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Apollo 13 Transcript

By Patrick Mondout

Events from 2.5 minutes before the accident to about 5 minutes after. Times given are in Ground Elapsed Time (G.E.T.), that is, the time elapsed since liftoff of Apollo 13 on April 11, 1970, at 2:13 PM Eastern Standard Time (EST). 55:52:00 G.E.T. is equal to 10:05 PM EST on April 13, 1970. You can read more about Apollo 13 here.


55:52:31 - Master caution and warning triggered by low hydrogen pressure in tank no. 1

55:52:58 - CapCom (Charlie Duke): "13, we've got one more item for you, when you get a chance. We'd like you to stir up the cryo tanks. In addition, I have shaft and trunnion .....

55:53:06 - Swigert: "Okay."

55:53:07 - CapCom: ".... for looking at Comet Bennett, if you need it."

55:53:12 - Swigert: "Okay. Stand by."

55:53:18 - Oxygen tank No. 1 fans on.

55:53:19 - Oxygen tank No. 2 pressure decreases 8 psi.

55:53:20 - Oxygen tank No. 2 fans turned on.

55:53:20 - Stabilization control system electrical disturbance indicates a power transient.

55:53:21 - Oxygen tank No. 2 pressure decreases 4 psi.

55:53:22.718 - Stabilization control system electrical disturbance indicates a power transient.

55:53:22.757 - 1.2 Volt decrease in ac bus 2 voltage.

55:53:22.772 - 11.1 amp rise in fuel cell 3 current for one sample

55:53:26 - Oxygen tank No. 2 pressure begins rise lasting for 24 seconds.

55:53:38.057 - 11 volt decrease in ac bus 2 voltage for one sample.

55:53:38.085 - Stabilization control system electrical disturbance indicates a power transient.

55:53:41.172 - 22.9 amp rise in fuel cell 3 current for one sample

55:53:41.192 - Stabilization control system electrical disturbance indicates a power transient.

55:54:00 - Oxygen tank No. 2 pressure rise ends at a pressure of 953.8 psia.

55:54:15 - Oxygen tank No. 2 pressure begins to rise.

55:54:30 - Oxygen tank No. 2 quantity drops from full scale for 2 seconds and then reads 75.3 percent.

55:54:31 - Oxygen tank No. 2 temperature begins to rise rapidly.

55:54:43 - Flow rate of oxygen to all three fuel cells begins to decrease.

55:54:45 - Oxygen tank No. 2 pressure reaches maximum value of 1008.3 psia.

55:54:51 - Oxygen tank No. 2 quantity jumps to off-scale high and then begins to drop until the time of telemetry loss, indicating failed sensor.

55:54:52 - Oxygen tank No. 2 temperature sensor reads -151.3 F.

55:54:52.703 - Oxygen tank No. 2 temperature suddenly goes off-scale low, indicating failed sensor.

55:54:52.763 - Last telemetered pressure from oxygen tank No. 2 before telemetry loss is 995.7 psia.

55:54:53.182 - Sudden accelerometer activity on X, Y, Z axes.

55:54:53.220 - Stabilization control system rate changes begin.

55:54:53.323 - Oxygen tank No. 1 pressure drops 4.2 psi.

55:54:53.500 - 2.8 amp rise in total fuel cell current.

55:54:53.542 - X, Y, and Z accelerations in CM indicate 1.17g, 0.65g, and 0.65g.

55:54:53.555 - Master caution and warning triggered by DC main bus B undervoltage. Alarm is turned off in 6 seconds. All indications are that the cryogenic oxygen tank No. 2 lost pressure in this time period and the panel separated.

55:54:54.741 - Nitrogen pressure in fuel cell 1 is off-scale low indicating failed sensor.

55:54:55.350 - Telemetry recovered.

55:54:56 - Service propulsion system engine valve body temperature begins a rise of 1.65 F in 7 seconds. DC main A decreases 0.9 volts to 28.5 volts and DC main bus B 0.9 volts to 29.0 volts. Total fuel cell current is 15 amps higher than the final value before telemetry loss. High current continues for 19 seconds. Oxygen tank No. 2 temperature reads off-scale high after telemetry recovery, probably indicating failed sensors. Oxygen tank No. 2 pressure reads off-scale low following telemetry recovery, indicating a broken supply line, a tank pressure below 19 psi, or a failed sensor. Oxygen tank No. 1 pressure reads 781.9 psia and begins to drop.

55:54:57 - Oxygen tank No. 2 quantity reads off-scale high following telemetry recovery indicating failed sensor.

55:55:01 - Oxygen flow rates to fuel cells 1 and 3 approached zero after decreasing for 7 seconds.

55:55:02 - The surface temperature of the service module oxidizer tank in bay 3 begins a 3.8 F increase in a 15 second period. The service propulsion system helium tank temperature begins a 3.8 F increase in a 32 second period.

55:55:09 - DC main bus A voltage recovers to 29.0 volts, DC main bus B recovers to 28.8.

55:55:20 - Swigert: "Okay, Houston, we've had a problem here."

55:55:28 - Duke: "This is Houston. Say again please."

55:55:35 - Lovell: "Houston, we've had a problem. We've had a main B bus undervolt."

55:55:42 - Duke: "Roger. Main B undervolt."

55:55:49 - Oxygen tank No. 2 temperature begins steady drop lasting 59 seconds indicating a failed sensor.

55:56:10 - Haise: "Okay. Right now, Houston, the voltage is--is looking good. And we had a pretty large bang associated with the caution and warning there. And as I recall, main B was the one that had an amp spike on it once before.

55:56:30 - Duke: "Roger, Fred."

55:56:38 - Oxygen tank No. 2 quantity becomes erratic for 69 seconds before assuming an off-scale low state, indicating a failed sensor.

55:56:54 - Haise: "In the interim here, we're starting to go ahead and button up the tunnel again."

55:57:04 - Haise: "That jolt must have rocked the sensor on -- see now -- oxygen quantity 2. It was oscillating down around 20 to 60 percent. Now it's full-scale high."

55:57:39 - Master caution and warning triggered by DC main bus B undervoltage. Alarm is turned off in 6 seconds.

55:57:40 - DC main bus B drops below 26.25 volts and continues to fall rapidly.

55:57:44 - Lovell: "Okay. And we're looking at our service module RCS helium 1. We have -- B is barber poled and D is barber poled, helium 2, D is barber pole, and secondary propellants, I have A and C barber pole." AC bus fails within 2 seconds.

55:57:45 - Fuel cell 3 fails.

55:57:59 - Fuel cell current begins to decrease.

55:58:02 - Master caution and warning caused by AC bus 2 being reset.

55:58:06 - Master caution and warning triggered by DC main bus undervoltage.

55:58:07 - DC main bus A drops below 26.25 volts and in the next few seconds levels off at 25.5 volts.

55:58:07 - Haise: "AC 2 is showing zip."

55:58:25 - Haise: "Yes, we got a main bus A undervolt now, too, showing. It's reading about 25 and a half. Main B is reading zip right now."

56:00:06 - Master caution and warning triggered by high hydrogen flow rate to fuel cell 2.

Source: NASA.

 

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Space References (Books):
Dickinson, Terence. Nightwatch: A Practical Guide to Viewing the Universe. Firefly Books, 1998.
Greene, Brian. Elegant Universe: Superstrings, Hidden Dimensions, and the Quest for the Ultimate Theory. Vintage, 2000.
Hawking, Stephen. Illustrated Brief History of Time, Updated and Expanded Edition. Bantam, 1996.
Hawking, Stephen. Theory of Everything: The Origin and Fate of the Universe. New Millenium, 2002.
Hawking, Stephen. The Universe in a Nutshell. Bantam, 2001.
Kaku, Michio. Hyperspace: A Scientific Odyssey Through Parallel Universes, Time Warps and the Tenth Dimension.
Kranz, Gene. Failure Is Not an Option: Mission Control from Mercury to Apollo 13 and Beyond. Berkley Pub Group, 2001.
Sagan, Carl; Druyan, Ann. Comet, Revised Edition. Ballantine, 1997
Sagan, Carl. Cosmos, Reissue Edition. Ballantine, 1993
Sagan, Carl. Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space. Ballantine, 1997

Space References (Videos):
Cosmos. PBS, 2000.
Stephen Hawking's Universe. PBS, 1997.
Hyperspace. BBC, 2002.
Life Beyond Earth PBS, 1999.
The Planets
. BBC, 1999.
Understanding The Universe. A&E, 1996.

 

SPACE SPECS

Official Apollo 13 patch

Courtesy of NASA


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