One of the most misquoted comments of the past 30 years has to be ‘Houston we have a problem”. I have no idea how many times it has been used, but I’ll guarantee its in the many billions. Regardless of the issue, this has been the response when things go bad. The quote is wrong, it actually is “Houston we have had a problem”, and it comes from the ill fated Apollo 13 mission. Apollo was the epitome of the space race, the race to the moon, and proof positive that the US had better technology than Russia. Having lost the race to place a satellite in space (Sputnik), and having lost the race to put an animal in orbit (Laika, a dog), the US were feeling behind the eight ball. Everyone knows about Apollo XI, and “The Eagle has landed”. Without doubt it was the crowning achievement of the 1960’s space endeavours. Man finally stood on the moon.

Closely following on its heels was Apollo XII, again this was a hugely successful demonstration of equipment. One of the crowning glories of XI was its pin point landing something that XI had not been able to achieve.

“How many times can we just send ‘test pilots’ to the moon without them actually doing something more useful than providing funky ‘Moon Walk’ video”, the NASA scientists asked? Apollo XIII was the mission to resolve the problem. Yes it was still going to be ‘Space Jocks’ but this time they were actually going to do something that would appease the scientific world.

Following a perfect launch and insertion into Earth orbit, everything is go for the next burn that will take them on their 250,000 mile trip to the moon. Unfortunately a small explosion occurred knocking out several vital systems. With no way to put the brakes on and return home, the only solution is to make the trip to the moon, and using its gravity, slingshot their way back to earth.

This is a fabulous DVD, although there is a narrator, most of the story is revealed through actual video footage, both from the space craft and NASA control.

If you have a Space fan in the house, you will want to get this one, get yours today from MVD.

Simon Barrett

http://zzsimonb.blogspot.com

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