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    "Survival" by Fred Haise.

    Apollo 13-Related: Four Signed Items. As follows:
    (1) A one page typescript, blank stationery, 8.5" x 11", no date, no place, "To Kim". An interesting and highly-detailed narrative of the emergency situation onboard Apollo 13 that could easily have had a tragic outcome. Signed: "Best wishes/ Fred Haise/ Apollo 13 LMP". A full transcript is available on our website.
    (2) Philatelic cover with a color "Apollo 13 Moonlanding" cachet and printed explanatory text about the mission's problems. "First Man on the Moon" 10¢ stamp affixed and cancelled at Cape Canaveral on April 14, 1970, celebrating their "around the moon" maneuver. Signed: "James Lovell".
    (3) A cover with typed text regarding the Support Crew for Apollo 13, cancelled Milwaukee, Wisconsin, August 6, 1969. Signed by: "Bill Pogue", "Jack Lousma", and "Vance Brand".
    (4) A Jack Swigert typed letter signed, one page, personal notepaper, 5.5" x 8.5", April 17, 1978, [Denver], to a supporter with political content. Signed: "You're just super!/ Jack". Transmittal envelope included.
    All in excellent condition. From the Steven R. Belasco Collection of Space Memorabilia.

    More Information:


    In large measure, the Apollo 13 crew survived their ordeal for the simple reason that, at the time of the accident, they had backup stores of critical commodities: extra power, water, and oxygen - and even an extra engine. Of course, had the accident happened while Lovell and Haise were on the lunar surface, or after they'd returned to orbit with rocks but no fuel nor anything else of immediate survival value, then the outcome would have been tragically different. But that was the nature of the venture. Acceptance of the Kennedy challenge dictated the acceptance of calculated risks. True, NASA had worked hard to build redundancy into the spacecraft systems; and it is a bit ironic that, at one stage of the drama, the team had to work hard to get around the fact that they couldn't simply interchange the CSM and the LM lithium hydroxide canisters.

    In both spacecraft, under normal circumstances, the cabin air was fed continuously through environmental control equipment where, among other things, lithium hydroxide reacted with the carbon dioxide and trapped it. A single canister began losing its efficiency after about 40 person-hours of use and then had to be replaced. Unfortunately - and quite literally - the square CSM canisters wouldn't fit into the round holes of the LM unit; and, unless a way could be found to use the square ones, the carbon dioxide content of the cabin air would rise to poisonous levels long before the crew could get home. The advertised 60-person-hour combined lifetime of two LM canisters was, of course, a very conservative figure and, in fact, by allowing the carbon dioxide levels to rise above normal limits, they were able to keep them on line for 107 person-hours, or nearly a day and a half. And they had one other primary canister - 40 person hours design lifetime, 80 person hours at the higher CO2 levels - that they were holding in reserve in case it took extra time to devise a way to use the CSM canisters.

    There was, of course, a fix; and it came in the form of an ingenious combination of suit hoses, cardboard, plastic stowage bags, and CSM canisters - all held together with a liberal application of gray duct tape. As was usual whenever the Apollo team had to improvise, engineers and astronauts on the ground got busy devising ways around the problem and then checked out the new procedures. A day and a half after the Apollo 13 accident, the ground teams had designed and built a filtering device that worked to their satisfaction. They promptly radioed instructions to the crew, carefully leading them through about an hour's worth of steps. As Lovell wrote later: "the contraption wasn't very handsome, but it worked." And that was all that mattered.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    April, 2013
    18th Thursday
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