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Apollo 13 was the thirteenth in a series of missions using Apollo-specification flight hardware and was to be the third lunar landing. The launch vehicle and spacecraft were similar to those of Apollo 12.
See the fact file below for more information on the Apollo 13 or alternatively, you can download our 23-page Apollo 13 worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
- The Apollo program was designed to land humans on the Moon and bring them safely back to Earth. It began in 1963 and ended in 1972.
- The Apollo requirement was to:
- Take off from a point on the surface of the Earth and travel 1,000 miles per hour as the Earth rotated;
- Go into orbit at 18,000 miles an hour;
- To speed up at the proper time to 25,000 miles an hour;
- To travel to a body in space 240,000 miles away, which was itself traveling 2,000 miles per hour relative to the Earth, to go into orbit around this body;
- And to drop a specialized landing vehicle on its surface.
- The Apollo Program was inspired by Pres. John F. Kennedy on May, 1961. He committed America to landing astronauts on the Moon by 1970.
- Solving the most appropriate method of ascending into space, the Gemini program was designed to investigate actual flight critical situations that scientists would face later in the voyage of Apollo.
- The spacecraft carried an onboard propulsion system for maneuvering into Earth’s orbit.
- A total of 10 manned flights were made in the Gemini program between March 1965 and November 1966. It required nearly 2,000 man-hours in space and developed the rendezvous and docking techniques essential to Apollo.
- The biggest challenges were the life-support system for man and his machine as he travelled on the moon.
- The “Subsystem” was intricately developed to meet the needs of the spacecraft and the men on board, hence the completion with Apollo 1.
- In January 1967, Apollo I was deemed almost ready for its first manned flight in Earth’s orbit. However, disaster struck.
- A fire broke out in the Apollo 1 spacecraft during a ground rehearsal on January 27, 1967, killing astronauts Virgil Grissom, Edward White, and Roger Chaffee.
- This resulted to a 21-month long delay, making sure the next spacecrafts would not suffer the same fate.
- In October 1968, following several uncrewed Earth-orbit flights, Apollo 7 made a 163-orbit flight carrying a full crew of three astronauts.
- On December 21, 1968, Apollo 8 carried out the first step of crewed lunar exploration: it completed a lunar orbit, and returned safely to Earth.
- On March 3, 1969, Apollo 9 carried out a prolonged mission around Earth.
- Apollo 10 journeyed on May 18, 1969 to lunar orbit and tested the lunar module to within 15.2 km (9.4 miles) of the Moon’s surface.
- On July 20, 1969, astronaut Neil Armstrong and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin became the first humans to set foot on the Moon’s surface, landing in Apollo 11.
- The third mission planned by the United States to land astronauts on the Moon was Apollo 13, which launched on April 11, 1970.
- It was the seventh manned mission in the Apollo space program.
- The Apollo 13 mission was to explore the Fra Mauro formation, or Fra Mauro highlands, named after the 80-kilometer (50 mile) diameter Fra Mauro crater located within it.
- According to the standard crew rotation during the Apollo program, the prime crew for Apollo 13 would have been the backup crew for Apollo 10.
- However, it was eventually finalized with James A. Lovell Jr., Fred W. Haise Jr., and John L. “Jack” Swigert as the flight crew.
- The mission was launched at the planned time, 02:13 PM EST (19:13:00 UTC) on April 11, 1970.
- An anomaly then occurred when the second-stage, center (inboard) engine shut down about two minutes early.
- The vehicle’s guidance system shut the engine down in response to sensed thrust chamber pressure fluctuations.
- On April 13, when the crew was closing in on the moon, a mission controller saw a warning signal on a tank in Odyssey.
- The wires were exposed in the oxygen tank through a combination of manufacturing and testing errors before flight. It caused power out and danger to the crew.
- The back-up, Aquarius was activated throughout the journey as the astronauts worked hard to prevent further damage before their splashdown.
- The damage to the service module made safe return from a lunar landing impossible, so Lead Flight Director Gene Kranz ordered an abort of the mission.
- The crew now had to balance the challenge of getting home with the challenge of preserving power on Aquarius.
- After they performed a crucial burn to point the spacecraft back towards Earth, the crew powered down every nonessential system in the spacecraft.
- Cabin temperatures quickly dropped down close to freezing. Some food became inedible so the crew also rationed water to keep all machines working while they tried to survive.
- The re-entry on a lunar mission normally was accompanied by about four minutes of typical communications blackout, but in Apollo 13’s, it lasted six minutes.
- The command module, with the astronauts inside, continued onward, entered Earth’s atmosphere, and splashed down in the South Pacific Ocean on April 17 at 1:07 PM Eastern Standard Time.
Apollo 13 Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about Apollo 13 across 23 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Apollo 13 worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the Apollo 13 which was the thirteenth in a series of missions using Apollo-specification flight hardware and was to be the third lunar landing. The launch vehicle and spacecraft were similar to those of Apollo 12.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Fast Facts
- Apollo Insignias
- Apollo Crews
- Apollo 13 Timeline
- 13s Prime Crew
- The Astronaut
- Apollo 13 Mission Photography
- “Houston, we’ve had a problem”
- Apollo Milestone
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Link will appear as Apollo 13 Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, January 29, 2019
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.