Welcome to my report of Apollo 13
By Jeffrey Kluger and Jim Lovell
Hello! Today you will read my Apollo 13 summary. Apollo 13 is a spacecraft that took a trip to the moon that almost ended in a catastrophe. Now, let me tell you about the journey of Apollo 13.
Apollo 13 is a book that tells the story about the Apollo 13 team and the problems they faced. Since this was the third time that astronauts went to the moon, not many people cared about this space trip. However, because of a series of problems with the aircraft and the risk of the astronauts not being able to return home, the Apollo 13 trip to the moon became a national news story.
On April 11, 1970, astronauts Fred Haise, Jack Swigert and Jim Lovell were sent to the moon in the spaceship Apollo 13. A few days into their trip, the crew heard a bang and a rumble inside their craft while in space. This was the first of their problems.
Jim Lovell went to check the oxygen readings and one of the tanks was near zero. Jim checked outside the window and saw that a gas was venting. They contacted Houston and they confirmed that the bang was from a rupture in two of their oxygen tanks. Because of the rupture the service module was damaged. This meant that it was running out of oxygen and it did not have enough oxygen for even one of the astronauts to survive. In order to solve this problem, they decided to go inside the lunar module. It was better to go inside the lunar module because it had a reasonable oxygen supply.
Their second problem came in the lunar module and it was the high carbon dioxide levels. The lunar module was built to house 2 people for only 2 days. But in this situation it had to house 3 people for 4 days. There were too many people inside. This meant that they were producing too much carbon dioxide and if they did not get rid of it they would suffocate on their own waste gas. To make things worse they did not have the filters to clean the air. To solve this problem, they made filters using materials they had on board like canisters, duct tape, plastic bags, pages from their procedures book and fabric from their under garments.
After dealing with these challenges, it was clear to the team there was a chance of survival and making it back home. This also created another set of problems because they had to find a way to turn around the craft and reenter the earth’s atmosphere. To do this they used the moon’s gravity to slingshot around the moon and get the craft on the path to earth. Next they decided they needed to make a PC+2 burn to shorten their return trip time by 9 hours. They decided to make the burn when they got closer to earth. This meant they had to conserve energy until they got close to prevent the batteries from dying. To conserve the limited energy, they had to shut down heaters, guidance computers, instrument displays and radars. The temperature dropped to 44 degrees because they conserved so much energy.
It was the day for reentry. When they came close to earth they made the PC+2 burn to push them closer to earth and used the planet's gravity to help them enter the atmosphere. They reached the atmosphere and after a few minutes of black out communication, the parachutes came out and then it splashed into the Pacific Ocean. While the crew nibbled on some crackers the helicopters came and rescued the crew. They all went for a medical checkup and came out O.K. They all survived in the end.
What I liked about this book was the detail. It really painted a great picture of the journey of the entire Apollo 13 team as they solved each problem. What I did not like was that it was a tad bit too long for me. I would recommend it for a long train, bus or plane ride. If you want a long and interesting book, I definitely recommend Apollo 13.
Report done by Kyan Wady Guzman-Piwko. R/LA #10