land on the Moon, not fire the engine out there for course corrections.” “Well,” replies Kranz, “Unfortunately we’re not landing on the […]
Feb 01, 2019
Minute 071: I’ve Seen It
“We have to burn the engine at PC + 2,” says the FAO. Gene Kranz sits at his console and rubs his eyes. Slayton turns to the NASA director and whispers, “Look, tell him three-to-one.” In the depths of space, a Quindar tone sounds. Aquarius and Odyssey are silhouetted in the sunlight. “Expect loss of […]
Feb 04, 2019
Minute 072: So Long, Earth
Swigert and Haise look at Lovell, realizing he’s already seen the Moon. James Horner’s theme plays on a trumpet. The distant Earth hangs in space.  Apollo 13, surrounded  by torn Kapton foil and debris, glides above the lunar surface. “Aquarius, this is Houston,” says Capcom. “Expect loss of signal in approximately ten seconds.” “So long, […]
Feb 05, 2019
Minute 073: Look, it’s Fra Mauro
In the LM, Fred Haise holds a camera that he would have used on the lunar surface. Lovell switches on a ceiling light in the LM. Back in Houston, Marilyn quietly cries in a chair, listening to static on the NASA squawk box. The scene fades to black. Along the limb of the Moon’s far […]
Feb 06, 2019
Minute 074: [On the Moon]
As James Horner’s theme plays, Lovell looks out at the Moon through the LM window. Lovell imagines what it would have been like to have a successful landing. He pictures taking the last few steps down the ladder, and standing in the bowl of the LM footpad.  Placing his left foot on the powdery surface,  […]
Feb 07, 2019
Minute 075: Gentlemen, What are Your Intentions?
The Earth fills the screen. “Thirteen, this is Houston,” says Capcom. “We’re reading your telemetry. Good to see you again!” Lovell looks out the left LM window, while Swigert and Haise look out the right window. “Good to see you, too, Houston,” replies Haise. In the Lovell bedroom, Marilyn listens to the NASA squawkbox. “We’re […]
Feb 08, 2019