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apollo-13-patch

Submit Your Questions about Apollo, Apollo 13 to NASA Engineer Jerry Woodfill

28 Apr , 2010

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Our series “13 Things That Saved Apollo 13″ has raised a few questions for some of our readers about spacecraft design, decisions made during the Apollo program, and general questions about spaceflight. Some of you have already left questions as comments on the articles or sent in emails. NASA engineer Jerry Woodfill, who has been featured in this series, has graciously agreed to answer reader questions, and we’ll publish the questions and Jerry’s answers in a Q&A format. Now’s your chance to ask away! Submit your questions in the comment section here, or on any of the “13 Things” articles. Or, you can email your questions to Nancy

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TerryG
Member
April 28, 2010 8:43 AM

Yes please!

With regard to the time constraints placed on the required engineering developments for the Apollo project, what was the greatest of the many engineering breakthroughs that kept the Apollo project on track?

With regard to Apollo’s legacy, which if any of the methods developed for Apollo’s space flight the Lunar landings could we expect to see reused during the human space flight and landings on an Asteroid and Mars?

Many thanks

TiltDogg
Member
TiltDogg
April 28, 2010 9:56 AM
Wow, what a fantastic opportunity!! Thanks, in advance, to Mr. Woodfill for any and all questions that he addresses! I am 31 years old, and as such, was never able to experience news of the moon landing or previous flights… really, any of our space “roots,” if you will. I always say that I was born a generation or so too late, because the space program, past and present, is very dear to me. I have anxiously read and watched the news as NASA planned (I wish they still were) to return to the moon under the Constellation Program. To be able to watch a human walk on another celestial body in relative real-time would be, no pun… Read more »
Hans-Peter Dollhopf
Member
Hans-Peter Dollhopf
April 28, 2010 12:58 PM
For me it was the first year in school when Aldrin and Armstrong made their names immortal in July 1969. I grew up in a very small rural village in rural Bavaria. Our little village had its own teacher and he himself was also a citizen of our small community. In July of 69, the household of my parents had only radio but no TV. So our school house was the “center of information”. We, the little once, saw IT ALL on TV while my father either missed the advancing of the Immortal Three toward the Moon while he was at work or he was informed on the events through our radio when he was back from work… Read more »
Greg
Member
Greg
April 28, 2010 8:36 PM
First a comment. After reading this fasciinating series of articles I am flabbergasted that this brave crew survived. It seems that everything had to go right and they defied all odds to make it home alive. It is almost as if it was meant to be. I was thinking the other day about stranded spacecraft and how it would be important to have redundant materials aboard so that if a system failed it could be repaired or replaced at the site. I would think that as an engineer in charge of lives in an inacessible location that every possible disaster would have been anticipated and solutions placed aboard in advance, but sadly this appears not to have been… Read more »
Steve Nerlich
Member
April 29, 2010 1:46 AM

Hi Nancy,

Something that seemed a little unrealistic about the Apollo 13 movie was the astronauts having several emotional outbursts/tantrums. I think that behaviour would be very alien to seasoned test pilots who know they are in serious trouble and depend on each other’s professionalism and on mission control to get them out of trouble.

So to test my theory – does Jerry know if the scene where the actors all rip their medical telemetry off, in defiance of mission rules, really happened?

(If it happened at all I imagine it’s more likely that Houston sanctioned the action beforehand)

Many thanks

Spoodle58
Member
May 1, 2010 4:10 AM

Hi Jerry,

In your opinion, as you have built the equipment to get man into space, do you think we as a species are being too cautious in our approach to exploring space?

Or are we afraid of incidents like Apollo 13 happening again or worse like the shuttle Columbia, or do you think we should just get out there like the explorers of Earth in middle ages, take on space, take on the risk of being in space not just leaving robots and probes doing the work but to get some real people out there?

Thanks Jerry and thanks Nancy.

wjwbudro
Member
wjwbudro
May 2, 2010 8:52 AM

Do avoid repeating, I hope Mr. Woodfill will answer questions asked in the preceding “13 things…” articles.

wjwbudro
Member
wjwbudro
May 2, 2010 8:57 AM

Opps, should read; To avoid repeating,…

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