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JayUtah
2002-Jun-09, 04:22 PM
Never mind for a minute that Mr. Cosnette's film clip shows "blue earth" in camera angles that are 180° apart -- quite a feat, and something that could only occur if the blue were due to scattering.

Let's consider his statements. He says, "How could Astronaut Fred Haise state the crew aboard Apollo 13 could see Fra Mauro?"

Well, I've looked through the entire transcript of the Apollo 13 mission, both the downlink recordings and the CM cockpit voice recorder transcripts, and I can't find where Fred Haise says that. And there's actually a good reason why I'm pretty sure he didn't say that.

Of course Mr. Cosnette has no idea what a hybrid translunar trajectory his. He can't even properly describe a low earth orbit, so that topic is clearly beyond him. Basically a hybrid trajectory is one that has two inclinations, one for each segment of the outbound and inbound legs. A spacecraft on a hybrid trajectory leaves parking orbit at one inclination and then at a suitable point does a change-of-plane manuever which establishes a new inclination.

This is important for lunar exploration because the vagaries of lunar orbit rendezvous make it desirable for the CSM to orbit in a plane which includes the landing site. And the CSM's orbital plane is determined largely at lunar orbit insertion. Thus, LOI determines the potential landing site. And if a certain specific landing site is desired, the CSM lunar orbit must be engineered to support that. And so at MCC-2 a change-of-plane insures that the CSM will enter LOI at the appropriate angle.

But the first manuever after the accident was to re-establish the free-return trajectory -- in essence, to "undo" the plane change (and other aspects of the hybrid trajectory) they had performed at MCC-2. This meant their orbital plane around the moon would not have allowed them to pass over Fra Mauro, whether it was in light or darkness.

Bill Paxton, the actor playing Fred Haise in the Hollywood movie Apollo 13, indeed says this line. But that's not because Haise said it in real life. And although the screenwriters mention getting the astronauts back on a free-return trajectory, they don't explain what that is, nor do they show the astronauts doing this.

In short, Fred Haise's comment is Hollywood's claim, not NASA's claim. Is Mr. Cosnette really basing his criticism of a historical event upon a fictionalized version of the story?

Mr. Cosnette continues, "In fact it [Fra Mauro in the sunlight] did not reappear until 88 hours after the Apollo 13 had left. By this time the Apollo would have been 19,000 miles away on its way back to Earth, making it impossible for any of the crew to see Fra Mauro during the mission."

We recognize this as Mary Bennett's argument, which Mr. Cosnette has simply cribbed or plagiarized. Either that or Mr. Cosnette and Ms. Bennett learned Apollo operations off the back of the same cereal packet.

When Fra Mauro appeared in the sunlight, Apollo 13 was indeed several thousand miles into its return journey to earth. However, Mr. Cosnette neglects to realize that this had not been the plan. If the original flight plan is consulted for Apollo 13, we find that Lovell and Haise would have been stepping out of their lunar module a few hours after the sun had risen at Fra Mauro.

The spacecraft was 19,000 miles away because they threw out that flight plan and engineered a new mission on the spur of the moment. Whereas in the original plan they would have drifted easily into lunar orbit, adjusted that orbit precisely over a period of time, powered up the lunar module and checked it out, then performed the descent orbit insertion; in the improvised mission that was replaced by a simple transit of the dark side followed by a burn to accelerate their return.

Let's say I wish to attend a concert at the Teton Music Festival in Jackson, Wyoming. It takes about three hours to fly there in a small plane from where I live. The concert is in the evening, and I plan to arrive in the early afternoon and hike in the mountains before the concert. Let's say that just a few minutes from Jackson I receive word that my mother has been taken to the hospital. I decide that attending to my mother is more important than attending the evening's concert. But I don't have enough fuel to turn around then and there, so I continue to Jackson, land, refuel, and immediately depart. Now of course when the concert begins in Jackson I will be well on my way home.

If someone were to examine my actions, would it be valid for them to say my entire plan had been bogus from the start, since I was well on my way back when the concert began? Yet this is exactly what Mr. Cosnette proposes with respect to Apollo 13.

Well, Mr. Cosnette?


<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: JayUtah on 2002-06-09 12:25 ]</font>

Martian Jim
2002-Jun-10, 02:03 PM
ill bump this post as well, seeing as it could be interesting

DaveC
2002-Jun-10, 07:05 PM
I'll bump this one up too. I suspect Cosmic Dave is checking the hospital records to see if Jay's mother was really admitted before he attempts to answer. That would be about the level of understanding he has demonstrated in reading and responding to posts:

"Your mother was never in the hospital in Salt Lake City, thereby proving my theory that A13 was faked." /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif

cosmicdave
2002-Jun-11, 07:31 PM
The whole point of the claim is that the crew of the Apollo 13 could not have seen some of the features they said they had because that area would have been in darkness or out of sight as they passed. Your point saying that they would have been over the place in sunlight if the operation had gone as originally planned is irrellevent because the mission did not stay to schedule....did it?

Firefox
2002-Jun-11, 07:32 PM
Bill Paxton, the actor playing Fred Haise in the Hollywood movie Apollo 13, indeed says this line. But that's not because Haise said it in real life. And although the screenwriters mention getting the astronauts back on a free-return trajectory, they don't explain what that is, nor do they show the astronauts doing this.

In short, Fred Haise's comment is Hollywood's claim, not NASA's claim. Is Mr. Cosnette really basing his criticism of a historical event upon a fictionalized version of the story?

(Emphasis mine.)

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Firefox on 2002-06-11 15:33 ]</font>

pvtpylot
2002-Jun-11, 08:00 PM
On 2002-06-11 15:31, cosmicdave wrote:
The whole point of the claim is that the crew of the Apollo 13 could not have seen some of the features they said they had because that area would have been in darkness or out of sight as they passed. Your point saying that they would have been over the place in sunlight if the operation had gone as originally planned is irrellevent because the mission did not stay to schedule....did it?

I believe the whole point is that you're arguing against a movie, not anything the actual crew claimed to have seen. I mean, serious question here, you do understand the difference between reality and a work of fiction, right? If yes, then please provide evidence that any member of the actual Apollo 13 crew actually claimed to have seen Fra Mauro. Otherwise, you should probably be debating this with Ron Howard.

JayUtah
2002-Jun-11, 10:27 PM
The whole point of the claim is that the crew of the Apollo 13 could not have seen some of the features they said they had ...

Please give me a GET reference in the mission transcript where they said they saw these things. I have not yet been able to find it in the Apollo 13 transcripts, but evidently you have. BTW, I do not accept the Hollywood movie Apollo 13 as a primary historical source.

Your point saying that they would have been over the place in sunlight if the operation had gone as originally planned is irrellevent because the mission did not stay to schedule....did it?

No, it did not. But the second half of your argument is ambiguous. You write, By this time the Apollo would have been 19,000 miles away on its way back to Earth, making it impossible for any of the crew to see Fra Mauro during the mission." It is not clear that "would have been" refers to the actual Apollo 13 mission or to the original Apollo 13 flight plan. It is apparent now that you intend that statement to refer to the abortive mission actually flown by the crew.

johnwitts
2002-Jun-11, 10:30 PM
Has anyone seen that film 'Pearl Harbour'? Did two hot shot pilots actually get two enemy planes to fly into each other while playing 'Ultimate Chicken' during the real attack. I think not.

Has anyone seen 'Titanic'? Is there any historical reference to that big diamond necklace being on board? Or two people giving it some in a car? Or an attempted suicide?

Has anyone seen 'Apollo 13'? Is there any historical reference to Ken Mattingly being out of his skull at home when the disaster occurred? (No, he was in the MOCR). Is there any historical reference to the fact that Jim Lovell was going to the Moon for Easter intead of on holiday with his wife? (No, that quote applies to Christmas 1968, when he went to the Moon on Apollo 8 ).

Can anyone see a pattern here? Hollywood has a tendency to take the groovy bits of history, and mixing them all together into an interesting yarn. That's why they state that 'This story is based on actual events'. They are NEVER supposed to be entirely historically accurate. Otherwise they would not be good as entertainment. With the movie 'Apollo 13' we get a flavour of what the events were like, without all the nitty gritty getting in the way.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: johnwitts on 2002-06-11 18:32 ]</font>

David Hall
2002-Jun-12, 06:19 AM
I just watched the making of documentary for the Apollo 13 movie, and it's amazing how much effort they went into to make it accurate. It's probably one of the most accurate to life movies ever made.

But even so, they readily admitted to altering or fabricating some parts, mostly to make the characters more accesable to the viewing audience. The big one they mentioned was a flare-up of tempers among the crew. In reality that never happened, but they did it so the audience would be able to sympathize with the stresses they were going through.

They didn't mention the viewing of Fra Mauro, but I'd say this was another example of the same. The line was probably put in to emphasize the disappointment the crew felt at not being able to complete the mission. Nothing else. Certainly not for historical accuracy, as the scene is highly emotional as depicted.

Now, if, as mentioned above, you can find actual proof that such a comment was actually made, then you might have a point. But only barely. If such a thing were really said, it might have been because earthlight, for example, was giving them some ability to see the terrain. Or it may have been pure hyperbole, and exaggeration of what was actually visible.

JayUtah
2002-Jun-12, 06:34 AM
In reality that never happened, but they did it so the audience would be able to sympathize with the stresses they were going through.

Lovell has admitted that tempers flared at one point in the mission, but it was not on the point depicted in the movie. Haise never blamed Swigert for the accident. In fact, Swigert had written the emergency procedures for the command module and probably knew more than any of the other astronauts how the CSM would behave while broken. Lovell and Haise have said that they will never reveal the details of the crew's disagreement.

The observation of Fra Mauro from orbit in the movie was likely an attempt to convey the notion, "so close, yet so far away." I think we're supposed to understand the sense of loss and disappointment the astronauts must have felt.

Now, if, as mentioned above, you can find actual proof that such a comment was actually made, then you might have a point.

I agree. Unless some reference to the mission transcript can be produced, we're talking about a primary source versus a secondary source.

David Hall
2002-Jun-12, 02:13 PM
Ok, I sat down and watched the Fra Mauro scene in the movie and listened to both Lovell's and Ron Howard's commentaries on it.

Lovell's quote is interesting, but it unfortunately fails to clear things up completely. He starts out by saying this:

In actuality, when we first came around the moon-the far side-it was very difficult to see Fra Mauro...uh because it was sorta....

Unfortunately, he never completes this sentence. The scene in the movie changes and he switches subject in mid-sentence.

From what I gathered from his statement, it was not impossible to see Fra Mauro from the CM, but it wasn't easy either. So my best guess is that it was still in darkness, but that there was enough light from the Earth or such that they were able to make it out roughly.

Howard's comments on this scene, and the following dream sequence where Lovell walks on the Moon, was that he made this as a major turning point in the film. With these scenes he first establishes a sense of loss over not being able to complete the mission, and from that moment on it becomes a story about getting home, surviving and returning to your loved ones.


Here's the full comment by Lovell:

In actuality, when we first came around the moon-the far side-it was very difficult to see Fra Mauro...uh because it was sorta....

That's Tsiolkovsky, which is really the back side of the moon and we can't see it from the Earth, and so that's the first thing we saw on the way around was really...Tsiolkovsky.

And then we were coming into Mare Imbrium and the Sea of Tranquility. And then of course Mount Marilyn was coming into view.


Incidentally, the way the scene was depicted in the movie seems to be a bit off to me. First, there is a brightening as the CM enters sunlight again, then Haise says he can see Fra Mauro. Then Tsiolkovsky comes into view. After that they comment that Mare Imbrium is to the north.

But, looking at a map of the Moon, if they came around from the East, as I think they did from Lovell's commentary, then Tsiolkovsky would have come into view first, then Imbrium and Fra Mauro would have come into view afterwards at about the same time. I'm not sure where Mount Marilyn is supposed to be.

Map of Apollo Landing sites
http://www.nasm.si.edu/apollo/FIGURES/LandingSitesMaps.jpg
From this site: http://www.nasm.si.edu/apollo/apollo.htm

Wally
2002-Jun-12, 02:18 PM
From what I understand, Lovell's statement "gentlemen, what are your intentions" as they were gazing at the moon was basically a direct quote. My question is, what did he mean? It's obvious the other two weren't about to say, 'the heck with it, let's go for a landing anyways' at that point. Was it sarcasm? seems misplaced if so. . .

David Hall
2002-Jun-12, 02:25 PM
BTW, my transcriptions of Lovell's comments may be a little bit off in the more garbled areas.

Also, can anyone give me the actual intended date and time for the Apollo 13 landing? And the times it was actually passing around the Moon? I entered in the location in my Starry Night software, and it shows sunrise at about 06:20am on April 15, 1970.

SpacedOut
2002-Jun-12, 02:28 PM
From this MSNBC (http://lb.msnbc.com/news/224407.asp?cp1=1) article Mount Marilyn in near the Sea of Tranquility – Which confirms what I remember from reading Jim Lovell’s book. From article's footnotes – the IAU doesn’t recognize the name.

SpacedOut
2002-Jun-12, 02:30 PM
On 2002-06-12 10:18, Wally wrote:
From what I understand, Lovell's statement "gentlemen, what are your intentions" as they were gazing at the moon was basically a direct quote. My question is, what did he mean? It's obvious the other two weren't about to say, 'the heck with it, let's go for a landing anyways' at that point. Was it sarcasm? seems misplaced if so. . .



My take on this is that Lovell wanted to get the focus back on getting home instead of just sight-seeing.

JayUtah
2002-Jun-12, 04:13 PM
Also, can anyone give me the actual intended date and time for the Apollo 13 landing?

103:42 GET. Computing from actual liftoff at 14:13 EST 11 April 1970 (not 13:13 as stated in the movie), landing would have occurred at 21:55 EST 15 April 1970 -- well after sunrise.

The chief delay after LOI is the 10+ revs in the descent orbit in order to fine tune the parameters for the LM's guidance computer.

And the times it was actually passing around the Moon?

Pericynthion at 77:27:39 GET, or 19:50:29 14 April 1970. The landing site would have been approximately 6.5&deg; west of the terminator at this time.

Since Apollo 13 never went into lunar orbit, the orbital altitude increased steadily from pericynthion, increasing the astronauts' field of view as they came around to the near side where the landing site was located.

The alleged sighting of Fra Mauro occurred before the PC+2 burn at 79:27:39 GET or 21:50:29 14 April 1970. At this time the landing site would have been 5&deg; inside the terminator. However, the Fra Mauro crater was not at the landing site but some 30 miles southeast of it. The eastern edge of the crater rim would have been within a degree or so of the theoretical terminator at PC+2 and thus possibly illuminated. (The crater itself spans some three degrees of longitude.)

MCC-3 was not performed on Apollo 13. MCC-4 (prior to pericynthion) was a DPS burn to re-establish the free-return trajectory. After having done some calculations, it is likely that the trajectory after MCC-4 would have put the Fra Mauro area within the astronauts' field of view from the altitude at and prior to PC+2. This is contrary to what I suggested informally above. The actual orbit would not have diverged sufficiently by this time.

The reference "Fra Mauro" is somewhat ambiguous. The Apollo 13 crew sometimes used it to refer to their landing site, some 30 miles from the crater which also bears that name. And it is also used to refer to the highlands area described in the press kit as, "a widespread geological unit covering large portions of the lunar surface around Mare Imbrium (Sea of Rains)."

I entered in the location in my Starry Night software, and it shows sunrise at about 06:20am on April 15, 1970.

That sounds about right.

pvtpylot
2002-Jun-12, 04:16 PM
On 2002-06-12 10:30, SpacedOut wrote:
My take on this is that Lovell wanted to get the focus back on getting home instead of just sight-seeing.

In the interview he gave for Moonshot he stated that he felt the other two were getting too absorbed in taking pictures and such and he reminded them that if they didn't get home they'd never get their film developed.
/phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif

JayUtah
2002-Jun-12, 04:26 PM
Lovell's statement "gentlemen, what are your intentions" as they were gazing at the moon was basically a direct quote. My question is, what did he mean?

This is covered in the technical debriefing. Lovell had done this mission before on Apollo 8 and was not interested in photographing the same things all over again. Swigert and Haise, having never been this close to the moon, simply had a different attitude. They had no delusions about actually performing the landing, but they believed the spacecraft would take care of itself for a couple of hours and they would be ready at the controls for PC+2.

Haise agrees that Lovell indeed reminded them of the burn. Their attitude seems to have been, "All in good time."

David Hall
2002-Jun-12, 05:25 PM
Thanks Jay, for the answer to my questions. Apart from the technical details, your comments on what was viewable is pretty much what I was thinking.

Oh, and I should mention that lunar dawn was 6:20am UT, just so we don't get confused with the EST times you gave.