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Apollo 13 Accident:  focus on recovery.

Apollo 13 In 1970 the explosion of an oxygen tank aborted Apollo 13's lunar mission. The primary problem of returning the crew safely to earth had two components: using the quickest route, and conserving consumables (water, oxygen, power). These two sub-tasks were in conflict, as use of the guidance system to improve trajectory consumed large amounts of power.

In order to bring focus to the problem, a virtual team was assembled, with information and test requirements coordinated in Houston. Every sub-contractor made available by telephone specialists with access to unlimited computer time. Open communications allowed extensive simulations in the flight crew training building of the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Critical tertiary tasks that were jointly accomplished included:
  • Charging the command module batteries from the Lunar Lander's electrical system.
  • Removal of carbon dioxide via a jury-rigged filter.
  • Transfer of water to the Lunar Lander's water coolant system.
Ultimately, the combined effort paid off, as the crew was safely recovered 90 hours after the initial accident.

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