Apollo 13: Snoopy times-14 seconds of fame.

Jan 11, 2019,06:48 AM

The 7th manned mission launched on the 11.04.70. This was to be the third moon landing. On board were James Lovell, John Swigert and Fred Haise.

Approximately 56 hours into the mission, (about 205,000 miles from Earth), the astronauts heard a loud bang. Oxygen tank 2 immediately went to 0, and within 3 minutes tanks 1 and 3 also were depleted. The oxygen tank in the SM had exploded. 

The CM had to be shut down to conserve energy for a return home and in effect the LM had become a lifeboat.


The consequences were far reaching, there was a resultant loss of heat, a shortage of water and oxygen. The CO2 scrubbers were modified to allow for more conversion into oxygen. The modification relied on equipment on board that could be hastily modified to perform a new role.

The ground crew carried out an assessment of the damage and with Flight Director Gene Kranz at the helm, came up with a recovery plan.  They decided that the best way to effectively get the crew back to Earth would comprise using the gravity of the moon to sling shot the craft back to Earth and use lunar module’s Descent Propulsion System (DPS) to guide it on the correct trajectory.



However at the angle of descent they were at, the CM would ‘bounce’ straight back into space. To correct for this, the crew had to burn the engines for an allotted time to change the trajectory to allow for the correct angle of entry into the Earth’s atmosphere. 


Swigert would time the burn using his Speedmaster- the Speedmaster would get its 14 seconds of fame. And an award- the famous Snoopy award.


The mission lasted till the 17.04.70 – successfully returning the crew home alive. It may not have been a success in the mission sense, but certainly was a huge success in the resourcefulness of human endeavour.

Speedmaster was naturally the choice of chronograph. Although likely to be a ref 105.012 it is unclear which variant was worn by James Lovell.

However, will the real Snoopy Speedmaster please stand up! YES- we know the REAL SNOOPY reference- Swigert wore a reference 105.012-66 CB case!


This must make this case reference now a legendary reference.

Picture Credit : rocco1109 Timezone

Haise also wore a ref. 105.012-66 CB case.

pic credit Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum

In summary:


James Lovell: probably a variant of the reference 105.012- unclear

John Swigert: “Snoopy” ref. 105.012-66 CB

Fred Haise: ref: 105.012-66 CB

More posts: MuseumSeamasterSpecialitiesSpeedmaster

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Many thanks for this series, Imran!

 By: Seeks : January 11th, 2019-07:58
I was waiting for Apollo 13! Best regards

Another great post, Imran!

 By: blomman Mr Blue : January 11th, 2019-09:13
Thank you! Best Blomman

Thank you for a great read.

 By: nasseriq : January 11th, 2019-12:29
Best Reubin

Failed mission,

 By: Adamska : February 11th, 2019-22:05
but as you said, monumental achievement of the crew. The mission logo is my favorite one of all, second favorite being the Apollo 1 and third the Apollo 11 . Cheers, Filip