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 May 5, 2005
Engineers who helped save Apollo 13 to be honored
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JOHNSON SPACE CENTER, HOUSTON They helped save Apollo 13 by fitting a square peg in a round hole.

Some of the engineers who provided the astronauts on the crippled spacecraft with clean air are being honored today at the Johnson Space Center in Houston.

They used plastic bags, cardboard and duct tape to modify square lithium hydroxide canisters to fit into round openings in the lunar module. The astronauts used the lunar module as a lifeboat after an oxygen tank on the main ship exploded on the way to the moon.

Without the jury-rigged device fashioned by the astronauts with the engineers' instructions, a buildup of carbon dioxide would have eventually killed the space travelers. Jim Lovell, Fred Haise and Jack Swigert returned safely to Earth 35 years ago Sunday.

The NASA workers are being honored by GlobalSpec, a company that runs an engineering search engine.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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