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ENC 3246: Professional Communication for Engineers

This guide provides you with information sources for the various assignments in Professional Communication for Engineers course.

Apollo 13

Apollo 13 is a well-known, iconic real life failure that was
made famous by a blockbuster Hollywood movie and is
often referred to as a "successful failure" because although
the mission failed the astronauts were returned to earth
safely. Apollo 13 launched on April 11, 1970.



[1] J. Lowell and J. Kluger, "Lost moon: The perilous voyage of Apollo 13",
     Houghton Mifflin, Boston, 1994.
Available at the Marston Science Library TL789.8.U6 A5488 1994

Why did it fail?

A routine stir of an oxygen tank ignited damaged wire insulation inside the oxygen tank which resulted in an explosion. As a result, the oxygen in the module was discharged into space, leaving the astronauts with a very limited oxygen supply to return home.

Example Sources

[1] J. Kauffman, "A successful failure: NASA’s crisis communications regarding Apollo 13", Public Relations Review, vol. 27,  no. 4, pp.437-448, Winter 2001.
[2] B.L. Anderson, "A Case Study on the Failure on Apollo 13," in 29th International System Safety Conference (ISSC), Las Vegas, no. M11-0715. August 2011.
[3] W.R. Cofer, H.W. Leonard, M.M. Mikulas Jr, and H.G. Morgan, "Simulation and analysis of panel separation from the Apollo 13 service module", No. NASA-TN-D-6087, Dec. 1, 1970.
[4] G. Kranz, "Failure is not an option: Mission control from Mercury to Apollo 13 and beyond". Simon and Schuster, New York, 2001.
[5] Standard Practice for Preparation of Aerospace Contamination Control Plans, ASTM International Standard E1548, Oct. 2017.


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