Home » Apollo 13- Questions About The Movie Answered

Apollo 13- Questions About The Movie Answered

1.Id first have to say that the head of mission control on the ground was definitely important in the salvaging of Apollo 13. He was faced with problem after problem yet he kept a somewhat level head through all of it and managed the engineers and other people involved back at Houston very well. Jim Lovells piloting skills played a roll in the crews survival as well. When he had to set the ships course for Earth manually it took a great deal of skill and patience and he deserves credit for that. Ken Mattingly might not have made it to space, but his extensive knowledge of the ins and outs of the spacecraft saved the lives of his friends when they had a power crisis.

2. One particular problem during the Apollo 13 mission was a build up of carbon dioxide in the spacecraft. The CO2 scrubbers designed to filter out the gas werent working properly and as time progressed and the astronauts breathed more the situation worsened. To solve this problem NASA pooled together some engineers to come up with a design for a makeshift filter using common items onboard the space craft and an existing filter from another section of the spacecraft.

3. The general public and the press seemed disinterested with the Apollo 13 mission. Since wed already beaten the Russians to the moon, no one in the general public put much interest into NASA anymore. The space race was decided and the public lost interest in NASA With no audience for the story, the press began putting less attention to the later Apollo missions. In the film a broadcast from the astronauts aboard Apollo 13 was canceled due to a lack of interest. As for the astronauts, I think their attitude towards the space program was positive. They obviously were enthused about their mission to the moon, but I think they were beginning to believe these missions were becoming routine as well. I gathered this from their horseplay and wisecracks in space prior to the accident.

4. Apollo 13 wasnt known for any great scientific achievements of course, but it proved the point that space flight is anything but routine or mundane. It proved that something as small as some faulty wiring could spell disaster for an entire mission. It opened the eyes of the media and general public to see that man had not yet completely mastered space and things could go wrong.

5. The Challenger disaster and the near failure of Apollo 13 are different in a few ways. One obvious difference is that there were no fatalities in Apollo while the whole crew of Challenger perished. The Challenger incident happened before the shuttle even reached space while the Apollos problems occurred on the way to the moon far from Earth. There was also a difference in the nature of the incidents.

Apollos troubles stemmed from an explosion in the oxygen tanks due to some faulty wiring that cut the spacecrafts electrical power, oxygen, and other systems. The challenger disaster was caused by a cracked O-ring in the solid fuel rocket due to cold weather. Flames within the rocket leaked out through the faulty seal, reached a fuel tank and created a huge explosion. One similarity between the two is that all their troubles were caused by a minor detail that was slightly overlooked (wiring and an O-ring).

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