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  Mercury - Gemini - Apollo
  Apollo 13: Closeout crew and CM configuration

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Author Topic:   Apollo 13: Closeout crew and CM configuration
Andy Anderson
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posted 03-01-2014 08:19 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Andy Anderson   Click Here to Email Andy Anderson     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I was wondering who were responsible for configuring the command module control panels pre-launch for Apollo 13?

For some reason, I thought this task for the Apollo launches was normally performed by the backup command module pilot (CMP) and the backup lunar module pilot (LMP).

Apart from John Young, Charlie Duke was down with the measles in Houston and Jack Swigert was the prime CMP. TK Mattingly was in the MOCR for the launch, so he was not involved.

moorouge
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posted 03-01-2014 09:50 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for moorouge   Click Here to Email moorouge     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Wasn't this usually done by the back-up crew?

Andy Anderson
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posted 03-01-2014 09:53 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Andy Anderson   Click Here to Email Andy Anderson     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
That's what I believe as per my first post.

In this case the backup crew (apart from John Young) were not available.

moorouge
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posted 03-01-2014 10:22 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for moorouge   Click Here to Email moorouge     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
OK - maybe the support crew then.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 03-01-2014 10:40 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Andy Anderson:
Apart from John Young...
Though it doesn't answer your question, just to account for Young's whereabouts, he was in Mission Control with Mattingly. Per NASA PAO's pre-launch commentary:
...Ken will be assisting at the CAPCOM console and he's joined astronaut John Young and astronaut Joe Kerwin on the CAPCOM console.

Delta7
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posted 03-01-2014 03:53 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Delta7   Click Here to Email Delta7     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Duke wasn't "sidelined" by German measles any more than Mattingly. It was just that both were susceptible to coming down with the disease after having been exposed. To my knowledge neither ever did.

At some point in the program participation in the close-out crew role shifted from members of the backup crew to the support crew. I believe it was Duke on Apollo 13; backup crew members Ron Evans and Joe Engle did it for Apollo 14, and on Apollo 15 is was either Karl Henize or Gordon Fullerton, I can't remember which one, both support crew members. The only other possibilities for Apollo 13 were support crew members Vance Brand and Jack Lousma, but support crew wasn't performing that function at that time, and I don't recall ever seeing anything about Brand or Lousma in the White Room.

Tom
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posted 03-01-2014 04:57 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Tom   Click Here to Email Tom     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
For the launch phase of "15", Gordon Fullerton was the CAPCOM in Houston.

Delta7
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posted 03-01-2014 08:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Delta7   Click Here to Email Delta7     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Then I'm pretty sure Karl Henize was the astronaut support crewman for the Apollo 15 launch. And the first support crew member to have that duty. I think it was Fullerton on Apollo 16 and Bob Overmyer on Apollo 17.

David C
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posted 03-02-2014 12:53 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for David C     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I haven't looked at this recently, but I'd be surprised if it wasn't a pilot-astronaut setting up the switches in the cockpit.

moorouge
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posted 03-02-2014 03:16 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for moorouge   Click Here to Email moorouge     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The support crew for '13' were Brand, Lousma and Kerwin so in the absence of the back-up crew it was probably one (or more) of them that performed the close-out checks.

Delta7
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posted 03-02-2014 08:28 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Delta7   Click Here to Email Delta7     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Kerwin was first shift capcom in Houston so it couldn't have been him. Even T-38s don't fly that fast...

Delta7
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posted 03-02-2014 08:41 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Delta7   Click Here to Email Delta7     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Here we go. The individual Fred Haise is talking to on the right in this photo looks like Vance Brand.

Tom
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posted 03-02-2014 10:56 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Tom   Click Here to Email Tom     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Very good... a picture is worth a thousand words. Also, if I recall correctly, Fullerton was the ascent CAPCOM for "16" and Overmyer had the same role on "17".

Robert Pearlman
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posted 03-02-2014 10:59 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Delta7:
The individual Fred Haise is talking to on the right in this photo looks like Vance Brand.
I don't know if it matters at all to this discussion, but that photo was taken during the countdown demonstration test, while Mattingly was still part of the prime crew.

Delta7
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posted 03-02-2014 11:16 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Delta7   Click Here to Email Delta7     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It's a bit of a stretch, but the guy all the way in back of the photo nearest the CM hatch COULD be Charlie Duke...

Robert Pearlman
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posted 03-02-2014 11:23 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The tech in the back is wearing an NAA Rockwell coverall, rather than NASA, suggesting it is not Duke.

Andy Anderson
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posted 03-02-2014 11:12 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Andy Anderson   Click Here to Email Andy Anderson     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Maybe I can answer my own question. (I was away at work when I posted it.)

Looking through my books after I got back home this morning, I found this in "Smoke Jumper, Moon Pilot," a biography of Stu Roosa by W.G. Moseley.

Vance Brand was a CapCom during the Apollo 13 mission, and recalled "I had been at the Cape to help strap the crew in on launch day. I got into the CapCom rotation after I got back to Houston."
Also, in regard to Charlie Duke and measles -
quote:
Originally posted by Delta7:
Duke wasn't "sidelined" by German measles any more than Mattingly. It was just that both were susceptible to coming down with the disease after having been exposed. To my knowledge neither ever did.
While searching through my books, I found this from Charlie Duke's autobiography, "Moonwalker":
At the very last moment a week before launch, when the docs discovered I had caught the measles and had exposed them to the crew... When Apollo 13 launched on April 11, 1970, I was still at home sick and watched the launch on TV with the family.
However, as Delta7 states, Charlie was not "sidelined" and turned up to help out.

robsouth
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posted 03-18-2014 07:49 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for robsouth     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Was Jack Swigert the only astronaut from the MGA era to launch without a backup?

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