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OMEGA and Apollo 13: 14 decisive seconds between success and failure

OMEGA and Apollo 13: 14 decisive seconds between success and failure

For these days of Easter I propose,

instead of a watch review, a pleasant reading celebrating a date that has gone down in history.

I am referring to the Apollo 13 mission,

which took off exactly on 11 April fifty years ago;

at take off no one would have imagined what would happen.

The crew, commanded by veteran astronaut James Lovell,

was headed for the moon.

It was to be the third human lunar landing

and the new chapter of the Apollo project.

The astronaut team, which included Pilot Module Commander Jack Swigert

and Lunar Module Pilot Fred Haise,

was equipped with the OMEGA Speedmaster Professional Chronograph,

part of NASA’s official manned mission kit since 1965.

As always the timepieces had been supplied as essential components

of the mission’s equipment. James Ragan,

the NASA engineer who first tested and qualified the OMEGA Speedmaster in 1964, recalls:

“The clock was a critical backup factor.

If the astronauts had lost the ability to talk to the earth or use their digital timers,

the only object they could rely on would be the watch on their wrist.

He had to be there in case they had any problems. ”

Which happened on Apollo 13 two days after launch.

An oxygen tank exploded on board, paralyzing the service module

and putting the astronauts in a situation of real danger.

The mission to the moon was abandoned

and the only important mission was to bring the crew home safely.

Part of the groundbreaking rescue plan, led by Houston,

was to have the crew move to the Lunar Module.

This module was not meant to accommodate that many people for a long time.

Consequently, to conserve energy, the crew turned off most of the power supply,

rendering its timers obsolete, and leaving the astronauts at the mercy of freezing, dark conditions.watch

Apollo 13 was put to the test over the next few days,

as NASA worked around the clock to overcome an increasingly unstable situation.

But it was to overcome the last hurdle that OMEGA’s mecidiyeköy escort essential precision was needed.

Since the mission had deviated by 60/80 nautical miles,

the module would have re-entered the atmosphere at the wrong angle

and bounced back into space with no possibility of recovery.

Therefore, to manually adjust the spacecraft’s course,

fuel consumption of exactly 14 seconds was required with no room for error.

Without the digital timers, Swigert used his OMEGA Speedmaster chronograph to calculate ignition,

while Lovell steered the spacecraft using the Earth’s horizon as a guide.

As Mission Commander Jim Lovell later said:

“We used the OMEGA watch that Jack had on his wrist and I checked the spacecraft.

Jack timed the ignition of the engine to make the correction that he brought us safely home. ” The maneuver worked perfectly and on April 17 Apollo 13 landed in the southern Pacific Ocean.replica omega

In that same year, on October 5, 1970,

OMEGA was awarded the “Silver Snoopy Award”

by NASA as a symbol of gratitude for its contribution to the success of manned space missions. When the prestigious award was created, Snoopy was chosen by NASA as an unofficial mascot, for his ability to play down in difficult situations. Even today, the silver pin is an award that recalls OMEGA’s history in space exploration and even more the important role it played in the “successful failure” of Apollo 13.best replica watches

Happy Easter everyone and stay home!

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