Minute 081: A Government Operation

April 13, 2020

In the Mission Control Center, two controllers and the Flight Surgeon approach Gene Kranz’s station.

“Gene,” says one of the controllers, “we’ve got another situation brewing with the carbon dioxide.”

“We’ve got a CO2 problem on the Lunar Module,” says the second controller. “Five filters on the LM -”

“Which were meant for two guys for a day and a half – ” says the first controller, “So I told the doc – ”

“They’re already up to eight on the gauges,” says the flight surgeon. “Anything over fifteen, and you get impaired judgement, blackouts, the beginnings of brain asphxia – ”

“What about the scrubbers on the Command Module?” asks Gene.

“They take square cartridges,” says the second controller.

“The ones on the LM are round,” explains the first controller.

Gene rubs his nose. “Tell me this isn’t a government operation,” says Gene.

“This just isn’t a contingency we’ve remotely looked at,” says the first controller.

“Those CO2 levels are going to be getting toxic,” says the flight surgeon.

“Well, I suggest you gentlemen invent a way to put a square peg in a round hole,” says Gene. “Rapidly.”

In an engineering lab, engineers and controllers dump boxes of equipment on a work table.

“Okay people, listen up,” says an engineer. “The people upstairs handed us this one, and we gotta come through. We gotta find a way to make this,” he says, holding up a square cartridge, “fit into the hole for this,” holding up a round cartridge, “using nothing but that,” he continues, pointing at the work table equipment.




Andy Milder as GUIDO White

Christian Clemenson as Flight Surgeon

Ed Harris as Gene Kranz

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