Friday, March 8, 2013

The scribblings by astronaut Jim Lovell that brought crippled Apollo 13 home goes on auction

The handwritten notes which saved the lives of the astronauts on the  Apollo 13 mission are set to fetch £60,000 at auction.

The notes, made famous by the hit 1995 film starring Tom Hanks, were used by Commander Jim Lovell to work out how to perform a vital 'burn' on the way back to Earth.

The sheet, which contains Commander Lovell's hand-written notes, is being sold by Mr Haise, who is now 79-years-old and living in Florida. The note is being sold by Bonhams in New York on March 25.

If Commander Lovell had got the sums wrong then it is likely that he and his fellow astronauts, Fred Haise and Jack Swigert, would have perished in space.

The world was said to have held its breath after Apollo 13 suffered an explosion on its way to the Moon in April 1970.

The blast left the spacecraft crippled, prompting the famous line 'Houston, we've had a problem' from Commander Lovell. The crew had to abort the mission to land on the Moon because of the explosion. However, despite limited power, plummeting temperatures, shortage of water and rising carbon dioxide levels the crew returned safely to Earth four days later.

As the crippled spacecraft's navigation equipment was not working correctly the commander used the Earth as a reference point. 

If the craft had been pointing in the wrong direction at the time of the burn the crew would likely have been shot into space with no hope of correcting their course to return home.

View video of actual events of the grim Apollo 13 mission released by NASA:

Read more about it at: Mail Online
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