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  Apollo 13: Not celebrated before the film?

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Author Topic:   Apollo 13: Not celebrated before the film?
Buel
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Posts: 579
From: UK
Registered: Mar 2012

posted 02-17-2019 02:19 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Buel   Click Here to Email Buel     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A while ago I was in contact with someone who worked at the Manned Spacecraft Center during the Apollo era and he described how Apollo 13 was far from celebrated amongst those who worked through it until the film came out.

Any thoughts on this?

Cozmosis22
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From: Texas * Earth
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posted 02-17-2019 03:09 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Cozmosis22     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The Apollo 13 mission is still my least favorite, well right behind ASTP. The aborted moon landing was a disappointment at the time and no doubt led many to reconsider the entire Apollo Project going forward. The Soyuz-Apollo mission five years later involved a huge technology transfer from the United States to the Soviet Union.

So yes, I can see how many who worked on Apollo didn't much like the third planned lunar landing being cancelled mid-mission. For many people the Tom Hanks action drama didn't change that but the overall public perception in retrospect has changed.

Robert Pearlman
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From: Houston, TX
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posted 02-17-2019 09:04 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Consider the treatment of Odyssey as a museum display piece. Quoting A Field Guide to American Spacecraft:
The Odyssey was first displayed at Kennedy Space Center's Spaceport USA along with the Apollo spacecraft from the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project. Asked by the Smithsonian to give up one of the two for display elsewhere, it was decided to keep the "successful" ASTP and give up the "failure" Apollo 13.

Odyssey was then moved to the Musée de l'Air et de l'Espace in LeBourget, France. The interior was removed and subsequently placed in BP-1102A and displayed in Louisville, Kentucky at the Museum of Natural History and Science.

The effort to restore Odyssey to its intact condition and place it on display in the United States did not begin until November 1995, four months after "Apollo 13" opened in the theaters.

Rick Mulheirn
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From: England
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posted 02-18-2019 02:48 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rick Mulheirn   Click Here to Email Rick Mulheirn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hindsight is a wonderful thing. The release of the movie helped focus people's minds on the reality of Apollo 13 and I am sure contributed to the missions rightful veneration.

ea757grrl
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From: South Carolina
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posted 02-18-2019 05:49 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for ea757grrl   Click Here to Email ea757grrl     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
If it's any indication, when my interest in spaceflight returned in the mid-1980s Apollo 13 was kind of a footnote in general reference books, with some kind of cryptic reference to "did not land" or words to that effect. Since I wasn't around in 1970 and the Internet as we know it was still a good way from happening, that meant locating some specialist literature. Henry S.F. Cooper's "Thirteen: The Flight That Failed" was the go-to reference in the years before the Jim Lovell/Jeffrey Kluger book (and the ensuing feature film) arrived, but it was long out of print and you had to hope your local library had it or could borrow it for you.

I remember exactly two examinations of 13 on television in the 1980s. One was a segment in the great PBS documentary series "Spaceflight." The other was from an episode of the short-lived ABC documentary/nostalgia series "Our World" that was devoted to a 40-day period in the Spring of 1970. They devoted about seven or eight minutes to 13 and had present-day interview clips from Jim Lovell and Fred Haise. Other than that, 13 seemed like the "different" Apollo mission that required you to do some homework.

moorouge
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From: U.K.
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posted 02-18-2019 07:24 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for moorouge   Click Here to Email moorouge     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It seems odd that after the successful recovery of the crew interest waned so quickly. During the flight itself public concern matched that or exceeded all of the successful Apollo missions.

At the time of the flight I attended a civic function that was halted to announce the safe recovery of the astronauts and a toast made to all those responsible to achieving this.

Buel
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From: UK
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posted 02-18-2019 09:05 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Buel   Click Here to Email Buel     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Very interesting, Eddie. Is this what sparked your interest?

dss65
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From: Sandpoint, ID, USA
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posted 02-18-2019 09:33 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for dss65   Click Here to Email dss65     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I absolutely recall a negative public reaction to the Apollo 13 mission once the elation over the survival of the crew subsided. I was in college at the time and (vaguely) remember one of the lampoon magazines of that era doing a satiric sample of postage stamps under (I think) a "Second Rate Nation" title. It included one for Apollo 13. Thank goodness the book and movie set us all straight on that.

David C
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From: Lausanne
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posted 02-19-2019 12:12 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for David C     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Never understood why Henry S.F. Cooper's book wasn't more popular. Maybe it was just published at the wrong time.

Buel
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From: UK
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posted 02-19-2019 02:57 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Buel   Click Here to Email Buel     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I think it’s great that one of the flight directors signs Apollo 13 prints with “Our greatest triumph” but this would not have been the case were it not for the film and book, I imagine.

schnappsicle
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From: Houston, TX, USA
Registered: Jan 2012

posted 02-19-2019 05:15 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for schnappsicle   Click Here to Email schnappsicle     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I never thought of Apollo 13 as a failure. A failure would have meant losing the crew.

To me it always was and will be one of the most exciting missions. My favorite astronaut was finally going to get the opportunity to put his boot on the lunar surface. That meant almost as much to me as it must have to Jim Lovell himself.

The fact that he and his crewmates came home alive also meant the world to me. I'm very thankful for things like Spacefest and ASF where I had the opportunity to meet Lovell and Haise on numerous occasions. To me they're walking miracles.

Fra Mauro
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From: Bethpage, N.Y.
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posted 02-19-2019 11:34 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Fra Mauro   Click Here to Email Fra Mauro     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Looking at it from NASA'S angle, the mission that was supposed to bring more science from the moon brought an investigation and negative publicity, once the joy of the crew returning subsided. It took some of the "can do" attitude away from management and by the early fall of 1970, the Apollo program had been whittled down. American manned spaceflight after Skylab was shaky at this point too.

moorouge
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From: U.K.
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posted 02-20-2019 02:06 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for moorouge   Click Here to Email moorouge     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Buel:
Very interesting, Eddie. Is this what sparked your interest?
No - was producing a statistical digest for the USIS at the American Embassy in London long before Apollo 13.

The event I refer to was the Civic Dinner and I missed the beginning as I sat in the car-park listening to the recovery on short wave radio. It was me who passed on the news that the crew were safe to the Council chairman for him to make the announcement.

Paul78zephyr
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From: Hudson, MA
Registered: Jul 2005

posted 02-21-2019 08:06 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Paul78zephyr     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by ea757grrl:
Henry S.F. Cooper's "Thirteen: The Flight That Failed" was the go-to reference...
quote:
Originally posted by David C:
Never understood why Henry S.F. Cooper's book wasn't more popular.
I cannot agree more about that book. Here is my thread about it from 2012.

Fra Mauro
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From: Bethpage, N.Y.
Registered: Jul 2002

posted 02-21-2019 08:09 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Fra Mauro   Click Here to Email Fra Mauro     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
My copy came from a library book sale (Thirteen: the Flight that Failed).

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