Message Boards > Apollo 13 Moments of Interest

027:43:54 "You don't want everything to fail, do you?"

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RobatRobot:
027:43:54 Ground Elapsed Time.

About 4pm in Houston, and 5 hours into Lunney's Black Shift.

Roughly halfway between the earth and the moon, the crew have been awake for about three and a half hours, and are preparing for the first mid-course correction burn in the next three hours. Jim Lovell is at this very moment eating a hot dog with ketchup, blissfully unaware that the flight plan specifies that "mustard makes the meal". Maybe this oversight is due to something Jack Swigert forgot back at Cape Canaveral....

Meanwhile, back in Mission Control, GNC operator John "Jack" A. Kamman is feeling listless. He decides to call his family...

In between hearing about his daughter Jennifer's mishaps, the ongoing measles outbreak, and planning a trip to Florida, what follows is a fascinating conversation, loaded with ominous portent:

https://apolloinrealtime.org/13/?t=027:43:56&ch=18

I have edited the transcript, but I still think there are some misheard portions, specifically what is translated as a "swift waggon driller". No idea.


--- Quote ---GNC: JOHN "JACK" A. KAMMAN, Black Team

027:44:24   PHONE:   Hello.
027:44:25   GNC:   Hey.
027:44:26   PHONE:   Hi! What you doing? Huh?
027:44:28   GNC:   What are you doing?
027:44:29   PHONE:   Oh, just reading the paper.
027:44:31   GNC:   Yeah.
027:44:32   PHONE:   I went outside when I got home. Jennifer ran all over the place. I can't contain her, so I just gave up, came back inside.
027:44:44   GNC:   Yeah... we're 'PTC'ing along here.
027:44:47   PHONE:   HuHa! I heard they reached their halfway mark.
027:44:51   GNC:   Yeah. Start... slowing down now quite a bit.
027:44:56   PHONE:   Yeah. I guess it's just pretty boring down there, huh?
027:45:00   GNC:   Yeah... Three hours they're gonna do a mid-course correction and it's supposed to be on TV.
027:45:05   PHONE:   Oh, okay.
027:45:07   GNC:   So er... 7.30 I think they're scheduled to.. come on the air.
027:45:11   PHONE:   Oh, okay. I'll be sure to watch it then.
027:45:13   GNC:   Yeah.
027:45:19   PHONE:   Yeah... Jennifer is climing into her seat. She fell off the toy box, nearly killed herself when we got home.
027:45:26   GNC:   Oh, boy...
027:45:28   PHNOE:   Her face now it's, it's terrible looking. She's got that whole bruising; she's got that whole scratch on the side of it.
027:45:34   GNC:   Oh, boy.
027:45:35   PHONE:   HaHuh! Looks like we've been beating her! Ha!
027:45:38   GNC:   Huh! She.. Yeah. She's er.. getting real ambitious, but she's clumsy.
027:45:45   PHONE:   Yeah.
027:45:47   GNC:   On top of it!
027:45:48   PHONE:   Yeah.
027:45:53   GNC:   [YAWN]
027:45:54   PHONE:   Gnnu... Me too. HuHa!
027:45:55   GNC:   Yeah, this is.... Boy, I'm about ready to pass out here. Terrible. I don't know what I'm going to do Wednesday and Thursday. My God...
027:46:03   PHONE:   Ahh... It's terrible you have to stay over there like that...... with nothing to do.
027:46:13   GNC:   Clint [BURTON, EECOM, BLACK TEAM] and I were... looking at the schedule for Thursday... and, oi! It's bad news.
027:46:19   PHONE:   What do you mean?
027:46:20   GNC:   I'm gonna be dead man by Friday.
027:46:22   PHONE:   Oh, do you have to work Thursday?
027:46:25   GNC:   Well, I have to be around here all day.
027:46:26   PHONE:   Yeah.
027:46:28   GNC:   So I guess I'll just... be here all day.
027:46:34   PHONE:   Yeah, that's pretty ...
027:46:35   GNC:   Maybe some red lights will come on or something like that.
027:46:37   GNC:   We have data dropouts every once in a while, and the ground station gets confused, and it lights some red lights, and you about jump out of your pants when they come on.
027:46:50   PHONE:   Ha! HuHu! Well, it wakes you up, huh?
027:46:51   GNC:   It's like the control panel cried wolf. Someday'll be real, and I won't believe em.
027:47:01   PHONE:   [COUGH] Yeah, well that wakes you up when the red light comes on.
027:47:04   GNC:   Yeah, it does. You get conditioned to it.
027:47:08   PHONE:   Did you eat your lunch?
027:47:10   GNC:   Oh, part of it.
027:47:11   PHONE:   Mmmm.
027:47:13   GNC:   Saving the remains... little later.
027:47:17   PHONE:   Yeah.
027:47:19   GNC:   Guessing I'll eat again in about an hour.
027:47:32   GNC:   I tell ya, all I'd like to do for de[STATIC] is work on these missions ....[STATIC]........lose five pounds every time.
027:47:35   PHONE:   Yeah, but you don't need to lose five pounds. HaHuHa! Oh, well, you can gain it all back..... on after it's over.
027:47:44   GNC:   Yeah.
027:47:47   PHONE:   I called Mummy and Daddy when I got home. Daddy's been fishing this weekend.
027:47:50   GNC:   Oh, brother...
027:47:52   PHONE:   He and Uncle Lester. He and Uncle Lester caught 31 on Friday, and he caught 21 yesterday.
027:48:03   GNC:   You'll have to pay me not to come up there.
027:48:04   PHONE:   Hhuhhaahu!
027:48:06   GNC:   Have a nice weekend when I don't fish.
027:48:09   PHONE:   Well, he said they just started biting, you know. [STATIC] I guess the warm weather makes them bite or something.
027:48:24   GNC:   Well...
027:48:25   PHONE:   Who's supposed to....
027:48:26   GNC:   Oh... be over with here in another four hours.
027:48:32   PHONE:   Mmm. Who relieves you?
027:48:34   GNC:   [Gary] Coen. [GNC MAROON TEAM]
027:48:35   PHONE:   Yeah.
027:48:37   GNC:   He comes on for a sleep shift. Well, almost. Yeah, he's got a little bit. It's quite a while before they go back to sleep.
027:48:46   PHONE:   Yeah, they just woke up after you got there, didn't they?
027:48:48   GNC:   Yeah, I guess they're looking at their... manuals and all that on board; making sure they're all squared away. I don't know what they do in the long... in the long hours they have.
027:49:02   PHONE:   Ah, they said on the news that Swigert forgot part of the flight plan; left it at the Cape.
027:49:08   GNC:   Ugh! Great.
027:49:10   PHONE:   Ha! HuHuhHaHuh!
027:49:13   GNC:   How can you do now? I guess they're gonna read it up to him or something like that.
027:49:18   PHONE:   Yeah.
027:49:20   GNC:   Okay. Well, I guess he's got plenty of empty paper. Copy it down or, I don't know how much stuff they carry along with them, pads and paper and stuff.
027:49:32   PHONE:   Yeah, they probably don't take too much of it. They don't have room, I'm guessin'.
027:49:35   GNC:   No, I don't know what they do about that? Might a be an erasable pad, you know? Kind of thing where you can erase... Jennifer sure is....
027:49:48   PHONE:   Well, she's trying to get out of her little chair... Let me get her. She's so stupid. I don't know why she can't figure out the cut in the the bottom.
027:49:57   GNC:   Is she there?
027:49:58   PHONE:   Huh?
027:49:59   GNC:   Is she there?
027:50:00   PHONE:   Yeah. You want to say something?
027:50:02   GNC:   Yeah, I'll talk to her. Hello, Jennifer. This is Da-Da. Da-Da-Da-Da-Da-Da-Da-Da. Yeah!
027:50:10   PHONE:   Do you hear?
027:50:11   GNC:   Yeah.
027:50:12   PHONE:   Da! Ha Ha Huh!
027:50:15   GNC:   It's me, talking to you live from Mission Control. Houston Texas.
027:50:23   PHONE:   She got the book about the first astronauts out of the bookshelf done gone brought it to me, so we looked at them.
027:50:35   GNC:   Oh Boy.. [YAWN] Okay.
027:50:38   PHONE:   This would have been a nice day to go on a picnic.
027:50:40   GNC:   Yeah [YAWN]. Nice day to anything but sit in this cave.
027:50:50   PHONE:   Ha!.... Oh God! Got talking to Beth and Linda came running up and said she had the measles, and she did. Boy! She's covered with them.
027:50:56   GNC:   Oh, no. She ran up to you?
027:50:58   PHONE:   Huh?
027:50:59   GNC:   She ran up to you?
027:51:00   PHONE:   To Beth and me, yeah.
027:51:01   GNC:   Oh.
027:51:02   PHONE:   I had; I was holding Jennifer, but I don't know if you can get them out...
027:51:04   GNC:   They keep their kids at home, in the, in the house?
027:51:07   PHONE:   They didn't know, she didn't know she had them.
027:51:10   GNC:   Oh.
027:51:11   PHONE:   She just discovered she had them.
027:51:12   GNC:   Oh, my gosh.
027:51:15   PHONE:   So called German measles...
027:51:16   GNC:   Oh. Bet they've got a few days of that, huh? They must really be going around.
027:51:22   PHONE:   Yeah. Well, Beth said Bradley had them Easter weekend. I didn't know that. So.. it's been about two weeks and Linda got them.
027:51:32   GNC:   Huh. Oh, well. She'll get a couple of days off school.
027:51:38   PHONE:   Yeah. HaHuh!
027:51:39   GNC:   She probably won't mind it.
027:51:41   PHONE:   No. She thought it was real funny she had them.
027:51:46   GNC:   Yeah. Well, pack up your Florida things.
027:51:50   PHONE:   Oh, okay. Ha Ha Huh! I'll do it tonight. HuHaHaHa!..
027:51:57   GNC:   Oh, I tell ya... I think I'll be about ready after this.
027:52:01   PHONE:   Yeah, me too.
027:52:02   GNC:   After every mission, I just, you're just... fagged out, sort of.
027:52:06   PHONE:   Yeah.
027:52:07   GNC:   I think this is going to be no exception.
027:52:08   PHONE:   Yeah. It's so, I don't know... It's probably not boring for you, but it's sort of boring. I just sort of sit here.
027:52:17   GNC:   Yeah, it's as [INTERUPTION] bad or worse as base is because...
027:52:20   PHONE:   Yeah.
027:52:21   GNC:   A lot of times we've got real big activities going. The hours go pretty fast. But, uh... yeah, it's kind of rough on the, on the homes.
027:52:30   PHONE:   Yeah.
027:52:31   GNC:   But NASA's going to give me a week or so and we're going to spend my overtime and live it up in Florida.
027:52:36   PHONE:   Oh, good!
027:52:38   GNC:   Stay in all the best motels, hotels.
027:52:41   PHONE:   Ooo, good.
027:52:45   GNC:   Do it right.
027:52:46   PHONE:   Oh, boy.
027:52:47   GNC:   I'll dedicate my overtime to that purpose.
027:52:51   PHONE:   Oooo, boy! HuHuHa! Good. I've always wanted to go to Florida.
027:52:55   GNC:   Yeah, well, I'd kind of like to go back to the mountains, but errr.... I don't know. I was thinking, well, we, you know, I got John over there and...
027:53:04   PHONE:   Yeah.
027:53:05   GNC:   I just wonder if we oughtn't write him a letter. We might be over sometime in May and see if they've got anything... we tell em... we don't know exactly when, but I suppose towards maybe... the week err... my birthday or something like that maybe.
027:53:20   PHONE:   Okay, well I...
027:53:21   GNC:   Or the week after, about the middle of May.
027:53:24   PHONE:   Yeah. Okay, well, maybe I'll write him a little letter.
027:53:28   GNC:   Yeah, if you want to.
027:53:29   PHONE:   Okay. Unless you'd rather do it and then... Doesn't matter.
027:53:32   GNC:   Well.... Tell him I'm working the mission here and... I'd like to write him, but er... my time's taken up or something.
027:53:43   PHONE:   Yeah.
027:53:44   GNC:   I could write him when I get home, but I just don't feel like it.
027:53:46   PHONE:   Yeah, I know. You're tired... of writing and sitting probably.
027:53:50   GNC:   Yeah.
027:53:51   PHONE:   You have to write in your job some?
027:53:53   GNC:   Huh?
027:53:54   PHONE:   You have to write up your reports, don't you?
027:53:55   GNC:   Yeah, we've got to write a log. I mean, you've got to write down everything that happens, you know.
027:53:59   PHONE:   Yeah.
027:54:00   GNC:   It's not too much. It's quiet this shift.
027:54:04   PHONE:   Well, that's the way you want it! You don't want everything to fail, do you?
027:54:09   GNC:   Hardly. I'd be miserable.
027:54:12   GNC:   I'd pass out probably.
027:54:16   GNC:   If I got a real swift wagon driller, I'd pass out.
027:54:22   GNC:   If something big ever happened, I don't know, I'd have whole control center probably pass out.
027:54:32   PHONE:   Well, I'll be packing my bag then, go to Florida.
027:54:35   PROC:   GNC proc.
027:54:36   GNC:   Okay.
027:54:37   PHONE:   HaHa!
027:54:38   GNC:   Er, hold on just a minute.
027:54:42   GNC:   Go ahead, proc.
027:54:43   PROC:   Er, if you've got a minute here, I've got some changes to our sequential er, weights, little green sheet.
027:54:53   GNC:   Okay. Could you hold that just a minute, Nate?
027:54:55   PROC:   Yeah.
027:54:56   GNC:   I've got a call going here.
027:54:57   PROC:   Okay.
027:54:58   GNC:   Okay. I've got some work coming up here, so I guess I'll...
027:55:04   PHONE:   Okay. I'll see you about 9.30 then.
027:55:06   GNC:   Yeah. I'll see you when I get home.
027:55:08   PHONE:   Okay. Goodbye.
027:55:11   GNC:   Bye. Okay Nate. Go ahead.
--- End quote ---

MadDogBV:
It's ironic indeed that Jack has this discussion; during the Black Team post-accident shift, he admits to a controller (I think someone in SPAN) that this is one of the most frightening moments he's ever been in, in his life. It's probably the only time you hear a controller admit this on a recorded loop.

These sorts of phone calls happen all over the place during the most quiet periods of translunar coast, which is quite amusing and reveals a heretofore unseen "human side" of the flight controllers. During the Gold Team shift at around ~46:00 GET, EECOM Charlie Dumis has a lengthy phone conversation with a woman (her name might be mentioned in the transcript) who went on a road trip through New Mexico. During the same Black Team shift as mentioned in the OP, FIDO Bill Stoval also makes a few calls, including one to Dave Reed.

The mushy phone calls definitely decrease in frequency after 55 GET.

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