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Very little of the thousands of hours of Mission Control audio on the website has been heard or documented. As you find moments of interest, post them here for discussion.

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Messages - MadDogBV

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Apollo 13 Moments of Interest / 058:40:27 Steve Bales takes charge
« on: April 14, 2023, 03:32:04 pm »
I know Naraht will appreciate this. The entire GUIDO-R loop around this area is great to listen to, as it shows GUIDO #3 (out of 4 or 5 crowded around the console) Steve Bales taking command trying to solve the integration problem in the LM. His preferred option is to send MIT vectors to run on their hybrid since the LM is (assumed to be) not able to navigate in deep space. Jack Garman, the AGC expert, has meanwhile been trying to convince Steve to upload a state vector. This leads to Bales eventually asking flatly: "Are we wrong doing what I say we're going to do?"


One thing of note: Jack does warn Steve against depending on the hybrid to work for them due to difficulty bringing it up. This ends up being prescient as later on, when trying to do the free return burn at 61:30 GET, they're unable to get the hybrid to churn out a run in time, despite repeated prodding from GUIDO Gary Renick, Jack, and Steve. This forces Gary to use his own professional judgment to assure Lunney to go ahead with the burn.

Awesome! I'm glad to see that this recording had a lot of historical significance.

It's evident that mission controllers are informed that all of their conversations over the loops are being recorded for posterity and public record, so they keep their dialogue as muted as possible. Still, things occasionally slip through...

This might be considered slightly NSFW... I would make sure your headphones are plugged in.


NETWORK Ron DiCosmo gives PROCEDURES Jim Fucci a briefing on the current state of Parkes (the 210ft radio telescope otherwise known as "The Big Dish"), and the inability to get LM data.


As CAPCOM Joe Kerwin reads up the preliminary entry PAD to the crew, Deke Slayton - sitting to his left - makes a check-in call to Mary Haise, who is greatly relieved to hear that things are going well on board Aquarius and Oydssey as they make their final trek towards Earth.


Jack Swigert is attempting to activate the CMC in the freezing-cold command module, which is more than essential to allow the crew of Apollo 13 to do a proper re-entry. He mentions over the loops that he's unable to get the computer to go into standby. As GUIDO Ken Russell troubleshoots the problem with Jack Garman in the backroom, Garman almost flippantly remarks that this particular computer has a history of having trouble with going into standby. Not something that anyone wants to hear at this particular phase of the mission when everything is already in a critical state.


Edit: One particularly humorous (in hindsight) remark towards the end of the conversation is "You can always come up by powering down and powering up the computer again." How many times have we heard this when dealing with tech support in the 21st century? ;D

Sleep period for day 3 of the mission, in the wee hours of the morning at 07:52AM CST. It starts out with the EPS reaching out to Dumis to ask the name of a specific Houston Oilers football player (Jerry LeVias), followed by some brief conversations about baseball and basketball, a cake that Dumis brought in, and the local girls (note that Dumis is married, and this is also mentioned on the loops). This is about as lazy and desultory as conversations on the MOCR loops ever get.


Future FLIGHT director Neil Hutchinson, currently stationed at SPAN for CSM operations during Apollo 13, requested data from EECOM John Aaron earlier for a TCE problem with fuel cell 3. John ran the playbacks needed, but in doing so, did not set up a dedicated chart recorder to provide SPAN with their own copy of the data. As a result, they were forced to copy the strip chart recording with a Xerox machine, something that's not easy to do when the paper is a bit over 70 inches long. Neil voices his frustrations to John with the hopes that he will correct this issue in the future.

Yes, even the best steely-eyed EECOMs can make mistakes!


Supplemental: About 45 minutes prior to that, Neil asked for the TCE data from John, which led to the above episode taking place in the first place.


Apollo 13 Moments of Interest / Re: 056:01:53 Comedy night with RECOVERY
« on: January 13, 2023, 09:29:57 am »
It really is. And it conjures up a bizarre mental picture - looking at the tank pressures chart as they slowly slide down, watching the transcript on the left as the crew and the MOCR come to the realization that something is going really wrong, and yet all the while, an almost haunting rendition of "Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head" plays in the background on the RECOVERY loop.

Apollo 13 Moments of Interest / 056:01:53 Comedy night with RECOVERY
« on: January 11, 2023, 11:25:20 am »
Rather shockingly, the RECOVERY officer (presumably Ed Bullock) is listening to a comedy routine on and off throughout his shift, presumably a terrestrial radio downlink* punched up into his headset, starting at 55:05:14 and then continuing again at 56:01:53 just as the crisis gets underway. He cuts the broadcast entirely at 56:10:55, once it becomes clear on the FLIGHT loop that there are problems with the spacecraft that demand his attention.


* Edit: This might actually be TV programming, since a lot of the "humor" seems to involve visual gags, and it's not the first time that controllers have had TV loops punched up on their consoles.

This is Milt Windler's first shift as FLIGHT after the accident. Going through the loops, it's interesting to study his ethos on managing the flight and how it seems to differ from the current philosophy that the flight controllers are operating under.

This is a particularly notable example. After receiving the latest vector from the tracking, FIDO Jay Greene is working on a maneuver PAD based on the data. However, he and the Trench are unwilling to pass up block data to the spacecraft since, in this unusual configuration, there still is no consensus on how to perform a midcourse later on in the flight. Windler, however, presses on against the Trench, stating they should be able to at least give something to the crew in the event of a loss of comm.

This argument involves nearly all of the key LM players in the MOCR, including Greene, of course; GUIDO Gary Renick; RETRO Tom Weichel; CONTROL Larry Strimple; CAPCOM Jack Lousma; and FAO Spence Gardner.


General Discussion / "Share" button gone
« on: December 31, 2022, 01:29:41 pm »
I saw the "Share" button was removed from the Apollo In Real Time module, I guess for all three missions. Should I take this to mean that we need to stop posting additional threads on the "Moments of Interest" message boards? Or is it just being taken down for maintenance issues?

Not intended to be a snide question - I just want to make sure I'm not cluttering the forums. I know I've been posting a large quantity of threads, and if you felt they were getting oversaturated, I can dial it back.

General Discussion / Re: Identifying speakers/ Mission Control teams
« on: December 27, 2022, 01:05:59 pm »
Great idea. Here's a shift list.

Do you still have a copy of this shift list? Apparently the attachment now leads to a 404 error.

Edit: Disregard, it's there now. I've since downloaded it.


Out of all of the flight directors, Glynn Lunney seems to do the most critical thinking when it comes to how to operate the LM and CSM, particularly in these conditions where they are forced to conserve as much power as possible. He's also not afraid to express his opinion, as indicated in this dialogue between himself, EECOM and TELMU. Still, what we consider "arguing" is probably just shop talk in their field of work.  :)

Edit: Listening back and forth through the tapes, it looks like this discussion is concerning powering the CSM's instrumentation from LM batteries. Glynn's preference is to use the CSM's batteries instead, but Burton has been adamant about not using them any further than he absolutely has to, so the plan is to use a LM battery to power it up instead. As a result of the possibility, however remote, that a catastrophic single-point failure - the deadfacing of the descent batteries - could occur as a result of the unorthodox configuration, Heselmeyer and Burton are working on a procedure where an ascent battery could be used instead. However, it's a complicated procedure, and it's taking a while.

Glynn Lunney, one for prudent timeliness - as he says later on, "for God's sake, let's not be 100% pure engineers here" - is getting impatient and wonders aloud if it's even worth all the hassle.

Been a while! The new "auto-transcript" feature has made it easier to identify key moments taking place on individual loops.

During the Gold Team's shift in the MOCR after the accident, Sy Liebergot took his shift midway through when John Aaron was supposed to work, due to John having arrived at the control center as backup during the critical powerdown phase. This sort of "I might wander in" mentality permeated the MOCR immediately after the accident, forcing management to demand that flight controllers get back into a standard configuration without doubling up at the consoles (although they end up doubling up again anyway during PC+2 and re-entry).

Sy calls Charlie Dumis to discuss some of the scheduling changes, mentioning in particular that John "was shot until he looked like a piece of Swiss cheese". They work out a plan where Charlie will arrive at 7pm to relieve Sy, and then Clint Burton to relieve Charlie, and so forth.

Apologies for the low volume on this; the POS MOCR loop is relatively quiet in this part of the taping.


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