Minute 086: Too Much Delta-V

April 20, 2020

Haise and Lovell are laughing about Haise’s symptoms.

“That’s another first for America’s space program,” says Lovell.

“Listen,” says Haise, “um, I’ve been going over some stuff, and I’m a little worried about this cold affecting our battery efficiency. See. we quit heating the glycol to save water and power, so that’s not helping us any.”

Meanwhile, Swigert heads down the docking tunnel from the Command Module.

“So, it could cost us amp hours on the back end?” asks Lovell.

“It’s a possibility,” replies Haise.

Swigert floats into the Lunar Module, interrupting the conversation.

“I’ve been going over the numbers again,” says Swigert. “Have they called up with a reentry plan yet? Because we’re coming in too shallow.”

“We’re working on something, Jack,” says Lovell. “Just hold on.”

“All right, all right,” says Swigert.

Haise continues to discuss the battery temperature issue. “I can’t remember the ratio to temperature,” says Haise. “We’ve got no references on board.”

“Well,” says Lovell, “let’s see if Houston can pull up the milspecs on it and we’ll-”

“Listen. Listen. Listen!” says Swigert. “They gave us too much Delta-V. They had us burn too long. At this rate we’re gonna skip right out of the atmosphere, and we’re never gonna get back!”

Haise and Lovell look at Swigert.

“What’re you talking about?” asks Haise. “How did you figure that?”

“I can add!” replies Swigert.

“Jack,” says Lovell, “they’ve got half of the Ph.D’s on the planet working on this stuff.”

“Houston says we’re right on the money,” adds Haise.

“What if they had made a mistake, all right,” replies Swigert, “and there was no way to reverse it?”


Tom Hanks as Jim Lovell

Bill Paxton as Fred Haise

Kevin Bacon as Jack Swigert


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