Minute 060: The Lunar Module Just Became a Lifeboat

January 04, 2019

“Guys, listen up, here’s the drill,” says Kranz to the other controllers, “We’re moving the astronauts over to the LM. We’ve gotta get some oxygen up there. TELMU, Control, I want an emergency power-up procedure, the essential hardware only! GNC, EECOM — we’re going to be shutting down the Command Module at the same time. We’ll have to transfer the guidance system from one computer to the other, so I want those numbers up and ready when our guys are in position!”

“Okay, we gotta transfer all control data over to the LM computer before the Command Module dies,” says a controller.

Kranz turns to the NASA Director. “The Lunar Module just became a lifeboat,” explains Gene. The Director nods his head.

“Odyssey, this is Houston,” says CAPCOM. “Uh, we need you to power down immediately, and you’ll have to power up the LM at the same time, so you’d better get somebody over there.”

“We already have Fredo in the LM, Houston,” replies Lovell.

“We’ve got serious time pressure here, Jim,” says CAPCOM. “You’ve got to get the guidance program transferred, and you’ve got to do it before you’re out of power in the Command Module, or you’re not going to be able to navigate up there.”

“How much time?” asks Lovell. “Can you give me a number?”

“Well,” says CAPCOM, “We’re looking at less than fifteen minutes of life support in the Odyssey.”

Lovell unhooks his seatbelt and floats down the tunnel to the LM.

“We’ve got fifteen minutes, Fredo,” says Lovell, “it’s worse than I thought.”


Jim Lovell: Tom Hanks
Jack Swigert: Kevin Bacon
Fred Haise: Bill Paxton
Gene Kranz: Ed Harris
EECOM White Team: Clint Howard
TELMU White Team: Jim Meskimen
CAPCOM: Brett Cullen
Deke Slayton: Chris Ellis
NASA Director: Joe Spano
Flight Surgeon: Christian Clemenson

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