The Apollo spacesuit

Spacesuits for the Apollo missions had a number of differences from previous designs. They had to be more robust because of the extra risks that came with working on the surface of the Moon for extended periods, yet also more flexible and lighter because of the variety of tasks the astronauts might have to carry out and the need to operate in gravity rather than weightlessness. The solution was a basic spacesuit with optional extras that were worn during lunar excursions.

United States

ORIGIN

WEIGHT ON EARTH 86kg (1901b)

WEIGHT ON MOON 14kg (30lb)

Overshoe

CRISIS TALKS

Apollo 13 Lunar Module Pilot Fred Haise talks with the Mission Operations Control Room at Houston during the crew's final television transmission, shortly before they boarded the LM. Gene Kranz is in the foreground with his back to the camera, wearing a distinctive white waistcoat.

PROBLEMS FROM THE OUTSET

Pogo oscillations (see p. 119) caused one of the second-stage engines to cut out during launch, forcing the others to burn longer.

11 April 1970

Apollo 13 blasts off from Cape Canaveral on its way to the Moon

13 April 1970

An explosion cripples the CSM, which loses much of its air supply and the ability to generate power.

14 April 1970

Shortly after the explosion, the crew power up and board the LM, intending to use it as an escape lifeboat. Later in the day, they make a vital mid-course correction burn.

15 April 1970

Apollo 13 briefly loses contact with Earth as it passes over the far side of the Moon, some 254km (158 miles) above the lunar surface.

16 April 1970

A second mid-course engine burn accelerates Apollo 13's return.

17 April 1970

The Apollo 13 crew board the Command Module and make a successful reentry and splashdown in the Pacific Ocean.

WAVING GOODBYE

Jim Lovell leads Jock Swigert and Fred Haise to the van for transfer to the Apollo 13 launch pod, little knowing the perils that await in space.

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