"Houston, we've had a problem."

...were the words Jerry Woodfill heard in his headset that Monday evening, April 13th, 1970 shortly after 9:00 PM. As Apollo 13's Mission Warning System Engineer, he noted the Master Alarm indication on his telemetry monitor. His thought was, "I hope my system isn't giving a false warning. If so, I'll have some explaining to do."

Since joining NASA as a Rice University Bachelor of Science graduate in Electrical Engineering, Jerry had been assigned the Apollo command module and lunar-lander alarm systems. Having conferred with Apollo astronauts to assure moon ship failures would sound an alarm, Jerry remained sensitive to mission malfunctions. Appropriately, he was monitoring Apollo 13 at the Manned Spacecraft Center when the vehicle exploded. Not only did Jerry's system function properly, it was the first warning of a grave situation which threatened the lives of Jim Lovell, Fred Haise, and Jack Swigert, Apollo 13's crew. The Tom Hanks and Ron Howard movie APOLLO 13 depicts the heroism of the crew and the ingenuity of the flight controllers and mission engineering team. Jerry was among those who shared the Presidential Medal of Freedom awarded Apollo 13's Mission Operations Team. Yet, his is an insider's account adding another dimension to the story. Jerry relates unique answers to world-wide prayer as a testimony to God's intervention in the rescue of Apollo 13. For nearly three decades, he has shared the story hundreds of times in more than a dozen countries via slideshow presentations, television and radio interviews, breakfast, luncheon, and dinner meetings.


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