EXPLOSION ABOARD ODYSSEY! 42 years ago on Friday 13th

Jimmy Akin reminded me today that it is the anniversary of the day an oxygen tank exploded in the Service Module of Apollo 13 on its way to our great natural satellite’s Fra Mauro Highlands, named after the 15th c. Camaldolese monk and mapmaker.

Talk about time flying: 42 years ago! Can it be true?

It was also on a Friday 13.

I remember it so well.  This was one of those TV/space events that captivated and was burned into my young mind.

The Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo programs fueled my youth and sparked my interest in natural sciences and heavenly spheres.

The aggressively pro-abortion Pres. Obama has aborted our space program, killed jobs and the imaginations of young people, and performed the infanticide he supported as state senator in Illinois for human babies also on NASA’s infant Constellation program with the Ares boosters and the Orion and Altair .

Three “BOOOOOs” for Pres. Obama!

I shall watch the movie tonight, if it is on.  I think I saw it in the TV/movie schedule.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Denita says:

    I grew up with the space program myself. It’s just so sad how NASA has fallen.

  2. MarylandBill says:

    In fairness, the space program has been kicked so many times by politicians on each side of the aisle, it is hard to figure out who is ultimately responsible for the state it is in now.

  3. jarhead462 says:

    I was thinking the same thing this morning, but when I looked it up, it turns out that 4/13/70 was a Monday. (I looked it up because I thought it was Friday as well, and I was curious as to what day Easter fell on that year….because I’m goofy)

    Semper Fi!

  4. jarhead462 says:

    BTW- Easter Sunday was 3/29 that year.

    Semper Fi!

  5. ericrun says:

    Bush signed off on shutting down the shuttle. Obama only failed to reverse course. NASA’s shuttle launches involved a lot of money and choices were being made for political instead of scientific purposes for most of the last 4 decades. I agree with gutting the space shuttle in favor of rockets with capsules.

    If SpaceX can get their rockets man-rated, then we can launch about 8 capsules for the cost of a shuttle launch. Hopefully we’ll see a lot more science being done when the cost of getting into space drops by a significant amount.

  6. Dad of Six says:

    I just finished reading “On the Shoulders of Titans – A History of Project Gemini” What amazing times those were!

    I was all of 11 when the Apollo 13 explosion occurred. My friends and I were glued to the radio.

    Obama has done his best to remove any American Exeptionalism…space travel included.

  7. jarhead462 says:

    I also get the uneasy feeling that if it were to happen today, we would not be able to get those men home safely, using slide-rules, duct tape, and ingenuity.

    Semper Fi!

  8. Mike says:

    I admire those men and those times too, but I really don’t think we can spare three trillion dollars to send five guys to Mars for a week.

  9. friarpark says:

    I was in 8th grade when this was happening. Remember listening to radio reports in science class. Loved watching all the launches and everything about the space program when I was a kid. Played astronaut many a time. The movie was the last Tom Hanks movie I’ve watched.

  10. friarpark says:

    @Dad of Six and any interested:
    “On the Shoulders of Titans – A History of Project Gemini” is only $2.99 at Amazon for the Kindle. Just bought it. Can’t wait to read it.

  11. ContraMundum says:

    I have distinctly mixed feelings.

    I would love to have an aggressive manned space program, but the reality is that the next step is hugely dangerous and expensive. It would cost in the ballpark of $1 trillion to send a crew to Mars with any hope of seeing them alive again on Earth, and frankly, we have better uses for the money than that right now. Also, we really need to know if Mars has any native life, and what kind of life it is, before we start sending people there. It will probably take another 30 to 50 years of robotic probes to look for life in all the places we need to look. Remember, none of the probes or rovers after Viking has had any biology experiments!

    In the meantime, there’s really no sufficiently good reason for shuttles or space stations or even a presence on the Moon.

    My guess is that we’ll de-orbit the ISS sometime between 2020 and 2025, and that will be an end to the American manned space program. Space tourism will exist in the private sector, but it will only occupy the niche that expeditions up Mt. Everest occupy now — only the space expeditions will be shorter and more expensive, though equally dangerous.

    Maybe sometime around 2069 we can put a man on Mars. By then we should have fully explored the planet, and our computers, medicine, and materials science will be so greatly improved it will be much more feasible. If not, it will probably mean that something very, very bad has happened which would make us forget about space exploration and concentrate just on survival.

  12. friarpark says:

    Wikipedia says they launched Apollo 13 at 13:13 on April 11th. Wonder if they did that on purpose? Not a big believer in the Friday the 13th thing, but perhaps that wasn’t the wisest thing to do.

  13. Mike says:

    Our “Sputnik Moment”
    The Executive Branch has all but canceled any semblance of a space program we had left. The one government program that quite literally has valid monetary return: Every $1 that is spent on NASA returns $7 to the economy. While we watch the Chinese and others venture more into space and go to the Moon, we will be stuck here like beached whales. We will hear them calling from out there back to Earth… and  THAT will be our “Sputnik Moment.”

  14. Pax--tecum says:

    President Obama is attacking the Church, Life and science (knowledge). Our children should see the day that people visit Mars, for it will encourage them to study science. The Universe is a sign of the wonderful Providence of God, who created it, and all that lives within it. We can only stand with awe and admire this great work that He has created.

  15. David Zampino says:

    Gutting NASA has been a tragic mistake, and, sadly, there is plenty of blame to go around with the politics of it all. I think, though, that the “cost” issue is terribly overpaid. One could counter “Why did Columbus have to make a 2nd (and 3rd and 4th) voyage? After all, he already discovered the New World”.

    The fact is, is that the space program fueled hundreds of thousands of good paying jobs; those who held such jobs paid taxes; bought goods and services, etc. Also, we can’t forget the huge spin-off in technology into the private sector as a result of the space program.

    As far as technology goes — we’ve had the technology to launch a manned mission to Mars for probably 30 years. Remember Allen Drury’s novel “The Throne of Saturn”? And technology has only advanced. The problem is that we, or our politicians, lack the will and the foresight.

    Frankly, though, I have more hope in the private sector taking the lead in the space program than in the government. Such has been the dream of “hard” Sci-Fi authors for decades, from Robert Heinlein’s “The Man Who Sold the Moon” to Michael Flynn (a Catholic) and his four-volume “Firestar” series.

    We either grow or we decay. We move forward, or we move backward.

    The Chinese are headed for the moon within a couple of decades. Does anyone have any doubt that the notion of a military base on the moon hasn’t crossed the minds of the Chinese leadership?

    All in all, I would rather (re)adopt President Kennedy’s views on space exploration than embrace those of President Obama.

  16. ContraMundum says:

    (1) If you really want practical science (teflon, for example), fund practical science. I’m thinking of materials science in particular. The idea that the best way to develop materials like teflon is to shoot men at the moon or Mars is outright silly. Sure, you may get some practical spinoffs from any large project, but the justification for any big, expensive project has to be in its main objective. If you want to strike gold, prospect and dig for it; don’t dig a canal hoping that you’ll just happen to strike a vein.

    Of course, American taxpayers are happier paying for astronauts to orbit the earth and take a few very pretty but very, very, very expensive pictures than they are to fund practical research. That’s just a PR problem, but it’s a serious one.

    (2) As I said before, we should not contaminate Mars until we are sure it is sterile — and until we can afford to do this the right way. Mars is the next step, though.

    (3) In a Cold War environment, we were willing to accept that space exploration is dangerous, but after Challenger and Columbia and in an enviroment where we’re more worried about al Qaeda than Russia or China, NASA is probably just one more fatal accident from losing its manned space program, and possibly (given the irrationality of politicians) the unmanned program, too. Anything bold enough to be worth doing (Mars) will be much more dangerous than anything we have attempted before. Even under the best of circumstances, the odds of any given astronaut coming back alive are probably no better than 50/50. NASA won’t do anything until either society becomes interested again or they can bump up those odds substantially.

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