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Apollo 13 (AS-508): Houston, We Have A Problem.

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Science & Nature

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Apollo 13 (AS-508): Houston, we have a problem.
The Apollo 13 mission was launched at 2:13 p.m. EST, April 11, 1970 from
launch complex 39A at Kennedy Space Center. The space vehicle crew consisted of
James A. Lovell, Jr. commander, John L. Swigert, Jr., command module pilot and
Fred W. Haise, Jr. lunar module pilot.
The Apollo 13 Mission was planned as a lunar landing mission but was
aborted en route to the moon after about 56 hours of flight due to loss of
service module cryogenic oxygen and consequent loss of capability to generate
electrical power, to provide oxygen and to produce water.
Spacecraft systems performance was nominal until the fans in cryogenic
oxygen tank 2 were turned on at 55:53:18 ground elapsed time (GET). About 2
seconds after energizing the fan circuit, a short was indicated in the current
from fuel cell 3, which was supplying power to cryogenic oxygen tank 2 fans.
Within several additional seconds, two other shorted conditions occurred.
Electrical shorts in the fan circuit ignited the wire insulation, causing
temperature and pressure to increase within cryogenic oxygen tank 2. When
pressure reached the cryogenic oxygen tank 2 relief valve full-flow conditions
of 1008 psi, the pressure began decreasing for about 9 seconds, at which time
the relief valve probably reseated, causing the pressure to rise again
momentarily. About a quarter of a second later, a vibration disturbance was
noted on the command module accelerometers.
The next series of events occurred within a fraction of a second between
the accelerometer disturbances and the data loss. A tank line burst, because of
heat, in the vacuum jacket pressurizing the annulus and, in ...

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