Apollo 13 - The Movie Essay Sample

Published: 2018-04-19
Apollo 13 - The Movie Essay Sample
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Space Science Movie
Pages: 5
Wordcount: 1142 words
10 min read

Mission of Apollo 13

The mission of Apollo 13 has been severally cited as NASA's greatest moment. Analyses indicate that NASA's missions are not short-term projects. In fact, a majority take several years to be completed. The mission to the moon had been successfully planned for several years. Unfortunately, an accident occurred hence crippling NASA's operation to the moon. The objectives of going to the moon were more than just visiting the moon and going back to earth. However, the mission to the moon was not as easy as initially expected. In fact, just two days into the mission the service module oxygen tank exploded. Similarly, the first tank failed. The movie illuminates the mission to land on the moon and the reaction of NASA’s leadership, the role of organization culture and the influence of organizational frames to the mission that offered a hand to attain the success of the team (Bolman, & Deal, 2003). Despite the disappointments which include, service model oxygen tank explosion and first tank failure. History indicates that the leaders played an influential role in guaranteeing the composure of the team to the completion of some of the objectives that took them to the moon.

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NASA's missions to the moon were beyond just a visit to space and the return to earth. One of the objectives of NASA was to establish an ideal technology that would meet all the interests of the nation in space. To this effect, NASA would identify whether there are other alternatives to technology that would satisfy NASA's objectives. Similarly, the team sought to attain for the United States preeminence in space. Also, NASA attempted to conduct a program of scientific exploration to the moon. Thus, any incidences regarding the moon would be better managed. Finally, NASA intended to identify man's capability of working in the lunar environment. It was believed that lunar space had little to offer regarding air, gravity and other critical elements that make the survival of man possible on earth. Thus, the exploration would provide a platform upon which NASA could gauge man’s capability to survive and work on the moon.

NASA managed to complete some of its mission and failed to attain others. The mission to the moon was disrupted by the accident that occurred on the second day of the exploration. Apollo 13 experienced an explosion that led to the damage of the oxygen system. The leaders of the mission had to abort the initial objectives of the team and instead focus on saving the lives of other astronauts. It was hard to pursue its original goals when it was evident that the lives of the astronauts were at stake. Thus, NASA was forced to scrap off its initial target of the exploration at the moon and abandon the trip. Entirely new procedures were to be written and tested to ensure the safety of the crew (Tove, 2016). The crew had to identify an ideal navigation alternative that would offer the safest and quickest return home.

NASA Culture

The organization culture at NASA illuminates a team that is working together and willing to cooperate with each other to fulfill its objectives of going to the moon. When it was evident that the trip would be unsuccessful, the whole team worked together in a bid to save the lives of the explorers (Tove, 2016). The team had to reconfigure itself to find an effective solution to avert the crisis at hand. Thus, the collaboration of the people of NASA stands out as a significant culture to emulate. Similarly, the team demonstrated trust for each other. It was essential that all members show firmness and confidence that would enable them to fulfill the objectives of its second mission and hence save the lives of all its crew members.

The leadership of NASA's team stood out. Several leadership approaches are prominent to be emulated from the exploration. This was due to competent leadership that was working together with other staff. All individuals in the team were aware that the failure of the mission would force them to abandon the mission for the Earth (Tove, 2016). Thus, the crew responded immediately to the need to work towards saving the team irrespective of their position. The other leadership style that stood out in the exploration was the concept of servant leadership. The leaders of the project were more concerned about the lives of the crew, rather than the attainment of fame based on the completion of the project. Thus, NASA’s leadership stands out as one that is concerned about the welfare of its employees.

Organizational frames of guiding organization leadership, which redefined perspectives on organization structure image and politics. The leaders of the team should evaluate each current organizational practices in four different ways which include: Symbolic, Structural, Political and Human resource frames. (Bolman & Deal 2003). While using reframing approach leaders ends up being inspirational and efficient doing their organizational roles. Human resource frame pays attention to the relationship between each organization and its manpower. The political frame enables managers and leaders to recognize and participate in political fields of organizations. The structural frame shows the role of society structure in organizational function. The symbolic frame demonstrates the power of belief meaning and faith in the management and leadership of the organization.

Human Resource Frame

The most ideal for NASA is the human resource frame. The leaders were more concerned about the safety of the people in the team. To this effect, even the mission was abandoned when it was evident that the lives of the team were at stake. Organizations that value their human resource are more likely to post superior results compared to those that do not value their employees. I believe that if NASA approached the situation using a different frame, for example, Symbolic frame, it is probable that it would be incapable of saving the lives of the crew since other frames give more emphasis to the attainment of the objectives of the organization at the expense of the welfare of its employees.

The leadership of the NASA played a vital role in determining its success through the use of the human resource frame. The success of Apollo 13 was dependent on the capacities of its leadership to steer the team to safety. It is evident that organization culture and the leadership styles of its management played an influential role in stimulating the responses of the team to safety. Bolman and Deal (2003) frames of organization function indicated that the firm had a positive attitude towards their human resources hence the success.


[Tove Rislakki]. (2016, Nov 4). Apollo 13 (1995) Full Movies HD - Tom Hanks, Bill Paxton, Kevin Bacon. [Video File]. Retrieved From https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gg3BKYaR1Ws

Bolman, L. G., & Deal, T. E. (2003). Reframing organizations: Artistry, choice, and leadership. John Wiley & Sons.

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