LOVELL'S MOST EXTENSIVE BURN NOTES.
Flown on Apollo 13, LM-7 Contingency Checklist, page 30. A single sheet printed recto only. NASA/MSC January 6, 1970, updated March 10, 1970. 8 x 5½ inches. Extensive annotations made during the mission in red ink by James Lovell and in black ink by Fred Haise. With a Typed Letter Signed by FRED HAISE.
All was well during the Apollo 13 mission until Mission Control asked the crew to start a standard procedure to stir the Service Module (SM) fuel cell oxygen tanks for the first time during the mission. Because of damaged wiring, an electrical arc within oxygen tank number 2 caused the tank to overheat, increasing tank pressure to a point where it exploded. Within seconds the crew observed a series of caution and warning lights on their Command Module (CM) control panel and radioed to Houston "We've had a problem here."
The next hour of flight was spent trouble-shooting the problems with the fuel cells. Those cells needed oxygen from the tank whose explosion caused damage to associated plumbing, electrical connections, and to the adjacent oxygen tank number 1. The rapid loss of pressure and power forced Mission Control to have the crew to close the fuel cell reactant valvesa step that could not be reversed. When the crew did this they knew that that the lunar landing was lost.
The CM was rapidly running out of oxygen and battery power. The crew needed to save navigational data stored in the CM computer and transfer that data to the LM. The crew reviewed all activation steps to rapidly power-up the LM, including these steps on the last page of the "30 Minute Activation" section.
Their Fra Mauro landing site location required the astronauts to fly Apollo 13 into a lunar orbit that would not automatically return them to Earth in case of a mishap. Lovell and Lunar Module Pilot Fred Haise were able to put Apollo 13 back onto a "free-return trajectory" at about 61 hours and 30 minutes into the flight, some 5½ hours after the explosion. This ensured they would arrive back near the Earth but not that they would have sufficient power and oxygen to survive the trip.
Another LM engine burn some 2 hours after they passed around the Moon enabled them to arrive at Earth with power and oxygen to survive the flight. However, to precisely enter the Earth's atmosphere at the time, speed, and angle required to live through the atmospheric heating effects of re-entry, required a course correction NASA call MCC-5 or Mid-Course Correction number 5. This particular engine burn was well dramatized in the 1995 movie "Apollo 13."
FRED HAISE'S September 20, 2007 signed provenance letter reads in part: "Accompany this letter is a sheet numbered page 30 from the Apollo 13 LM-7 Contingency Checklist that was carried and extensively used on the flight of Apollo 13 during April 11 to 17, 1970. Our flight was scheduled to be the third lunar landing mission but had to be aborted after a Service Module oxygen tank explosion. During this emergency, electrical power and coolant conservation was paramount in order for us to survive the amount of time required to return to the Earth.
Commander James Lovell used this sheet to record critical spacecraft attitude procedures to allow us to accurately perform the Mid-Course Correction burn number 5 (MCC-5). He wrote over 100 words and numbers on both sides of this sheet plus drew a diagram of our Crewman Optical Alignment Sight (COAS) device. These entries were the longest set of in-flight notes made by Jim on a single sheet relating to Lunar Module (LM) Descent Engine burns during the entire flight. Additionally, this sheet has Jim's 10 updates to existing printed steps, some which he marked out later in the flight.
This sheet is from the 30 minute activation section which was designed to rapidly power-up our Lunar Module 'Aquarius.' The side numbered 30 has the 'DPS PRESS' or the Descent Propulsion System pressurization steps. I changed the 'AMB PRESS' to 'Supercrit Press' using black ink and Jim changed the 'tb-gray' to 'tp-bp' or barber pole using red ink. He also made the five red mark-out lines including the large one in the 'LANDING GEAR DEPLOY' section. These were steps that were not necessary to perform.
At about 100 hours and 15 minutes into the flight, Mission Control sent up several additional steps to prepare for the MCC-5 burn. Jim recorded this information at the bottom third of page 30 which had blank space. He wrote: '1. Verify htrs (heaters) (RCS) on for 15 min. 2. Balance couple off Deadband min, att (attitude) control pitch and roll to pulse, yaw direct. Mode Control AGS (Abort Guidance System) att hold, Guid(ance) Control AGS. Damp rate pitch and roll with TTCA (Thrust Translation Controller Assembly). Yaw with ACA (Attitude Controller Assembly) ref (reference) with earth.' Along the side of this writing, Jim wrote: 'Top of page 29.' These steps would allow the best way to dampen out our rotational movements as we terminated the Passive Thermal Control (PTC) to get ready for the burn. PTC was a slow rotation that helped equalized the temperature extremes on our CSM and LM. These steps were used in conjunction with steps printed on page 29.
The back side of page 30 was totally blank which allow Jim to make the additional extensive notes of: 'Procedures to Burn Att (Attitude). 1. Verify AGS in operate for 5 Min, 400 + 5, 400 + 0, ATT control pitch and roll pulse, yaw Mode Control. Man(euver) using TTCA for pitch and roll, Cmp (computer) controlling yaw, can override with ACA. 2. When in att ACA, out of detent to null needles. 3. SET DET.' These steps told us that we were to verify that our Abort Guidance System (AGS) had been operational for at least 5 minutes to warm all components. Then define our LM body axis alignment using computer commands of 400 plus 5, then 400 plus. Next we were to set the control modes for the LM in pitch, roll, and yaw. Our ACA would stop yaw movement using spacecraft instrumentation needles. The 'SET DET' or Set Detents told us to use our Alignment Optical Telescope (AOT) which was a periscope type of device with a complete azimuthal view around the LM that was set at fixed 60 degrees stops known as detents. For this midcourse correction, the Sun would be located through the AOT at detent 2, providing us with a point of reference. Another device was the LM COAS which would be mounted at Jim's forward LM window. Jim sketched a diagram of how he expected to see the Earth through the eye piece of the COAS. He drew an X and Y axis with the "horns" of the Earth's shadow touching the Y axis. As Jim maneuvered the LM to the proper burn attitude, he was to align the view of the Earth in the COAS exactly as he sketched. Our preparations and MCC-5 burn went according to plan by using the notes logged on this sheet.
After the flight I wrote and signed both sides of this sheet in blue ink with: 'In flight notes made by James Lovell carried and used during the flight of Apollo 13, Fred Haise, Apollo 13 LMP.' James Lovell has signed the back side of this page and added 'Apollo 13 CDR.' This sheet has been in my personal collection since 1970. It is an extremely significant artifact that records some of the most important events and procedures James Lovell, Jack Swigert, and I performed in order to safely return to earth."