By Amira Shehata
Friday, 03 November 2023 05:00 PM
NASA revealed today that Ken “DK” Mattingly. American astronaut who visited the moon In 1972, he died at the age of 87. Mattingly is best known for his key role in ensuring the safe return of the Apollo 13 crew after he was removed from the crew due to exposure to rubella.
According to the British newspaper “Daily Mail”, he later assumed the role of command module pilot on the Apollo 16 mission and was the shuttle commander on two space shuttle missions.
“NASA astronaut DK Mattingly was essential to the success of the Apollo program, and his legendary character will ensure that he will be remembered throughout history,” said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson.
Born in Chicago in 1936, Mattingly joined the U.S. Navy shortly after graduating college in 1958, where he flew jets from an aircraft carrier.
Mattingly applied to join NASA’s fifth astronaut crew in 1966 and was selected as one of 19 candidates for astronaut training.
Thanks to his skill as a pilot, Mattingly was selected as the command module pilot for the Apollo 13 mission, however, due to an exposure to rubella, he was replaced by backup pilot Jack Zwickert only 72 hours before launch.
Apollo 13 was launched on April 11, 1960, and about 56 hours after the explosion, Swigert was in the control center with astronauts Jim Lovell and Fred Hayes, when oxygen tank number 2 in the Apollo 13 capsule exploded, causing tank number 1 to explode. will fail.
At this point, Lovell called Mission Control, “Houston, we have a problem,” and without oxygen to breathe or power the shuttle’s fuel cells, the mission’s goal was to return the crew safely to Earth.
Mattingly went to Mission Control and devised procedures to conserve energy so that the astronauts would survive and the craft could successfully re-enter the atmosphere.
Mattingly used his engineering knowledge to devise ways to conserve the spacecraft’s dwindling power supply, making re-entry possible.
“He stayed behind and made critical decisions in real time to successfully repatriate the injured spacecraft and Apollo 13 crew,” Nelson said.
Mattingly was placed on the Apollo 16 mission in 1972, which flew to Descartes Heights on the moon to collect rock samples. Throughout his career, Mattingly logged 504 hours in space, including one hour and 13 minutes of extra-vehicular operations during the Apollo 16 mission.
Mattingly was also a member of the sub-crew of Apollo 8, the first mission to visit the moon, and Apollo 11, the first man on the moon. After his work on the spacesuit and backpack.Apollo missions, he continued to help launch NASA’s space shuttle program and commanded the first space shuttle mission.