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Home / Science / Apollo 13-Astronaut Fred Haise tells of a failed mission: "We never got to the edge of the cliff"

Apollo 13-Astronaut Fred Haise tells of a failed mission: "We never got to the edge of the cliff"



On April 11, 1970, NASA astronaut Fred Haise prepared to follow in the footsteps of Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin and walk on the lunar surface.

When Apollo 13 launched on a Saturn in the sunny Florida sky V rocket on Saturday night, the mission marks the third moon landing of NASA. Haise, the pilot of the lunar module of the mission, was to be the sixth person to walk on the lunar surface just after the mission commander of Apollo 13, Jim Lovell, who would be the fifth. About 200,000 miles from Earth, an oxygen tank exploded in the service module of the spaceship. The mission's mission quickly shifted from exploration to survival.

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"After the explosion, when I drifted back to the mothership, the command module, I was in the Lunar Module and made a TV -Show. Actually, I was just finished and looked at the panel and found that we had lost the oxygen tank 2, "he explained. "To be honest, I was immediately sick with disappointment and knew we had lost the landing mission."

  The launch of Apollo 13th (NASA)

The launch of Apollo 13th (NASA)

"[I] did not consider it life-threatening … we had a second tank, it seemed to be intact," added Haise, who spoke at a briefing for Christie's auction: "One giant step: space exploration celebrates 50 years after Apollo 11. "

However, the oxygen tank 1 was damaged.

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20 minutes or more, as the realization became clear that there was a leak, a slow leak, but also a leak in that tank, "Haise said. "Only then did we think it was life threatening. We were very busy with the people in Mission Control, trying various isolators and switches to isolate the leak, and that took almost an hour. At about this time, we realized that we had run out of ideas and we. "

  Apollo 13-astronaut Fred Haise.

Apollo 13-astronaut Fred Haise.
(NASA)

At this point, Haise and Lovell left their colleague, Jack Swigert, in the command module and tried to turn on the lunar module. "We knew we would need that, at least for the communications, the environmental systems and the drive, probably to get us home," he said. "It gave people time to work on the situation we had in hand and to develop an alternative plan."

In collaboration with Mission Control, the astronauts have mastered numerous challenges. As the carbon dioxide in the lunar module had reached a dangerous level, the crew had to adjust lithium hydroxide canisters, which were designed for the work of command modules in the lunar module. A flock of debris from the explosion also made navigation difficult. The dramatic events can be seen in the Hollywood hit "Apollo 13", in which Haise is portrayed by the late actor Bill Paxton.

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Haise, Lovell and Swigert suffered from lack of sleep, food and water in the cold spacecraft and felt extremely uncomfortable when they saw Apollo 13 returned to earth.

  Kevin Bacon, Tom Hanks, and

Kevin Bacon, Tom Hanks, and Bill Paxton, who portrayed Fred Haise, talked on the ship in a scene from the movie, "Apollo 13", 1995. “/>

Kevin Bacon, Tom Hanks, and Bill Paxton, who portrayed Fred Haise, spoke on the ship in a scene from the movie "Apollo 13," 1995.
(Photo by Universal / Getty Images)

However, Haise told Fox News that he was always confident that the mission would make it home. "There was never a point where we did not arrive where we needed it – to find out something else, and it was not finished," he explained. "We never came to the edge of the cliff."

When the world watched with bated breath, Apollo 13 reentered Earth's atmosphere on April 17 and splashed into the South Pacific. "When you realize you've finally made it, it's probably when you look out the window and see the big head slides," he said. "Of course we were very happy to return to this point. It had been very miserable anyway in the last three and a half days, and it got very cold and damp in the spacecraft. "

BUZZ ALDRIN, OTHERS NEGLECT APOLLOS INNER HISTORY IN RARE, NEWLY PUBLISHED INTERVIEWS [19659023] The Apollo 13 spacecraft crashes on April 17, 1970, shortly before the impact on the South Pacific after its demolished Lunar Landing mission. (Photo by Space Frontiers / Getty Images) “/>

The Apollo 13 spacecraft crashes shortly before impact on the earth before hosing down in the South Pacific after its demolished lunar landing mission on April 17, 1970. (Photo by Space Frontiers / Getty Images)

Haise got sick during the mission and was forced to miss the party aboard the salvage ship USA. Iwo Jima.

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The astronaut, who had worked as a pilot of the lunar module for Apollo 11, remained in the Apollo 11 program, although funding problems unfortunately thwarted his ambition to return to the moon. Subsequently, he was technical assistant to the manager of the Space Shuttle Orbiter program and completed in 1977 approach and landing tests for the space shuttle prototype Enterprise.

  Mission Control celebrates the Apollo 13 splashdown.

Mission Control celebrates the Apollo 13 splashdown.
(NASA)

In 1979 he left NASA to join Grumman Aerospace Corporation.

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  The Apollo 13 crew portrait - from left to right is Mission Commander Jim Lovell, pilot of command module Jack Swigert and pilot of lunar module Fred Haise (NASA)

The portrait of the Apollo 13 crew – from left to right: mission Commander Jim Lovell, Pilot of Command Module Jack Swigert and Pilot of Lunar Module Fred Haise (NASA)

Although he was never allowed to enter the lunar surface, Haise was able to see the natural Earth satellite up close when Apollo 13 passed the other side of the moon.

"It was kind of sad for me when we passed by that [the] I looked at Fra Mauro [region on the Moon] where we hoped to land on Apollo 13," he told Fox News. "But otherwise the view was spectacular."

Follow James Rogers on Twitter @jamesjrogers


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