The Untold Story of the Back-Room Team That Saved Apollo 13
If everything goes easily, nobody remembers your work.
But on April 13, 1970, an oxygen tank explosion on the Apollo 13 spacecraft fixed a harrowing mission into motion— and its success would turn the team of heartland boys in to national heroes. A little more than 2 days into the mission’ s voyage towards the moon, the command module started to lose its supply of electricity plus water. That’ s when astronaut John Swigert uttered the expression that would implant mission control within the public’ s consciousness: “ Houston, we’ ve had a problem right here. ”
Houston— these working behind the scenes at NASA— will be the focus of a new documentary that will explores the history of the Apollo room program.
“ The majority of the attention around Apollo has centered on the astronauts, ” says Keith Haviland, a producer of Mission Control: The Unsung Heroes of Apollo , launched last week. “ But the film is all about those people in the back room on NASA who really made the particular missions happen through planning, via monitoring the flights, through coping with emergencies. ”
One of the most famous of these is Apollo thirteen, the story of which was turned into the particular Tom Hanks-led blockbuster. But the documented tells a different side of the tale: that of the mission controllers who have crammed months of planning plus troubleshooting into mere days to create the astronauts safely back to Planet.
Shortly after the surge, the crew realized oxygen had been rapidly leaking from the spacecraft. Objective control made the call to move the particular astronauts into the lunar module— a scenario that had been studied but had to be improvised as the clock ran down. Since carbon dioxide began to build up in the lunar module, mission control devised the makeshift air purifier and delivered comprehensive instructions to the crew on how to construct it with materials available in the particular spacecraft. Throughout, controllers debated advantages and disadvantages of various reentry scenarios.
“ One of the remarkable things about all of them is they came from very regular backgrounds, ” Haviland says. “ From smokestack towns, from the Navy blue, from the Army, not normally official class, but from the ranks. ”
Besides Apollo thirteen, the film recounts the disaster of the first mission in 1967, when three astronauts were slain in a preflight test, and the achievement of the moon landings— all from your perspective of those key individuals back again on Earth. Usually, nobody remembers these types of engineers who took men towards the moon, and brought them back again. They were just that good.