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Houston, we have a problem

Its right up there with “One small step for a Man, one giant leap for mankind” as being the most iconic saying of the Space race. When Astronaut Jim Lovell uttered those words, the entire globe held its breath and though, “What now?”. It seems a bit cliché to assume that the thirteen missions of the Apollo series as going to be graced with such bad luck that is like fate planned it. The Mission was supposed to be pretty routine, as routine as any trip to the Moon could be considered routine. The mission was aborted 2 days in to the mission after a catastrophic error occurred with the oxygen tank. Basically, it exploded. This meant that there was not enough oxygen for the astronauts to get to the moon and do what the needed to do and get back. It was time to come home, if they could.

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Its hard for us to imagine what it must have been like stuck up there in space floating weightless and unable to really do anything but rely on the NASA ground crew to come up with a plan to get them home. Some ingenuity was going to be needed by the astronauts themselves. This was not a simple a task as say a TV Aerial Installation Swansea area or anywhere else for that matter. That would just require a quick stop at this website

The problem was that the was no way that they could not clean the air in the module. As you breathe in oxygen you breathe out carbon dioxide. On the planet earth trees and plants clean the Carbon dioxide from the air and replace it with oxygen. Its actually a very important part of the of the process of life on earth. Unfortunately, its not possible to have plants growing in a Space rocket as there is barely any room for the astronauts. Using the proposal of the Lunar module the Astronauts could get back to earth, the only problem was there would be no air for them to breathe in the module.

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What was the solution? How could they clean the air and not compromise the already under pressure ship units and energy? The ship relied on batteries to power some of the vital systems. Everyone was offering help and support, even the Russians.  As luck would have it one of the crew that was slated to go had been left behind. Ken Mattingly had luckily, or unluckily as he thought at the time got rubella from his daughter. Astronauts had to be in the peak of health so Swigert a replacement had gone along for the trip instead. What this allowed NASA to d was run test with Ken to figure out a solution as he understood the ship better than anyone. He suggested that rather than stay in the command module the Astronauts should move into the Lunar Module and breathe the air there with a modified system to get them back home.

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