On April 14, more than 200,000 miles from Earth, Apollo 13 experienced a catastrophic explosion of their #2 oxygen tank in their Service Module. The explosion critically damaged the spacecraft and the Command Module's ability to sustain human life. Over the next 3 days, Jim Lovell, Fred Haise and Jack Swigert, with support from NASA on the ground, fought to bring their spacecraft home. Lunar Module Aquarius was used as a lifeboat which not only provided life support but also propulsion and guidance to bring the men home. When Apollo 13 splashed down on April 17 with the three crew worn and weary but very much alive, it was the end to one of the most incredible journeys ever undertaken. This artwork is a tribute to one of NASA's finest hours and the indomitable human spirit. Prints are available through my website, www.markkarvon.net.
You wanna know something else ironic? The launch happened at 13:13 (1:13 P.M) of local time, and the accident actually happened on April 13th (the date in the description may either have been from the user's local time, or then it's just an error).
One of the greatest ,moments in a very turbulent era when almost everyone turned towards the sky hoping that those three brave adventurers would somehow through their training, skill and expertise manage to overcome the almost insurmountable and return home safely from the most hostile environment known. Though just a teenager I was certain that they would and later learning what Kris Kraft had said regarding that 'this will be our finest hour' my personal confidence was confirmed. As always thank you for your great work and the tribute to pay to all these people of strength and courage.
It is an incredible tale and all of it true. I've been wanting to do a scene featuring Apollo 13 for a long time. It took me some years to work out how I was going to best portray everything I wanted to show in the piece.
In the days before pocket size computers. Lots of paper and slide rules. Their best tool. New stuff called nylon tape. We call it duct tape today. With that tape they fixed that problem with the CO2 scrubbers. You see the scrubbers in the LEM and the scrubbers in the command module were different shapes. They used hoses and document folders to make it work. CO2 poisoning would have killed them in a couple of days. They navigated using the alignment lines on the LEM. Basically aiming at the edge of a piece of paper from a few hundred thousand miles. Get it too steep you burn up. Too shallow skip off into space. Very few watched the lift off......it had become boring too routine. The world held its breath as they limped home. I was in high school.
My next door neighbor worked on the Apollo program. He worked on the lunar rover. I got to go with him to Florida to watch Apollo 15 lift off in 1971. First to take the rover to the moon. That Saturn V was the most awesome machine I ever saw as it took off. That roar of those engines. I swear you could feel the earth moved as it lifted off. Because he was NASA I got a tour as it sat on the pad. Our seats were really close. You could feel the heat from the combustion of those engines.
Awesome work! A picture from a time when we truly understood and *accepted* risks as a society, such as those found in space travel. Without putting it all on the line, no meaningful forward progress can be made.