The maths that saved Apollo 13

This is a really interesting article about the impromptu maths notes that were crucial for the safe return of the Apollo 13 space vessel in 1970. When things went awry, it was these calculations that meant the crew and shuttle were saved.

It’s amazing to think that we can now read these carefully worked out calculations which were to make the difference between success and total disaster. It’s no wonder that James Lovell wanted his arithmetic to be double checked!

The notes were recently sold at a US auction for $388,375 (approximately £249,807).

I love the fact that often these brief moments in our history, written on poor quality paper with fading modern inks and made purely for utilitarian purposes can end up holding so much significance for future generations.

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