On this anniversary of the Apollo 13 accident, I wanted to quickly share two resources you might not have used.
One thing about the film is that, for dramatic purposes, many of the characters take on more of the adventure than what really happened. But you can get around that with two good bits.
The first is the Apollo 13 Flight Directors Loops on YouTube. A kindly person packaged the first 6 hours of the accident (beginning just as the TV show ends). The audio will sound familiar as much of Flight Director Kranz and EECOM Sy Libergot’s speech was all but lifted into the film. But one thing you’ll notice is, despite the palpable tension in the voices, no one goes Hollywood in the audio loops. Everyone, and I mean everyone, is a cool cucumber in a crisis they have never expected.
In case you didn’t know, flight director loops let you hear all discussion to the flight directory in Mission Control, as well as the crew audio. It’s like the film, only real.
One thing that the audio shows for posterity is how freakin’ important Flight Director Glynn Lunney had been. Part 1 has Gene Kranz’s team at work, but the remaining three parts, it’s the Lunney show. He and the rest of the controllers are making assumptions at first that would doom the crew. Lunney presses EECOM Clint Barton on finding any more power or options, and Barton keeps firm that Odyssey is mortally wounded. With barely 30 minutes before the Service Module is out of power, the team presses to get the LM powered up and the guidance transferred.
Below is part 1. After viewing it should recommend the other parts.
And what is better to read while you listen to the loops is the transcript of the ground to crew conversation. For that, I love Spacelog.org. They allow me to save any dialog section as a link so you can instantly coordinate it with audio.