I am fascinated by the story of the Apollo13 mission. A NASA mission designed to land men on the moon, and then return them to earth. A feat that had been successfully completed by earlier Apollo missions.
This one, though, suffered an unprecedented engineering catastrophe, that left the crew of Apollo13 with a broken spacecraft and an impossible situation, with little to no likelihood of a safe return home.
Via the Brady Heywood podcast, I’ve listened to some of the recordings from mission control during the 6 days of the Apollo13 mission. I’ve read biographies and seen the movie. And I’m sure I’ll continue to pursue more about this incredible story.
What fascinates me about this story is that somehow, despite the impossible situation, with no pre-planning, against all odds, with finite resources, a sickening astronaut crew, a limited time frame and a problem that if no solution was found would result in the death of the crew, NASA successfully returned the Apollo13 crew to earth.
One of the key factors was simple. They asked better questions.
When faced with what, at the time, seemed an impossible problem to solve, Gene Kranz, the Senior Flight Director in NASA mission control, asked ‘What will make it possible?’
And the rest, as they say, is history.
A mission that looked like a disaster in the making, became one of NASA’s finest moments when the Apollo13 crew safely splashed down into the South Pacific.
So this year, when you are faced with changing conditions, challenges, limited resources and moving targets, remember to ask,
I’d love to know your thoughts.
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