Essay on Leadership on Apollo 13

Essay on Leadership on Apollo 13

Length: 746 words (2.1 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview



Eugene Kranz Returns Apollo 13 to Earth

Case Study #1

Eugene Kranz Returns Apollo 13 to Earth

On April 13, 1970, NASA's Mission Control heard the five words that no control center ever wants to hear: "We've got a problem here." Jack Swigert, an astronaut aboard the Apollo 13 aircraft, reported the problem of broken down oxygen tanks to the Houston Control Center, less than two days after its takeoff on April 11th. Those at the Control Center in Houston were unsure what had happened to the spacecraft, but knew that some sort of explosion had occurred. This so-called explosion sent Apollo 13 spinning away from the Earth at 2,000 miles per hour, 75 percent of the way to the moon. In order to get the astronauts back to the Earth's atmosphere would be to utilize the moon's gravitational pull and send them back towards home, like a slingshot. However, this procedure would require three days, and this demanded more oxygen and electricity than the crew had available to them. Eugene "Gene" Kranz, head of this flight mission, although looking on in horror, began thinking of solutions to the problem immediately after the Controls were aware of the problem on board. Knowing that the options of refueling the spacecraft with oxygen or retrieve the astronauts himself, he needed to think of a strategy for a safe return. In this sense, if his solution fails, it could result in the biggest catastrophe in NASA history.

There were dozens of people ready on the ground to assist this cause in whatever way possible, but no one helped this mission survive like Eugene "Gene" Kranz, especially that all final call decisions were in his hands. However, this also gave him the ability to break or bend the rules if necessary, whatever...


... middle of paper ...


...y to delegate, and task efficiency. When Eugene needed answers, he asked specific questions. When he needed something done by a colleague, he asked specifically, to avoid confusion. Three specific characteristics that Eugene Kranz possessed in order to get this mission completed were reassuring the crew and members in the Houston Controls Center, devising a plan that was thorough and specific, and self-discipline in order to ensure that the correct steps were taken and that no guessing was involved (to avoid error).

Also, Eugene Kranz had a lot of pessimism on his back to begin with when he was first made aware of the problem with the Apollo 13. Many people didn't think that there was a surviving chance for the astronauts, and in the end, the Houston Control Center, under the command of Eugene Kranz, was able to save the lives of three lucky, yet brave, men.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay on Apollo 13 Leadership

- Apollo 13 and Leadership On April 10th James "Jim" Lovell, John L. Swigert, and Fred W. Haise embarked on one of the most historic missions in NASA history. Three days later on April 13th, while performing a routine stir on the O2 tanks, the Apollo 13 mission suffered a terrible electrical malfunction and was forced to make an emergency return mission. The movie has forever contributed two phrases to our everyday cultural vocabulary, "Houston we have a problem", communicated by Jim Lovell, and "Failure is not an option", voiced by Gene Kranz....   [tags: American History]

Better Essays
821 words (2.3 pages)

Essay about The “Successful Failure” That Was Apollo 13

- The “Successful Failure” That Was Apollo 13 Shortly after Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed and walked successfully on the Moon for the first time in history, another lunar mission almost ended in disaster without the valor and strong leadership it took to get three men back to Earth. Jim Lovell (played by Tom Hanks), Jack Swiggert (played by Kevin Bacon), and Fred Haise (played by Bill Paxton) blasted off on the Apollo 13 mission on April 11, 1970, in trying to collect samples from the surface of the Moon and survey it....   [tags: Film Analysis]

Better Essays
1772 words (5.1 pages)

Essay on The Apollo Moon Missions

- July 16th, 1969. It’s a peaceful morning at Cape Canaveral with pleasant temperatures and little wind. All is calm. Suddenly, a tremendous roar shatters the morning as the crew of Apollo 11 blast off toward the moon, riding the biggest rocket ever created. Burning 20 tons of explosive fuel a second, it propels Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins into history. The spacecraft lands four days later on the moon. Millions watched as men took the first steps on a strange place 238,900 miles away, or 9 and ½ times around the earth....   [tags: NASA space program]

Better Essays
1676 words (4.8 pages)

Organizational Life Style For A Leadership Position Essay

- Introduction: In preparation for a leadership position, one must gain additional knowledge as it pertains to different situations, interactions with employees, and within the organization. This essay will focus on four areas; organizational life style, the readiness of employees in different situations as well as gain an understanding of characteristics associated with leadership, and explain the need to consider all that is involved in leadership when in a leadership role. Overview: In the movie Apollo 13, the support team of people working in Houston’s Mission Control was presented with the task in solving a life threating catastrophic event in space with the hope of retuning the crew back...   [tags: Leadership, Situational leadership theory]

Better Essays
818 words (2.3 pages)

Gene Kranz and Apollo 13 Essay

- Gene Kranz and Apollo 13 On April 17, 1970, Gene Kranz brought the Apollo 13 spacecraft safely back to earth demonstrating extraordinary courage and heroism. The hit film, Apollo 13, chronicles Kranz's struggle to devise the plan that would bring the ship and its crew of three astronauts home after its oxygen system failed. Kranz retired from NASA in 1994 after 37 years of federal service, and is currently a consultant and speaker. "Failure is not an option", the motto that carried him through the Apollo 13 crisis, is a major theme of his motivational message....   [tags: Informative]

Free Essays
282 words (0.8 pages)

A Successful Failure in Apollo 13 Project Essay

- ... The Launch of Apollo 13 took place on the 11 April 1970, it consisted of a crew, James A. Lovell, JR which was a commander, John L. Swigert, Jr., which was a command module pilot and Fred W. Haise, Jr., who was a Lunar module pilot. It appears that all test modules were successfully in preparation for the launch. However some issues arose before the launch where the Astronaut Thomas K. Mattingly was alleged found to have German measles and there were no antibodies. He had to be replaced by John Swigert....   [tags: mission, moon, crew]

Better Essays
832 words (2.4 pages)

Essay about The History of the Apollo Missions

- When the crew of Apollo 11 splashed down in the Pacific Ocean on July 24, 1969, Americans hailed the successful completion of the most audacious and complex technological undertaking of the 20th century: landing humans on the moon and returning them safely to earth. Just over eight years before, when President John F. Kennedy proposed the manned lunar landing as the focus of the United States' space program, only one American - Lt. Comdr. Alan B. Shepard, Jr. - had been into space, on a suborbital lob shot lasting 15 minutes....   [tags: essays research papers]

Better Essays
2851 words (8.1 pages)

Essay on John F. Kennedy and the Apollo Space Program

- Where would our country be today if Neil Armstrong never took that trip to space and walked on the moon. President John F. Kennedy's announcement on May 25, 1961 that his goal was to send an American safely to the moon and back to earth before the end of the decade possessed his qualities as a visionary leader. First we will discuss who John F. Kennedy was, why he was an effective visionary leader and identify the key team players in the Apollo Space Program who put the first man on the moon. C....   [tags: placing a man on the moon]

Better Essays
1012 words (2.9 pages)

Managing The Unmanageable : Apollo, Space Age Management And American Social Problems

- The idea that money was being improperly spent was a view that people had on both the arms and space race. The government tried to convince and even distract Americans into believing that all the money they were spending was worth it in order to make sure they could continue to stay ahead of the Soviets. The opinion specifically about the spending on more nuclear weapons was centered around the idea that the government was essentially spending not spending money to help the sick and hungry, but rather create weapons that will only amount to more sick and hungry people....   [tags: Cold War, World War II, Nuclear weapon]

Better Essays
1449 words (4.1 pages)

The Hunger Games, By Gary Ross Essay examples

- On the big screen, women have often been treated as second-class citizens and portrayed as helpless creatures, waiting to be rescued by their Prince Charming. This gender gap came to a halt when The Hunger Games (Dir. Gary Ross) was released in theaters. The brave Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) - stood up for someone else – even when it meant risking her own life. The Hunger Games was not only one of the top grossing movies of the year, but it was also one of the very few movies where a woman was able to display her stability and willingness to fight....   [tags: Apollo 11, Moon, Mockingjay, Suzanne Collins]

Better Essays
1243 words (3.6 pages)