Minute 013: Seven Seconds of Sheer Terror

July 11, 2018

Lovell, Mattingly, and Haise are in the Command Module SIM, attempting to dock with the LM.

“We’ll go ahead and recycle the valves,” says Mattingly. Lovell closes and reopens the valve switches for circuits B and D.

“They’re all gray,” reports Lovell.  Mattingly alters the pitch position dial.

Outside, the video camera moves closer to the LM model.  Over Mattingly’s head, the video image of the probe target lines up with the reticule.

“Twenty,” says Haise.

“Easy,” whispers Mattingly, working the joystick.

“Ten feet,” reports Haise.  The video camera touches the center of the LM model docking port.

“Capture,” says Mattingly.

“That’s it!” says Lovell. “That’s it!” Haise gives a whoop of approval.

“Sweet move, Ken!” says Haise. “Beautiful, beautiful!”

“Gentlemen,” says Lovell, “that is the way we do that.”

“Oh man,” says Haise, “that woke me up!”

Outside the CM sim, an announcer on the speaker says, “Apollo Thirteen backup crew,  you’re up in the simulator.”

“Nice job, Jim,” says Jack Swigert, backup CM Pilot, as backup Commander John Young and Lunar Module Pilot Charlie Duke follow behind him.

“That’s three hours of boredom, followed by seven seconds of sheer terror,” says Lovell.

“Good job, guys,” says the SIM controller, Frank, at the foot of the stairs, “You just won the Christmas turkey!”

“Nice try, Frank!” says Haise, as the crew applauds.

“You really outfoxed him, brother,” says Haise to Mattingly.

“Yeah, but it wasn’t perfect,” replies Ken. “Used up too much fuel.” Mattingly pauses on the stairs.

“Aw, you’re above the curve,” says Fred Haise.

“Not by much,” says Ken. “Listen, guys, I want to work it again.” The backup team pauses.

Haise turns around. “Hey,” he says, “we gotta be up with the dawn patrol headed for Bethpage – what,  oh-seven hundred.”

“Wheels up at oh-seven hundred,” confirms Lovell.


Jim Lovell: Tom Hanks
SIM controller Frank : Arthur Senzy
Ken Mattingly: Gary Sinese
Fred Haise: Bill Paxton
Jack Swigert: Kevin Bacon
John Young: Ben Marley
Charlie Duke: Unknown

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