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Apollo 13 "Houston, we're got a problem."

Page 17

The do-it-yourself unit in Aquarius to utilize lithium hydroxide canisters from the crippled Odyssey.

By the time Apollo 13 entered Earth's sphere of gravitational influence at 8:38 Wednesday morning, still 216,277 miles from home, the data showed it would miss by 99 miles and sail on in orbit forever. A bigger midcourse correction than ever made before by a returning Apollo lunar mission was scheduled for near midnight. Again safety of the crew depended on Aquarius' descent engine.

The spacecraft was positioned by sighting on the Earth and Sun, a procedure never used previously, but one which had been developed in studies and checked by computers, and which was rechecked while Apollo 13 was enroute from the Moon to the Earth. The engine was fired manually. Lovell and Haise, in their normal LM piloting positions, handled the attitude controls. Swigert, sitting on the ascent engine cover, watched the timer to signal when to start and stop the burn, and Lovell pushed the buttons. Mission Control watched the results.

CAPCOM--Ignition , , ,Thrust looks good It shut down . . . Nice work.

SC--Let's hope it was.

Ground trackers could soon report that it was, putting Apollo 13 comfortably within the reentry corridor.

Jury-rigged urine disposal system. Swigert at right.


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