Apollo 13 "Houston, we've got a problem."
Jerry Woodfill, NASA Johnson Space Center
A 33-page illustrated chronicle of exactly what really happened aboard the Apollo 13 mission spacecraft. Includes verbatim the key dialogue between astronauts Lovell, Haise, and Swigert, and between the crippled ship and Mission Control in Houston. Written by a key engineer who participated in the rescue mission.
Each phrase of dialogue is explained, giving a full running commentary on the historic events taking place. The book details what happened, as it happened, from the portentous problems that beset the mission even before it launched on 11 April 1970.
Jerry Woodfill was NASA's Apollo 13 Alarm System Engineer. Woodfill says: "Monday, evening, 9:00 PM, April 13, 1970, I sat at my station in Houston at the Manned Spacecraft Center monitoring the lunar voyage of Apollo 13. As the mission's warning system engineer, I had my headset in place listening to the air to ground comments of Jim Lovell and crew broadcast from more than 200,000 miles in space."
"Suddenly, my television monitor flickered, and I noticed the indication that a master alarm had sounded in the spacecraft. Seconds later, I heard the now famous words, "Houston, we have a problem." Simultaneously, a number of alarms blinked on the TV monitor I viewed. FUEL CELL, DC BUS, and others appeared. No fuel cells meant the command module, the mother ship, would soon die."
"My alarm system had been the first warning of Apollo 13's oxygen tank explosion which threatened to end the lives of three men. As a 27-year-old Rice University graduate electrical engineer, my experience with spacecraft alarm systems was but four years. Yet, like most of the NASA team, I knew the workings of the command ship and lander more intimately than any E.E. course taken to earn my B.S. degree."
For 37 years, Jerry Woodfill has been employed by NASA in Houston, Texas, USA. At the onset of the lunar landing program, he managed the spacecraft warning systems so that he was monitoring spacecraft Eagle's descent when Neil Armstrong landed on the Moon. Likewise, on April 13, 1970, Jerry was monitoring Apollo 13's warning system when the vehicle exploded. His system was the first alert of the life-threatening malfunction depicted in the Tom Hanks-Ron Howard movie Apollo 13. For his participation in the rescue of Apollo 13, he shared the Presidential Medal of Freedom as a member of the Apollo 13 Mission Operations Team.
This is the official NASA historic chronicle of this unusual flight to the Moon and back. Includes 35 photos.
(here greatly reduced in size and resolution)
Suspenseful and highly interesting reading, this also an excellent reference resource for every space enthusiast. Hard to find and no longer in print, this new limited edition has been republished by the Rocket Science Institute. It's printed directly from a NASA digital document file, with a high-resolution laser printer on high-quality, bright-white, acid-free paper and nicely bound for years of reference use. 33 pages, large and easy-to-read 11" x 8-1/2" size. $17.95
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