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Preparing for the Adventure (2 of 4)
Series: The Ultimate Adventure
OPEN: April 11, 1970, 3 men set off on an adventure.
They were the Apollo 13 crew, and their adventure was to be the 3rd manned moon-landing.
Their spacecraft look like this artists drawing
(We put a picture of the spacecraft on the screen).
- The main module (the Odyssey) was designed to be their home for the journey to and from the moon
- and attached to that was the ''lunar module (the Aquarius) that would allow 2 of them to land and lift off the moon.
A little over two days into the flight, they contacted NASA with these now famous words:
''Houston, we've had a problem''
Now that was something of an understatement. What they'd had was an explosion. Exposed wires had set off an explosion that destroyed one oxygen tank and damaged a 2nd.
Now, they still had enough oxygen to breathe, but those oxygen tanks were also used to power the fuel cells in the main craft. With those tanks gone, the fuel cells would be increasingly depleted to the point where the crew would never be able to make reentry into earth's atmosphere.
BUT, if they could power down the Odyssey and then move into the landing module… they just MIGHT make it home.
But that created a new problem.
The landing module wasn't designed to hold 3 men that long.
The biggest issue was CO2.
The lunar lander was equipped with scrubbers designed to clean the air for 2 men for 2 days…not 3 men for a 4 day trip. If something wasn't done soon, the constantly increasing CO2 in the landing module would poison their air and they'd die long before reaching home again.
Now you'd think: Why didn't they just change the filters on the scrubbers?
Well they would have, except they didn't have any that shape.
The scrubber filter in the lander was round… but the spare filters they had were square.
(We showed a picture from the movie ''Apollo 13'' which showed the two filtlers).
They literally had ...
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