john l swigert

(April 1970) — These three astronauts are the prime crew of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) Apollo 13 lunar landing mission. Left to right, are James A. Lovell Jr., commander; John L. Swigert Jr., command module pilot; and Fred W. Haise Jr., lunar module pilot. Apollo 13 will be the United States’ third lunar landing mission.

(16 April 1970) — This photograph of Earth was taken from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) Apollo 13 spacecraft during its trans-Earth journey home. The most visible land mass includes southwestern United States and northwestern Mexico. The peninsula of Baja California is clearly seen. Most of the land area is under heavy cloud cover. The Apollo 13 crew consisted of astronauts James A. Lovell Jr., commander; John L. Swigert Jr., command module pilot; and Fred W. Haise Jr., lunar module pilot.

Astronaut John L. Swigert, Jr., Apollo 13 Command Module Pilot, holds the “mailbox” a jerry-rigged arrangement which the Apollo 13 astronauts built to use the Command Module lithium hydroxide canisters to purge carbon dioxide from the Lunar Module. Lithium hydroxide is used to scrub CO2 from the spacecraft atmosphere. Since there was a limited amount of lithium hydroxide in the Lunar Module, this arrangement was rigged up using the canisters from the Command Module. The “mailbox” was designed and tested on the ground at the Manned Spacecraft Center before it was suggested to the problem-plagued Apollo 13 crewmen. Because of the explosion of an oxygen tank in the Service Module, the three astronauts had to use the Lunar Module as a lifeboat.

Apollo 13 Faces CO2 Crisis in Lunar Module Until Scrubber Is Made (15 April 1970) — An interior view of the Apollo 13 Lunar Module (LM) during the trouble-plagued journey back to Earth. This photograph shows some of the temporary hose connections and apparatus which were necessary when the three Apollo astronauts moved from the Command Module (CM) to use the LM as a “lifeboat”. Astronaut John L. Swigert Jr., command module pilot, is on the right. An unidentified astronaut on the left holds in his right hand the feed water bag from the Portable Life Support System (PLSS). It is connected to a hose (center) from the Lunar Topographic (Hycon) Camera. In the background is the “mail box,” a jury-rigged arrangement which the crew men built to use the CM lithium hydroxide canisters to scrub CO2 from the spacecraft’s atmosphere. Since there was a limited amount of lithium hydroxide in the LM, this arrangement was rigged up to utilize the canisters from the CM. The “mail box” was designed and tested on the ground at the Manned Spacecraft Center (MSC) before it was suggested to the Apollo 13 astronauts. An explosion of an oxygen tank in the Service Module (SM) caused the cancellation of the scheduled moon landing, and made the return home a hazardous journey for astronauts Swigert, James A. Lovell Jr., commander, and Fred W. Haise Jr., lunar module pilot.