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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Now before I'm gunned down, let me explain what I mean. I've not seen the film or know that much about the doomed mission. But my understanding was that Commander James Lovell used his Speedmaster Professional for both the timing and interval of thrust for critical engine burns as they rounded the moon and set a course for home and the Speedmaster was crucial in assisting the timing of the engine burns to attain the correct re-entry angle.

Now was this time interval hours and minutes or was it seconds? (Please excuse my ignorance) Because if it was just seconds, hypothetically, nearly all watches would be as accurate as each over a time lapse of say 15 to 30 seconds. So (again hypothetically), if NASA had allowed any chronograph on board, it would have been just as useful in saving the men's lives as the Speedmaster. Am I correct in my understanding or should I just go join another forum and never return for thinking that of the iconic and legendary Speedmaster? :confused1:
 

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Hi Fergie,

I don't think Omega were awarded the "Snoopy" award simply because the Speedy Pro could time a period of 17 seconds (I seem to remember). It was more to do with the reliability of the watch in the conditions that it was presented with.

Any watch with a seconds hand, as you rightly say, would be capable of the timing function. However, how many could be relied upon to do this in the conditions of space?

So, it comes down to a question of reliability in extreme conditions other than it's a ability as a timer.

I hope this answers your query.
 

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Also, you have to remember at that point it was below freezing (32 degrees F)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I hope this answers your query.

To be quite honest, I'm not sure what my querie is anymore. I posted this thread on another forum and got a totally differant response.

The question I was asking (or trying to ask) is the Speedy saved those men's lives because of it ability to time. But if any other watch was allowed (hypothetically), would those men still have survived if they had used my Pulsar for example?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Eric is the mod on the Omega forum on WUS and he answered the question like this. Hope you don't mind me doing this Zin, I promise I won't make a habit of it, but I thought Eric answered it and worded it perfectly.

I think it's an interesting point, Fergie, and others have stated things well. Indeed, just about any watch with a second hand (not even a chronograph) may have been able to time the burns with similar accuracy. Unfortunately, the mission was cut short, so Speedy never really got the opportunity to face the truly harsh conditions that we know it can withstand. But, while it's possible that a different watch might have succeeded, we'll never know. What we do know is that Speedy did.

eric


Hopefully you can all forgive me for even questioning the ability of the Speedy, and therefore I don't have to get the bus back to TZ.
 

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Dear Mr Ferguson

Thank you for your enquiry about the timing capabilities of the OMEGA Speedmaster Professional.

I see that a number of our members have offered their best views on this but I’ll see what I can add to it.

It would I think be fair to say that the time interval of 14 seconds which Astronaut Jack Swigert was called upon to time the particular burning phase of the Lunar Module’s engines could have been done with another chronograph. However as Tricky pointed out none of the other chronographs ever made it to the point upon which they would be required to perform the task. The Speedmaster’s qualification to be used on all manned space flights rests on the tests performed by NASA and as we know, only one watch survived those tests – the OMEGA Speedmaster Professional.

Therefore in answer to your question as to whether the Speedmaster really was that special on Apollo 13, well I think the appropriate answer should be that it was the only watch special enough to get on board Apollo 13.

Incidentally I do not believe it is the policy of WTF to send anyone back to TZ on a bus or indeed any other means of transport.


With my very best WIShes

Houston
 
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