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Home > Space Patches > Apollo Program Patches
NASA Apollo 13 Embroidered Mission Patch 4"
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£5.99

NASA Apollo 13 Patch 4"

"Houston, we have a problem..."

Crew
James A. Lovell Jr.
Commander

Fred W. Haise Jr.
Lunar Module Pilot

John L. Swigert Jr.
Command Module Pilot

Backup Crew
John W. Young
Commander

Charles M. Duke Jr.
Lunar Module Pilot

John L. Swigert Jr.
Command Module Pilot

Payload
Odyssey (CM-109) Aquarius (LM-7)

Launch
April 11, 1970; 1:13 p.m. CST
Launch Pad 39A
Saturn-V AS-508
High Bay 1
Mobile Launcher Platform-3
Firing Room 1

Orbit
Altitude: 118.99 miles
Inclination: 32.547 degrees
Earth Orbits: 1.5
Duration: five days, 22 hours, 54 minutes, 41 seconds
Distance: 622,268 miles

Landing
April 17, 1970
Pacific Ocean
Recovery Ship: USS Iwo Jima
 

Mission Objective
Apollo 13 was supposed to land in the Fra Mauro area. An explosion on board forced Apollo 13 to circle the moon without landing. The Fra Mauro site was reassigned to Apollo 14.

 



Mission Highlights
At 5 1/2 minutes after liftoff, John Swigert, Fred Haise and James Lovell felt a little vibration. Then the center engine of the S-II stage shut down two minutes early. This caused the remaining four engines to burn 34 seconds longer than planned, and the S-IVB third stage had to burn nine seconds longer to put Apollo 13 in orbit.

Days before the mission, backup lunar module pilot, Charles Duke, inadvertently exposed the crew to German measles. Command Module Pilot Ken Mattingly had no immunity to measles and was replaced by backup command module pilot, John Swigert.

Ground tests before launch indicated the possibility of a poorly insulated supercritical helium tank in the lunar module, or LM, descent stage, so the flight plan was modified to enter the LM three hours early in order to obtain an onboard readout of helium tank pressure.

The No. 2 oxygen tank, serial number 10024X-TA0009, had been previously installed in the service module of Apollo 10, but was removed for modification and damaged in the process. The tank was fixed, tested at the factory, installed in the Apollo 13 service module and tested again during the Countdown Demonstration Test at NASA's Kennedy Space Center beginning March 16, 1970. The tanks normally are emptied to about half full. No. 1 behaved all right, but No. 2 dropped to only 92 percent of capacity. Gaseous oxygen at 80 pounds per square inch was applied through the vent line to expel the liquid oxygen, but to no avail. An interim discrepancy report was written, and on March 27, two weeks before launch, detanking operations resumed. No. 1 again emptied normally, but No. 2 did not. After a conference with contractor and NASA personnel, the test director decided to "boil off" the remaining oxygen in No. 2 by using the electrical heater within the tank. The technique worked, but it took eight hours of 65-volt DC power from the ground support equipment to dissipate the oxygen. Due to an oversight in replacing an underrated component during a design modification, this turned out to severely damage the internal heating elements of the tank.

Apollo 13 was to be the third lunar landing attempt, but the mission was aborted after rupture of service module oxygen tank. Still, it was classified as a "successful failure" because of the experience gained in rescuing the crew. The mission's spent upper stage successfully impacted the moon.

NASA Space Mission Patch Collectable Souvenir emblem from the U.K No.1 NASA Space Store.