13 MORE Things That Saved Apollo 13, part 10: ‘MacGyvering’ with Everyday Items

Apollo 13 images via NASA. Montage by Judy Schmidt.

Apollo 13 images via NASA. Montage by Judy Schmidt.

To celebrate the 45th anniversary of the Apollo 13 mission, Universe Today is featuring “13 MORE Things That Saved Apollo 13,” discussing different turning points of the mission with NASA engineer Jerry Woodfill.

The night of the explosion on Apollo 13, engineers working in Mission Control and the back-up Mission Evolution Room (MER) assessed the situation. There were numerous failures in different systems, and finally, instead of just looking at the failures, the engineers had to determine what was actually working on the spacecraft in order to rescue the crew.

A relatively recent term called ‘macgyvering’ was definitely at work during the Apollo 13 mission. Named for the lead character in the television series MacGyver – who usually used duct tape, a Swiss Army knife and anything else he could find to get himself out of sticky or dangerous situations -– macgyvering means solving complex problems by taking something ordinary and using it in an unusual way, but it works perfectly.

The engineers working during the Apollo 13 mission may have been the original “MacGyvers.” (…)
Read the rest of 13 MORE Things That Saved Apollo 13, part 10: ‘MacGyvering’ with Everyday Items (1,676 words)


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