Author(s): David Baker
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.
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.
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illustrated throughout, using material from the NASA archives, including Apollo 13 mission manuals and previously unpublished imagery.