When it comes to achievements to be proud of, Omega is not at all bad. Especially in everything that has to do with the conquest of space : it was the only brand to survive the rigorous tests of NASA, it is the only brand on board all the space missions of the agency and, of course, it is supreme honor to have been the first – and unique – clock on the Moon . But his great moment in space , where he really proved his worth, took place in another mission, Apollo 13 , which would eventually be known as “the successful failed mission” – and which even gave a film , with Tom Hanks.
Apollo 13 was launched on April 11, 1970 and would be the third mission to go to the Moon, following the success of Neil Armstrong & Co.’s Apollo 11 and Apollo 12. Only days after departure, on the way, the explosion hydrogen tank triggered a series of breakdowns. Going to Earth’s natural satellite was no longer an option and it was now a matter of getting the three astronauts back safely.
Speedmaster “Silver Snoopy Award” 50th AnniversaryPhoto: Omega
Houston, we have a problem
With the incident, the module of Jim Lovell, John Swigert and Fred Haise left the route and that meant that they would no longer be able to re-enter normally and, for that, they would have to readjust the position by starting the engines for 14 seconds. Exactly. There was no margin for error, “thirteen point to anything” seconds and burned in the Earth’s atmosphere and more than 14 “crashed” into the atmosphere and went through space without any chance of rescue. The problem is that without power, they had neither the stopwatch nor the ship’s computers. Nothing. And that was when the Omegas proved their importance on board .
James “Jim” Lovell, the captain of the mission explained it well “when the ship’s clocks stopped it was then that we resorted to the Speedmasters . We had to start the engines for 14 seconds, and turn off, and we counted that time on Jack Swigert’s watch. ”
Thomas Stafford, former leader of Apollo 10 and, at the time, chief of NASA astronauts, supports the story: “there was no power to start the chronometers, nor the computers, we just had the watch. It was OMEGA that brought them back , and so we decided that we should receive the Silver Snoopy Award . ”
The prize – a silver pin, designed by Charles Schulz, the creator of the famous Beagle , was presented by Thomas Stafford himself on October 5, 1970, 50 years ago.