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Apollo 13 Guidance, Navigation, and Control ChallengesCombustion and rupture of a liquid oxygen tank during the Apollo 13 mission provides lessons and insights for future spacecraft designers and operations personnel who may never, during their careers, have participated in saving a vehicle and crew during a spacecraft emergency. Guidance, Navigation, and Control (GNC) challenges were the reestablishment of attitude control after the oxygen tank incident, re-establishment of a free return trajectory, resolution of a ground tracking conflict between the LM and the Saturn V S-IVB stage, Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) alignments, maneuvering to burn attitudes, attitude control during burns, and performing manual GNC tasks with most vehicle systems powered down. Debris illuminated by the Sun and gaseous venting from the Service Module (SM) complicated crew attempts to identify stars and prevented execution of nominal IMU alignment procedures. Sightings on the Sun, Moon, and Earth were used instead. Near continuous communications with Mission Control enabled the crew to quickly perform time critical procedures. Overcoming these challenges required the modification of existing contingency procedures.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Goodman, John L.
(United Space Alliance Houston, TX, United States)
Date Acquired
August 24, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 2009
Subject Category
Space Transportation And Safety
Report/Patent Number
Meeting Information
AIAA Space 2009 Conference and Exposition(Pasadena, CA)
Distribution Limits
Public Use Permitted.
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