The Apollo 13 Mission: about Job Astronaut

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“Houston, we have a problem (Apollo 13: Houston We‘ve Had a Problem).” The quotation was stated by Jack Swigert, the command module of the Apollo 13 mission. This popular reference was a warning to Mission Control, the agency which navigated Apollo 13 on their mission, that danger has been added to the agenda. This danger has never happened in any Mercury, Gemini, or Apollo mission until the unlucky 13th mission of Apollo. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration, or NASA, was responsible of all past missions during the Space Race. The Space Race was a war where America and the Soviet Union attempted to successfully transfer astronauts into space and back to Earth. This life-threatening signal was supposed to emphasize the oxygen tank exploding. Apollo 13 was almost a disastrous tragedy, but turned out triumphing over death with the assistance of a procedure from Mission Control.

Numerous events happened before Apollo 13. Before the Apollo program, Mercury and Gemini were in progress of gaining data necessary for lunar landings. After the second program, Gemini, the Apollo missions begin. Each mission had data which brought NASA closer to land on the moon (Lewis, Richard S.). Apollo 11 was the successful lunar landing which launched in 1969. After the victory over the Soviet Union in the Space Race, more missions were announced to gather more data. In 1970, Apollo 13 was announced to be the third mission going to the moon (for America) and was the thirteenth mission in the Apollo program. The mission objective was to visit the Fra Mauro Highlands and gather more data. The crew to accomplish the goal was Jim Lovell, Jack Swigert, and Fred Haise. Two days before the launch they replaced the original crew who were exposed to German measles (Mobile Register). Jim Lovell was the commander of the flight, Fred Haise was the lunar module pilot, and Jack (John) Swigert was the command module pilot. April 1l, 1970, the launch day of Apollo 13, where the spacecraft roared above Kennedy Space Center. About two days into the flight, Jim Lovell broadcasted the experience of an astronaut, which was right before tragedy struck (Apollo 13 TV Broadcast).

April 13, 1971, two days into the mission, the tragedy started. While building the spacecraft, the engineers tested an oxygen tank that malfunctioned in testing. Nobody took note of it, so they kept on building. Oxygen tank number two exploded which caused a chain reaction in the equipment. Apollo 13 turned into a survival mission. Fuel cells shut down when Jim Lovell, Fred, Haise, and Jack Swigert were 200,000 miles away from Earth. To add on to this, the carbon dioxide scrubbing chemicals were broken, which meant that the astronauts did not have much time left in their life. The tragedy heavily changed the Apollo 13 voyage. (Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum). The mission had to be aborted. To successfully survive a position where they would be forced in moon orbit, something had to be done (Mobile Register). Apollo 13 has to finish what is on their plate. Someone needs to fix all of this chaos.

Now with all of the equipment shut down, and the carbon dioxide levels rising, mission control is trying to save their lives. A procedure was created to get rid of one of dangers that lurked on the spacecraft. This procedure was made to extinguish the carbon dioxide problem, the biggest threat at the time. The astronauts listened to mission control explain what to do, which became successful. The astronauts successfully made it back unharmed which impacted the world. The mission was a “successful failure (National Air and Space Museum Visitor Services Coordinator Team).” Other Apollo missions were launched after Apollo 13 and went to different parts of the moon. All missions after Apollo 13 were lunar missions. After the Apollo program was the Space Shuttle Program (Lewis, Richard S. ‘Apollo Program’). The world knows how to not make the mistake which caused the tragedy. The mistake was not taking note of the malfunction of the oxygen tank that exploded during the Apollo 13 voyage. They successfully landed in the Pacific Ocean (NASA.gov)

The Apollo 13 mission was chaotic as a tornado. Apollo 13 was affected by a tragedy which turned the tides of the mission, almost in favor of death. If it weren’t for Mission Control’s procedure to fix the carbon dioxide problem, the main threat at the time, the mission would’ve been a total failure. Though it almost was a catastrophic tragedy for Jim Lovell, Fred Haise, and Jack Swigert, mission control stepped in with a procedure in order for their triumphant survival. Now with the triumphant victory, the rest of the Apollo missions landed on the moon to gather data all the way to the final mission, Apollo 17. Scientists are able to explain the atmosphere of the unknown environment. The mission was out of this world!

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