Minute 035: Ignition Sequence Start

August 17, 2018

A rumbling noise startles Haise and Swigert.

“Fuel pump,” explains Lovell. “This is it. A few bumps, and we’re hauling the mail.”

The five F-1 engines of the Saturn V are shrouded in fog.

In Houston, Mission controllers watch simultaneous television feeds on KTRK – ABC, KHOU – CBS, KPRC – NBC, and the NASA feed.

“Control this is Guidance…” says a voice in the background.

Kranz looks at his console.

“We are go for launch,” announces the Launch Director. “T-Minus…”

“Fifteen,” says the PA announcer, as the crowd rises to watch the launch. “Fourteen, Thirteen, Twelve…”

Lovell, Haise, and Swigert prepare to launch.

“Eleven, Ten, Nine, Eight, Seven,” continues the announcer, “Six…Ignition sequence starts…”

Plumes of smoke erupt from the F-1 engines.

“Two… One… Ignition!” says the announcer.

The launch umbilicals separate themselves from the spacecraft. Sheets of ice rattle down the side of the ship.

Flames blast from the bottom of the engines, and engulf the flame trench. A gout of flame erupts across the base of the LUT.

Mattingly, apparently not quite a mile from the launch pad, feels the vibration as he stands next to his car.

The flames at the base of the LUT begin to flow back inside, toward the flame trench.


Jim Lovell: Tom Hanks
Jack Swigert: Kevin Bacon
Fred Haise: Bill Paxton
Gene Kranz: Ed Harris
Launch Director: Andrew Lipschultz
CAPCOM: Brett Cullen
Guenter Wendt: Endre Hules

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