Case Of 14 Seconds: How The Omega Watch Saved The Apollo 13 Astronauts

Case Of 14 Seconds: How The Omega Watch Saved The Apollo 13 Astronauts
Case Of 14 Seconds: How The Omega Watch Saved The Apollo 13 Astronauts

Video: Case Of 14 Seconds: How The Omega Watch Saved The Apollo 13 Astronauts

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Video: The story of the incredible Apollo 13 mission 2023, January
Anonim

This year marks exactly 50 years since the launch of the Apollo 13 space mission. The manned spacecraft with three astronauts on board was launched on April 11, 1970 from Cape Canaveral and was heading to the Moon (the third landing on an Earth satellite was planned). All three crew members had Omega Speedmaster Professional chronographs - a precision, reliable watch that has been part of astronauts' gear since 1965.

Serious problems arose two days after the launch of the spacecraft: an oxygen cylinder exploded on board, damaging the service module. The plan to land on the moon was thwarted, now the first priority for NASA was the safe return of the crew to Earth. In order to save energy, all instruments were turned off - the only measuring instrument on board was the Omega.

It was required to manually correct the trajectory of the ship, which had already deviated from the course by about 60-80 nautical miles and entered the earth's atmosphere at the wrong angle. The adjustment required starting the engine for exactly 14 seconds. Pilot John Swigert timed the time using his "speedmaster", and the crew commander James Lovell guided the movement of the vessel, orienting himself along the horizon. The maneuver was performed flawlessly, and on April 17, after 142 hours and 54 minutes of flight, Apollo 13 successfully landed in the Pacific Ocean. The Omega watch worked perfectly.

Photo: press service
Photo: press service

© press service

Chronograph Omega Speedmaster Professional
Chronograph Omega Speedmaster Professional

Chronograph Omega Speedmaster Professional © press service

In November 1970, the watch company received the Silver Snoopy award from NASA for the successful conduct of manned space flights. The comic book character, Snoopy the dog, was chosen as the unofficial mascot of the American space agency - and to this day, it marks its heroes with a cartoon doggy badge in sterling silver.>

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