Minute 049: Gotcha

September 20, 2018


Jim Lovell continues his narration of the TV broadcast from Apollo XIII, as “Honkey Tonkin'” by Hank Williams plays in the background.

“Well, folks, as you can probably tell, ” says Lovell, “the Aquarius isn’t much bigger than a couple of telephone booths. The skin of the LM in some places is only as thick as a couple of layers of tin foil, and that’s all that protects us from the vacuum of space.”

Fred Haise does several somersaults in the cabin of the Lunar Module.

“We can get away with this because the LM is designed only for flight in outer space,” continues Lovell.

Haise spins a flashlight, sunglasses, a cassette tape, and a ball of aluminum foil in the cabin, while sticking his tongue out at the camera.

“Fred Haise,” says Lovell, “Renaissance¬† Man. Okay, we’ll head back up the tunnel now, back into the Odyssey — ”

Lovell floats back down the access tunnel.

“Alright,” says Lovell, “we’ve returned to the Command -”

Haise twists a lever labeled “CABIN PRESSURE VALVE” in the Lunar Module. There’s a loud bang.

“Standby one, Houston,” says Lovell, looking around nervously.

Gene Kranz looks at his console.

“Gotcha!” says Haise, laughing.

“Ah,” says Lovell, “Houston, that bang you heard was Fred Haise on the Repress valve. He really gets our hearts going every time with that one.”

Lovell turns toward the camera.

“Okay,” says Lovell, “we’re about to close out the -”


Jim Lovell: Tom Hanks
Jack Swigert: Kevin Bacon
Fred Haise: Bill Paxton
Marilyn Lovell:  Kathleen Quinlan
Gene Kranz: Ed Harris

Scroll to top