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  Apollo 13, triskaidekaphobia and USS New

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Author Topic:   Apollo 13, triskaidekaphobia and USS New
moorouge
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Posts: 2367
From: U.K.
Registered: Jul 2009

posted 12-24-2017 10:48 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for moorouge   Click Here to Email moorouge     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The number 13 and the bad luck associated with the Apollo 13 mission has long excited believers in triskaidekaphobia. The explosion of the oxygen tank in the service module on April 13 at 13:13 hours is well documented. The destruction of three police cars during a pre-launch test is less well known though it is documented.

They do say that mishaps happen in threes and now can be revealed the third "13" event. The USS New (DD818) was returning to Norfolk, Va. on the 13th April following her assignment as Atlantic recovery ship in the case of a launch abort when she was hit by another vessel recorded as being YTM 765. The time this happened was 13:44, just as Jim Lovell and his crew were coming to terms with their crisis. Impact was made at frame 120 on the port side and it stove in plates from frame 118 to 121. It buckled also adjacent transverses and longitudinals as well as fracturing a high pressure air line, damaging two forced air blowers as well as the main distilling plant.

Perhaps it's just as well there were only 12 Gemini flights and the numbering system was changed for the shuttle so that "13" did not have to be used.

Headshot
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Posts: 695
From: Streamwood, IL USA
Registered: Feb 2012

posted 12-24-2017 12:17 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Headshot   Click Here to Email Headshot     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Interestingly, the USS New was a Gearing-class vessel. Two other Gearing-class destroyers had significant connections to manned spaceflight.

The USS Noa (DD-841) picked up Friendship 7 and astronaut John Glenn; and the Leonard F. Mason (DD-852) picked up Gemini 8, Neil Armstrong and David Scott. The class was phased out long ago and only two Gearing destroyers are currently on display in the U.S., one in Louisiana and the other in Massachusetts.

davidcwagner
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Posts: 683
From: Albuquerque, New Mexico
Registered: Jan 2003

posted 12-24-2017 08:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for davidcwagner   Click Here to Email davidcwagner     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Aquarius was Lunar Module No. 7. Lucky 7.

YankeeClipper
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Posts: 513
From: Dublin, Ireland
Registered: Mar 2011

posted 12-25-2017 03:18 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for YankeeClipper   Click Here to Email YankeeClipper     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Apollo 13 and Triskaidekaphobia

canyon42
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Posts: 225
From: Ohio
Registered: Mar 2006

posted 12-27-2017 09:27 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for canyon42   Click Here to Email canyon42     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
One note: the explosion on April 13 happened in the evening Houston time, not at 13:13. That was the time of the launch on April 10. And even that is pushing things a bit since it's CDT and the launch was in the Eastern time zone. 14:13 doesn't have quite the same ring to it.

spaced out
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From: Paris, France
Registered: Aug 2003

posted 12-27-2017 12:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaced out   Click Here to Email spaced out     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
13 is also the number of letters in the expression TOTAL BULLCRAP.

Coincidence? I think not...

moorouge
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Posts: 2367
From: U.K.
Registered: Jul 2009

posted 12-27-2017 02:47 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for moorouge   Click Here to Email moorouge     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by canyon42:
That was the time of the launch on April 10.
Happy someone is paying attention and spotted my deliberate mistake.

And I've spotted yours — launch was on 11th not the 10th.

David C
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Posts: 682
From: Pasadena, CA
Registered: Apr 2012

posted 12-27-2017 03:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for David C     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by spaced out:
Coincidence? I think not...

canyon42
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Posts: 225
From: Ohio
Registered: Mar 2006

posted 12-27-2017 04:09 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for canyon42   Click Here to Email canyon42     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by moorouge:
And I've spotted yours...
Lol. Good one. I can't even claim that I accidentally hit the 0 instead of the 1, since they're at opposite ends of the row. But wait, the 1 is just above the 0 on the number keypad part of my keyboard. Yeah, that must have been it.

Lunar rock nut
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Posts: 862
From: Oklahoma city, Oklahoma U.S.A.
Registered: Feb 2007

posted 12-28-2017 06:29 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Lunar rock nut   Click Here to Email Lunar rock nut     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
As this thread made me think. I was born on November 13, 1956. In April of 1970, I was 13 years old.

I have always thought that 13 is a lucky number for me!

perineau
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Posts: 107
From: FRANCE
Registered: Jul 2007

posted 12-28-2017 12:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for perineau   Click Here to Email perineau     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The crew made it back and it was mission control's finest hour — I think Apollo 13 was quite lucky!!!

Blackarrow
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Posts: 2775
From: Belfast, United Kingdom
Registered: Feb 2002

posted 12-28-2017 04:36 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Blackarrow     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Try telling that to Jim Lovell and Fred Haise!

micropooz
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Posts: 1445
From: Washington, DC, USA
Registered: Apr 2003

posted 12-28-2017 05:16 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for micropooz   Click Here to Email micropooz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A little more on Triskaidekaphobia from my good friend Steve.

Personally, I tend to agree with Chris (spaced out)...

YankeeClipper
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Posts: 513
From: Dublin, Ireland
Registered: Mar 2011

posted 12-29-2017 04:22 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for YankeeClipper   Click Here to Email YankeeClipper     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Personally, I don't suffer from triskaidekaphobia. NASA don't seem to either anymore seeing as there was an ISS Expedition 13 in 2006.
quote:
Originally posted by Blackarrow:
Try telling that to Jim Lovell and Fred Haise!
If an Apollo crew were to suffer a mission-critical malfunction, I'd consider it pretty fortunate to happen to have NASA's most experienced astronaut at the time as mission commander (Lovell), a LM expert (Haise), and a CM expert (Swigert) all on-board as the three-man crew. The calibre of that crew was as good as it got.

moorouge
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Posts: 2367
From: U.K.
Registered: Jul 2009

posted 12-30-2017 02:34 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for moorouge   Click Here to Email moorouge     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Your post could suggest that the Apollo 13 crew had unique qualifications that were a factor in the successful conclusion of the mission.

I would suggest that any combination of astronauts would have had the same success in bringing the CM home. Do you agree?

YankeeClipper
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Posts: 513
From: Dublin, Ireland
Registered: Mar 2011

posted 12-30-2017 09:25 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for YankeeClipper   Click Here to Email YankeeClipper     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
That's possibly true, but impossible to definitively prove.

Jim Lovell had worked with Charles Draper and his team at MIT in developing Lunar Guidance and Navigation systems. Lovell also had had a chance to practise back-up non-astral guidance procedures on Apollo 8 using the Earth's Terminator. On Apollo 13, Lovell had to use this experience for real.

Not every Apollo astronaut had a special focus on or expertise on LM systems like Haise had. Fred Haise was one of the two astronauts who had specialised in the development of the LM with Grumman, and was one of the top experts on its systems. The other astronaut was Apollo 14 LMP Ed Mitchell.

Ditto for the CM. Swigert had particular expertise on the CM systems and CM system malfunctions.

As an example, Apollo 12 LMP Alan Bean has stated that he thought he could have flown any mission just about as well as anyone else, with the possible exception of Apollo 13. He said that that crew had particular skills and expertise that were quite special.

All times are CT (US)

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