Minute 044: Capture

August 30, 2018

Jack Swigert,  is just about to dock the Apollo CSM with the LM.

Looking through the reticle, Swigert sees that he’s aligned with the target.

The CSM probe pin is aimed directly at the LM’s drogue.

Swigert makes a slight roll thrust. There’s a grinding noise.

“Capture,” says Swigert.

“That’s it!’ says Lovell.  The A and B docking indicators display barber poles.

“Talkback is barber-poled,” says Lovell.

“Go ahead and retract,” says Swigert.  Lovell throws the RETRACT switch.  There’s a mechanical thump as the two spacecraft connect.

“Houston,” says Swigert, “We have hard dock.”

“Roger, understand,” says CAPCOM. “It’s a good deal, Jack!”

Deke Slayton turns to the NASA Director and they both point at each other as a sign of success.

Gene Kranz smiles.

The CSM backs the LM away from the S-IV-B.

“Okay, Houston,” says Haise, “We have LM extraction.” There’s a Quindar tone.

“We copy that, Thirteen,” says CAPCOM. “Now you’re off to the Fra Mauro Highlands.” There’s another Quindar tone.

“I gotta get out of this suit,” says Swigert to Lovell and Haise.

“Uh, Houston, we are ready for the, uh, beginning of the PTC, and I think once we’re in that barbecue roll,  uh, Jack and I will eat,” says Lovell, looking at Haise.

“Hey, I’m hungry,” replies Fred.

“Are you sure?” asks Lovell.

“I could eat the ass out of a dead rhinoceros,” replies Fred.  Lovell laughs.

Back in Houston, it’s shift change. EECOM White Team is cleaning out his pipe into an ashtray, while EECOM Gold Team is standing next to him.

“We got a smooth one, huh?” asks EECOM Gold.

“On the numbers, so far,” replies EECOM White. “We just ran a minimum test on the -”


Jim Lovell: Tom Hanks
Jack Swigert: Kevin Bacon
Fred Haise: Bill Paxton
Gene Kranz: Ed Harris
CAPCOM: Brett Cullen
Deke Slayton: Chris Ellis
NASA Director: Joe Spano
EECOM White Team: Clint Howard
EECOM Gold Team John Aaron:  Loren Dean

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