Apollo 13 (1995) Poster

(I) (1995)

Ed Harris: Gene Kranz



  • NASA Director : This could be the worst disaster NASA's ever experienced.

    Gene Kranz : With all due respect, sir, I believe this is gonna be our finest hour.

  • Gene Kranz : We've never lost an American in space, we're sure as hell not gonna lose one on my watch! Failure is not an option.

  • CAPCOM 2 : 13, we just got another request from the Flight Surgeon for you to get some sleep. Don't like these readings down here.

    Jim Lovell : [Tearing off his biomeds]  Let's see how he likes this. I am sick and tired of the entire western world knowing how my kidneys are functioning!

    Dr. Chuck : [after Lovell's heartrate flatlines]  Flight, we just lost Lovell!

    CAPCOM 2 : 13, Houston. Jim, we just had a bottoming out on your biomeds.

    Jim Lovell : I'm not wearing my biomeds.

    CAPCOM 2 : [after Gene Kranz shrugs it off]  Ok, Jim. Copy that.

    [Jack and Fred now tear away their own biomeds] 

    Dr. Chuck : [after all three crew members flatline]  Flight, now I lost all three of them!

    Gene Kranz : It's just a little medical mutiny, Doc. I'm sure the boys are still with us. Let's cut them a little slack, ok?

  • Gene Kranz : I don't care about what anything was DESIGNED to do, I care about what it CAN do.

  • Sy Liebergot : Flight... I recommend we shut down reactant valves to the fuel cells.

    Gene Kranz : What the hell good is that gonna do?

    Sy Liebergot : If that's where the leak is, we can isolate it. We can save what's left in the tanks and we can run on the good cell.

    Gene Kranz : You close 'em, you can't open 'em again! You can't land on the moon with one healthy fuel cell!

    Sy Liebergot : Gene, the Odyssey is *dying*. From my chair here, this is the last option.

  • R.E.T.R.O. White : Flight, we are looking at a typhoon warning on the edge of the prime recovery zone.

    Gene Kranz : Say again, RETRO?

    R.E.T.R.O. White : Flight, we are looking at a typhoon warning on the edge of the prime recovery zone. Now, this is just a warning, it could miss them...

    Gene Kranz : Yeah, only if their luck changes.

  • Gene Kranz : Let's work the problem people. Let's not make things worse by guessing.

  • Jerry Bostick - FIDO White : Looks like Mrs. Kranz pulled out the ol' needle and thread again...

    Technician : Last one looked like he bought it off a gypsy.

    Jerry Bostick - FIDO White : Well I guess you can't argue with tradition.

    Technician : [Gene puts on a flight vest with an Apollo 13 patch on it, everyone begins applauding]  Hey Gene, I guess we can go now!

    Gene Kranz : Save it for splashdown fellas...

  • Gene Kranz : So you're telling me you can only give our guys 45 hours? That brings them down to about here.

    [drawing a line from the moon to about halfway to Earth, then emphasizing the difference] 

    Gene Kranz : Gentlemen, that's not acceptable.

  • John Aaron, EECOM Arthur : Power is everything.

    Gene Kranz : What do you mean?

    John Aaron, EECOM Arthur : Without it, they don't talk to us, they don't correct their trajectory, they don't turn the heat shield around. We gotta turn everything off, now. They're not gonna make it to re-entry.

    Gene Kranz : What do you mean "everything"?

    John Aaron, EECOM Arthur : With everything on, the LEM draws 60 amps. At that rate, in 16 hours, the batteries are dead, not 45. And so is the crew. We gotta get them down to twelve amps.

  • John Aaron, EECOM Arthur : We have to turn off the radars, cabin heater, instrument displays, the guidance computer, the whole smash.

    Jerry Bostick - FIDO White : Whoa! Guidance computer. What... what if they need to do another burn? Gene, they won't even know which way they're pointed.

    John Aaron, EECOM Arthur : The more time we talk down here, the more juice they waste up there. I've been looking at the data for the past hour.

    Gene Kranz : That's the deal?

    John Aaron, EECOM Arthur : That's the deal.

  • Gene Kranz : Let's look at this thing from a... um, from a standpoint of status. What do we got on the spacecraft that's good?


    Sy Liebergot : I'll get back to you, Gene.

  • Gene Kranz : EECOM, is this an instrumentation problem, or are we looking at real power loss here?

    Sy Liebergot : It's, it's reading a quadruple failure - that can't happen! It's, it's got to be instrumentation.

  • Gene Kranz : Lunar module has just become a lifeboat.

  • Gene Kranz : Come on, I want whatever you guys got on the power-up procedures. We've got to get something up to these guys.

    Deke Slayton : Gene, they're working on it.

    Gene Kranz : I don't want the want the whole damn bible, just give me a couple of chapters. We've got to give these guys something.

    Deke Slayton : They're working on it now.

    NASA engineer : I'll get over there and get an estimate.

    Gene Kranz : Goddamnit! I don't want another estimate! I want the procedures! Now!

  • Gene Kranz : God damn, see, these guys are talking about bangs and shimmies up there. It doesn't sound like instrumentation to me.

  • Gene Kranz : [agreeing to shut off the LEM's power]  Now, in the meantime, we're gonna have a frozen command module up there. In a couple days, we're gonna have to power it up using nothing but the re-entry batteries.

    GNC White : That's never been tried before.

    R.E.T.R.O. White : Hell, we've never even simulated it before, Gene.

    Gene Kranz : Well, we're gonna have to figure it out. I want people in our simulators working re-entry scenarios. I want you guys to find every engineer who designed every switch, every circuit, every transistor, and every light bulb that's up there. Then I want you to talk to the guy on the assembly line who actually built the thing. Find out how to squeeze every amp out of both of these god damn machines.

    [going to the chalkboard and drawing a dotted line from where the crew currently is down to Earth] 

    Gene Kranz : I want this mark all the way back to Earth with time to spare.

  • Gene Kranz : Gentlemen, at this moment, I want you all to forget the flight plan. From this moment on, we are improvising a new mission: How do we get our people home?

    [Goes to the chalkboard, draws a big circle representing Earth, another smaller circle representing the moon, then draws a line from the Earth to just short of the moon] 

    Gene Kranz : They are here. Do we turn them around, straight back, direct abort?

    [NASA controllers instantly start arguing] 

    Jerry Bostick - FIDO White : No, sir! No, sir! We get them on a free-return trajectory. It's the option with the fewest question marks for safety.

    Gene Kranz : I agree with Jerry. We use the moon's gravity, slingshot them around.

    R.E.T.R.O. White : No, the LEM will not support three guys for that amount of time. I mean, we've got to do a direct abort. We do an about-face, we bring the guys right home, right now.

    Booster White : Get them back soon, absolutely.

    Jerry Bostick - FIDO White : Look, we don't even know if the Odyssey's engine's even working. If there's been serious damage to this spacecraft...

    GUIDO White : They blow up and they die!

    R.E.T.R.O. White : That is not the argument! We're talking about time!

    [Controllers argue again] 

    Gene Kranz : Okay, hold it. Let's hold it down. The only engine we got with enough power for a direct abort is the SPS on the service module. From what Lovell has told us, that could have been damaged in an explosion, so let's consider that engine dead. We light that thing up, it could blow the whole works. It's just too risky. We're not going to take that chance. About the only thing the command module is good for is reentry, so that leaves us with the LEM, which means free-return trajectory. Once we get the guys around the moon, we'll fire the LEM engine, make a long burn, pick up some speed, and get them home as quickly as we can.

  • NASA Director : He specifically wanted a quote from a flight director.

    Gene Kranz : Who wanted a quote?

    Deke Slayton : The president.

    Gene Kranz : The president?

    Glynn Lunney : Nixon. He wants odds.

    Gene Kranz : We are not losing the crew.

    NASA Director : Gene, I gotta give him odds. Five to one against? Three to one?

    Glynn Lunney : I don't think they're that good.

    Gene Kranz : [firmly]  We are not losing those men!

  • INCO White : Gene, I-I'm wondering what the... what the Grumman guys think about this.

    Grumman Rep : We can't make any guarantees. We designed the LEM to land on the moon, not fire the engine out there for course corrections.

    Gene Kranz : Well, unfortunately, we're not landing on the moon, are we?

  • Grumman Rep : Gene, I want you to understand we've never tried this before: burn, cold soak, burn, cold soak, burn, manual control.

    Gene Kranz : Look, it will ignite, will it not?

    Grumman Rep : I just want you to know the engine's never been tried like this. That's all I'm trying to tell you.

    Gene Kranz : Look, I know what you're trying to do. I guarantee you, I won't hold you personally responsible. If it lights, it lights. Let Lovell do the rest.

  • Gene Kranz : Now, if Jack can't get that guidance computer data transferred before they go dead in there...

    Glynn Lunney : They won't even know which way they're pointed.

    Gene Kranz : That's right.

    Glynn Lunney : That's a bad way to fly.

  • Jerry Bostick - FIDO White : Flight, we're still shallowing up a bit in the re-entry corridor. It's almost like they're underweight.

    Gene Kranz : Now, how could they be underweight?

    R.E.T.R.O. White : We didn't land on the moon.

    Gene Kranz : Rocks?

    R.E.T.R.O. White : That's affirm.

  • Gene Kranz : Gentlemen, you've given our guys enough to survive 'til re-entry. Well done. Now we gotta get 'em in, so tell me about the power-up procedures.

  • EECOM Gold : Gene, we have a situation brewing with the carbon dioxide.

    INCO Gold : We got a CO2 filter problem on the lunar module.

    EECOM Gold : Five filters on the LEM.

    INCO Gold : Which was meant for two guys for a day and a half. So I told the doc...

    Dr. Chuck : We're already up to 8 on the gauges. Anything over 15, and you get impaired judgment, blackouts, the beginnings of brain asphyxia.

    Gene Kranz : What about the scrubbers on the command module?

    INCO Gold : They take square cartridges.

    EECOM Gold : And the ones on the LEM are round.

    Gene Kranz : [pinching the bridge of his nose]  Tell me this isn't a government operation.

    EECOM Gold : This just isn't a contingency we've remotely looked at.

    Dr. Chuck : Those CO2 levels are gonna be getting toxic.

    Gene Kranz : Well, I suggest you gentlemen invent a way to put a square peg in a round hole. Rapidly.

See also

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