stiiggy

22nd Jan 2021

Apollo 13 (1995)

Question: Since it was so cold on the return journey to Earth, why didn't the astronauts wear their full space suits they wore on lift-off to keep warm? The just seem to be wearing their lightweight flight overalls.

stiiggy

Answer: Because they need to be able to move quickly through the confined space of the module, and the full suits would be far too bulky in an emergency.

The older Apollo missions all splashed down with full suits and helmet on. Just the launch suits, not the much bulkier EVA (moon walk) suits.

stiiggy

Answer: According to Jim Lovell in a later interview about the mission, the crew considered putting on their space suits but in addition to them being too bulky, there was concern the suits would make them perspire too much, thus making them wet and even colder. It wasn't quite as cold as depicted in the movie, it was always above freezing, and there were no icy windows or frozen hot dogs.

raywest Premium member

Answer: In addition, since they have to leave the ship after landing, the suit filling with water would be very dangerous.

LorgSkyegon

The launch abort mode was for an ocean landing, so they would have been just as vulnerable at the start of the mission. I get your line of thinking though.

stiiggy

16th Dec 2017

Apollo 13 (1995)

Question: What did Houston mean by they need Omni bravo?

Answer: The Apollo spacecraft had 4 omni-directional control antennas, designated A, B, C, and D. "Omni Bravo" was the B antenna. When Mission Control in Houston said they needed Omni Bravo, it meant they wanted Apollo 13 to try to activate the B antenna.

Charles Austin Miller

What were Omni-directional control antennas?

Omni Directional Control Antennas were capable of sending and receiving signals from any direction. The Apollo 13 spacecraft had 4 redundant antennas of this type, which allowed Mission Control in Houston to remotely control certain systems when necessary.

Answer: Omni directional antennas can broadcast in any direction at once, as opposed to one that can only broadcast to a particular spot.

stiiggy

6th May 2020

Apollo 13 (1995)

Question: Did the OC2 gauge really drop to zero after fuel cells 1 and 3 were closed, as shown in the movie?

Answer: Yes it's absolutely true. The crew didn't realise that the REAC valves had already been damaged by the explosion which is why shutting the valves achieves nothing.

stiiggy

13th Feb 2008

Apollo 13 (1995)

Question: When Aquarius is descending during re-entry, why is the Navy preparing Search & Rescue instead of the Coast Guard?

Cubs Fan Premium member

Chosen answer: Aquarius was most likely going to splashdown in international waters; since the U.S. Coast Guard only has jurisdiction within American waters, the Navy would have to rescue them.

Xofer

Answer: Because the Navy was assigned the Search, Rescue and Recovery task for all of NASA's space program. Imagine how long it would take the Coast Guard to get to the other side of the world.

stiiggy

18th Dec 2017

Apollo 13 (1995)

Question: Why couldn't the fuel cells be opened again once they were closed?

Answer: The reactant valves to the fuel cells could not be re-opened once they were closed (except by ground servicing) because they are very delicate and must be precisely calibrated. Although CAPCOM tells Lovell to manually close the valves for cells 1 and 3, they had already failed and closed so this had no effect.

Sierra1 Premium member

Did they really try closing fuel cells 1 and 3 like in the movie?

Answer: Yes they did. And as in the movie, it was futile since the reac valves had failed anyway.

stiiggy

16th Oct 2019

Apollo 13 (1995)

Question: I have heard that the news broadcasts used in the movies are copies of actual broadcasts, is this true?

Answer: Indeed, some are. The shots of Walter Cronkite and Wally Schirra are actual news reports.

stiiggy

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