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Messages - MadDogBV

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General Discussion / Some fun Apollo 13 audio projects
« on: July 20, 2021, 10:16:07 am »
In my spare time I've been working on some audio projects using the Apollo 13 MOCR tapes (thanks to and Ben Feist for making this possible). In the process, I've made a neat little audio -- I guess you could call it a clip but it's a little over 12 hours long.  :P

This is MOCR audio from the 047:44:12 to 064:30:27 GET. In this, I've isolated the EECOM audio into the left channel and the FIDO audio into the right channel, so you've got systems in one ear and dynamics in the other. Appropriately, I've named this file "Organized Chaos". You'll see why once you get to the time of the explosion.

In order to make this file listenable, I've run a noise and silence removal algorithm through GoldWave so that it removes most of the silence (except for the loud comm static when they bring the LM online) and provides for a seamless listening experience. This reduces the length of the audio file from 16 hours to 12 hours. There is a slight reverb effect whenever you have overlap in both channels (usually on the Flight Director loop) and the beginning of the audio file during Griffin's shift is a bit de-synchronized. But once you get into Kranz's shift, everything starts to sync up and it sounds a heck of a lot better.

Hope you enjoy this audio file as much as I enjoyed creating it:

This is a neat little on-the-loop conversation in the midst of all of the mid-course vector and dynamics planning that is taking place on the FIDO loop. RETRO Bobby Spencer asks FIDO Bill Stoval, then GUIDO Will Fenner, if they have a slide rule handy. Surprisingly it seems neither of them have one spare - then again, it is a quiet shift.

Never leave your slide rule at home!

Edit: I think near the end of the conversation, Will Fenner is referring to an "alidade in the back room" though he gets cut off so it's hard to tell.


I did delve into the details of the conservation, and apparently Jay is referring to the changes in the projected impact point for the S-IVB that EXPERIMENTS is crashing into the Moon (this exercise also occupies a fair bit of Stoval's time during his shift). The latitude and longitude for the impact point is changing on a fairly regular basis due to the uneven surface and gravitational field of the Moon. As Jay comments earlier in the shift when giving the updated coordinates to Gerry, "They're all one on top of the other."

The best part about this is Jay mixes up minutes and decimals when first giving the coordinates. Then after the phone call, he gets into a heated row with PROCEDURES and COMM about how the updated coordinates being put on the big numbered display at the front of the MOCR are wrong, and that there's no such thing as 83 minutes. ;D

First, his exchange with PROCEDURES to let them know that they screwed up in confusing minutes with decimals:

Then, he gets into it with COMM on the MOCR DYN loop, who tries to out-smart-aleck Jay, but doesn't succeed in doing so.

At least I think it's John Young. He identifies himself as CAPCOM on the loop. Although the CAPCOM on shift is Vance Brand, there would frequently be multiple astronauts congregated around the CAPCOM console during particularly pivotal moments in the flight. Someone who is more familiar with voices on the loops can correct me.

In "Apollo: Race To The Moon" Kranz would identify this as one of the most contentious moments during the flight, where he was pulled in three different directions by Slayton, Kraft and Faget, as far as how to configure the spacecraft and crew immediately after the PC+2 burn. Because Kranz took Faget's route and opted to use a LM PTC procedure which had never been tested, he started taking a lot of heat from the other Apollo senior management and astronauts when the procedure started taking too long for the exhausted crew to implement.


Edit: In retrospect, it's possible that the voice could be Dave Scott since Kranz mentions earlier on the flight loop that he's present in the MOCR and providing input.

EECOM Sy Liebergot gets a phone call from fellow EECOM John Aaron while working the White Flight shift about three hours before the accident. Sy recounts what he's been dealing with throughout the day, remarking that it's "just like the simulation". This ends up being a pretty helpful summary of what's been going on in his shift.


During transearth coast, LMP Haise asks a question of CAPCOM Kerwin about what to do with bags of waste water, but he asks it in a relatively tactful fashion knowing that the air-to-ground conversations are likely being monitored by the world at large. Flight Director Lunney picks up on this immediately and brings the problem up with FAO.

Dr. Joe Kerwin is not as swift on the uptake.


Oh yeah, I heard this when I was doing audio editing to trim the noise and silences off the MOCR loops. Jay Greene gets damn feisty on the FIDO/MOCR DYN loops. I imagine when the Race To The Moon book described the members of the trench as "well nigh insufferable", Jay weighed heavily on their minds.  ;D

Based on the transcripts, this is who I assume is working on Liebergot's shift (question marks where I'm not sure of exact names):

FLIGHT: Gene Kranz
FIDO: Bill Stoval
GUIDO: Will Fenner
RETRO: Bobby Spencer
EECOM: Sy Liebergot (of course) edited 5/23/2021 per Naraht
GNC: Briggs "Buck" Willoughby
TELMU: Bob Heselmeyer
CONTROL: Larry Strimple
RECOVERY: Bill Hoover, Ed Bullock
INCO: Alan Glines, Gary Scott
PROCEDURES: Earl Thompson, Jim Fucci
SURGEON: Dr. Jack Ziegleschmidt
FAO: Turnage Lindsey, Spence Gardner

SPAN: Mel Brooks, Arnie Aldrich, Bill Blair?
EPS: Dick Brown, Jim Kelly
ECS: George Conway, George Bliss, Larry Sheaks

Well, here's what I've done so far. I've created a condensed audio clip of Sy Liebergott's shift on the White team from 049:20 to 057:06 GET. This includes a rudimentary noise removal and silence removal algorithm to get rid of the background tape noise, save for long bursts of static/background talk which will require some manual edits by me to talk. This essentially shortens what would be a normally 8-hour audio file to a relatively seamless 4-hour clip.


In addition to that, I've also included a partial transcript which I plan to add more to in the future. This is in ".docx" format primarily because it includes an equation given by one of the EPS teams, and there's no way to write out the equation in any of the older Word formats. Maybe I ought to convert it to an image.  :)

I'll update this as I go along and, once I can figure out how to deal with the equation issue, probably keep a running transcript up on Google Docs.

Happy listening (and reading).

We all like hearing Lunney get ticked off. During the LM power transfer procedure, SPAN and EECOM posit the idea to FLIGHT of doing a main bus/battery procedure to verify that the main bus is working properly, effectively combining procedures. With little time to spare and last-minute input flooding in to change the procedures, he gets more and more torched.


Suggestions would indeed be helpful. It also helps to know the names of the controllers, although getting the names of people in the backroom might be tricky. I know the guy working the FIDO console is a Bill, but there are multiple Bills working FIDO for Apollo 13. I've done some digging around and I know the names of the folks on the EECOM loops, including in SPAN (Mel Brooks has the ridiculously deep voice), but that's about it.

I admit one thing I find amusing about this conversation is Dr. Berry's musing about how the media "is not covering much of anything" with regards to Apollo 13, a mere six minutes before the incident that turned this into arguably the second most famous Apollo mission in history, and certainly one of the most widely covered shortly thereafter!

Hi there! Would there be any benefit to me transcribing the EECOM loops for Apollo 13 - for instance, starting at the beginning of Sy Liebergot's shift just before the accident occurred and then crossing into some of Clint Burton's shift - and then posting it in the "Apollo 13 Moments of Interest" board? I had been transcribing some of the shift and thought it might be of interest to some of the readers/listeners. There's a lot of interesting moments and discussions to be found in some of the flight controller loops, and having the transcript would be helpful in navigating through it. I have no problem putting it together, as I have both the software and equipment to run through it in fairly short order.

I'd attempt to transcribe the FIDO shift also, but as would be expected for anything in flight dynamics, there's a lot more jargon in there and in general it's a bit tougher to follow.

It has become apparent over the hours following the accident that power will be needed from the LM to the CSM in order to carry out crucial maneuvers for the PC+2 abort. Unfortunately, the procedure for doing this is becoming very lengthy, which FLIGHT Glynn Lunney comments on as TELMU gives his report to him.


Lunney later relays this to CAPCOM Joe Kerwin. Kerwin is already a bit skeptical about having the crew do any unnecessary procedures. Earlier, he feuded with EECOM Liebergot about doing extra cryo-stirs. Not surprisingly, he is very audibly frustrated at the lengthening of the LM umbilical procedure.


Especially given Kerwin, according to Sy, is very protective of the crew and frequently questions the decisions made by flight control if they aren't to the astronauts' benefits.

It's possible they were still trying to follow some semblance of a strict flight plan and chose not to use the blanket since it's meant for post-landing purposes and not for actual use during flight.

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