Apollo 13 Manual

Apollo 13 Manual : An engineering insight into how NASA saved the crew of the crippled Moon mission

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On 13 April 1970, Apollo 13 suffered a near-catastrophic explosion. The planned lunar landing was instantly called off and the new challenge was to get the spacecraft safely back to Earth. When the carbon dioxide in the three astronauts' exhaled breath threatened to asphyxiate them, the crew improvised a filter device, which had been tested in Mission Control, to make the air breathable. Only hours before hurtling back into the atmosphere did they power up the Apollo spacecraft again - not knowing if it had been fatally damaged in the explosion. Here is the in-depth, inside technical story of how a potential disaster became NASA's finest hour, told by a member of the team working in Mission Control during the crisis to ensure the astronauts' safety.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 208 pages
  • 210 x 270 x 17mm | 884g
  • J H Haynes & Co Ltd
  • Somerset, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 300 Illustrations, unspecified
  • 0857333879
  • 9780857333872
  • 228,623

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When Apollo 13 was launched on 11 April 1970 nobody could have known that hidden within the millions of components of the 3,000-ton Saturn-Apollo launch vehicle and spacecraft were fundamental flaws that would carry the crew close to death.
Four times previously Apollo astronauts had flown to the Moon and this was to be the third landing. Instead, the flight very nearly turned into a catastrophe, its crew left alone in a lifeless spacecraft doomed to remain in space while oxygen slowly bled away. The story of Apollo 13 is one of heroism, fortitude and resolve, from a team in Mission Control that refused to let go, from several dozen contractors who rose to the challenge of finding a way home for a crew unable to get back on their own, and from several thousand workers in hundreds of locations across the US. It is also the story of three very special heroes, the crew members of Apollo 13: Jim Lovell, Jack Swigert and Fred Haise. And, above all, this Haynes Manual tells the story of the complex technical challenges involved in returning the crippled spacecraft safely to Earth, explained in detail by an expert author who was there through it all in Mission Control during the six-day flight.

Dr David Baker, who worked with NASA between 1965 and 1990, was in Mission Control during Apollo 13’s flight and helped carry out verification checks on some of the consumables calculations vital for returning the crew safely to Earth. After the flight he was asked to prepare analytical evaluations for Apollo contractors and subsequently, as a result of his experiences in Mission Control during the near-fatal flight, he prepared analyses of mission failure mode mitigation work that led to new analytical tools for risk analysis. He has written more than 90 books on space science, engineering and technology, and on the politics of the space programme.
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Table of contents

A new insight, in unique Haynes Manual style, into the remarkable story of how clever, improvised engineering, remarkable teamwork and the sheer will to succeed averted a major catastrophe. How the crew - Jim Lovell, Jack Swigert and Fred Haise - were able to work with Mission Control to transform the Lunar Module into a 'lifeboat'. The Apollo spacecraft and the Lunar Module - how they worked and a summary of the equipment and the technology behind them. The mission - a detailed narrative of how the flight was planned, what was expected, the aims of the mission, and what happened hour-by-hour. The analysis - what the post-flight investigation uncovered, and the technical design problems with the spacecraft. The legacy - the redesign of sections of the Apollo spacecraft, and the changes to the organisation of subsequent missions, beginning with Apollo 14. Extensively illustrated throughout, using material from the NASA archives, including Apollo 13 mission manuals and previously unpublished imagery.
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About David Baker

Dr David Baker, an Englishman, worked for NASA on the Gemini, Apollo and Shuttle programmes between 1965 and 1990, and was part of the team within Houston Mission Control throughout the Apollo 13 mission. He has written more than 80 books on spaceflight technology and this is his fourth Haynes manual, following NASA Mars Rovers Manual, International Space Station Manual and NASA Space Shuttle Manual. He lives in East Sussex.
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26 ratings
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