Minute 068: Improvising a New Mission

January 30, 2019

Jack Swigert leaves the darkened Command Module through the tunnel to the LM.

“Freddo,” says Jim Lovell, “We’re going to have to execute some sort of a burn here. It’s just a matter of when.” Lovell notices Swigert at the back of the LM. Swigert steadies himself with a hand on the docking port.

“Did they shut us all down in there?” asks Lovell.

“Yeah,” replies Swigert.

“Didn’t think we’d be back in here so soon,” says Haise. “Uh, Houston, how far off course do you project we are, over?” Lovell looks out the window.

Meanwhile, Kranz assembles the Mission Control team in room 201.

“Okay people,” says Kranz, “Listen up! Gentlemen, I want you all to forget the flight plan. From this moment on, we are improvising a new mission.” Kranz turns on an overhead projector. The lamp in the projector burns out. Kranza pushes the projector aside and raises the screen, revealing a blackboard.

“How to get our people home,” continues Kranz. He draws and outline of the Earth and the Moon, and a trajectory reaching almost to the Moon.

“They are here,” he says, marking an X at the end of the trajectory.

“Straight back, direct abort?” says someone in the crowd. A chorus of “Nos” greets the suggestion.

“No sir,” says FIDO White Team Jerry Bostick. “We get them on a free-return trajectory.  It’s–”


Kevin Bacon as Jack Swigert
Tom Hanks as Jim Lovell
Bill Paxton as Fred Haise
Ed Harris as Gene Kranz
Ray McKinnon as FIDO White Team Jerry Bostick
Andy Milder as GUIDO White Team

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