The “Successful Failure” That Was Apollo 13 Essay

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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. Swiggert took the place of the more experienced Ken Mattingly (played by Gary Sinese) since Mattingly was the only one not immune to the measles after one of the other astronauts had contracted it. The flight surgeon
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While the movie provides the dramatic fuel to entertain anyone that can understand the danger the men faced, the real story lies behind the successful failure that was Apollo 13 in the three astronauts and NASA experts. Within the storyline a multitude of examples of the leadership skills, theories, and traits that were all called upon in desperation to successfully bring the astronauts home can be found. The real success is seen within the leadership attributes of Apollo Commander Jim Lovell, Flight Director Gene Kranz, and the astronauts and NASA experts as two groups, as they each worked in separate ways to find solutions to the various problems that plagued this mission.
Jim Lovell was in many ways the perfect commander to have flying that disastrous mission due to his experienced background and his determination. He earned the rank of Eagle Scout as a young adult and succeeded as a pilot in the military before becoming an astronaut for NASA. These qualities showed that he had the main characteristics of a team leader; he was capable of being directive and participative as both his Scouting and military service would have required him to be. Most importantly Lovell was achievement-oriented, always striving to do better and challenge the process by looking for improvement. This can be seen through Tom Hank’s performance in the movie by his constant restatement of everything NASA is telling

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