Alfred Lunde and Apollo 13

Most people, in particular, scientists and people merely in interested in space issues will undoubtedly remember the dramatic days of April 1970. Apollo 13 was the third mission with a moon landing and further investigation of t the surface as the primary goal, however, the lunar landing was aborted after an oxygen tank exploded two days later. Despite great hardship caused by various unforeseen problems the crew returned safely to Earth.

The dramatic days and the name Apollo 13 is well known. Lesser known is the fact at the Norwegian engineer Alfred Lunde played a key role in securing a safe return for the crew, calculating of new orbital parameter for the way back to the Earth ultimately, leading to a safe landing in the ocean 17 April, 1970.

Alfred Lunde was born in Os in the western part of Norway in 1942, but unfortunately he died already in 1996, only fifty four years old.  In 1970, a few years after having received his Masters Degree from the University of Texas as a Graduate Engineer. He held a prominent position in NASA and in the Apollo Programme. Due to his heavy involvement during the dramatic days in April 1970, he, like some others, received the Presidential Medal of Freedom.


The three astronauts, Lovell, Swigert and Haise received personal medals from the President, while Alfred Lunde was the one in the team who received the honours as a group.




Featuerd picture: An Apollo capsule after landing. Not Apollo 13. Credit NASA.