Geek Fact for April 13th

In 1869, George Westinghouse patented the steam power brake.

The new braking system was to replace the standard manual braking system, which was often faulty. He incorporated the Westinghouse Air Brake Company that same year. The 1893 Railroad Safety Appliance Act made air brakes compulsory on all American trains.

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In 1970, Apollo 13 had an oxygen tank explode en route to the Moon.

Oxygen tank No. 2 blew up, causing No. 1 tank also to fail. The Apollo 13 command modules normal supply of electricity, light, and water was lost, and they were about 200,000 miles from Earth. Jack Swigert, Apollo 13’s Command Module Pilot, saw a warning light that accompanied the explosion, and said, “Houston, we’ve had a problem here.” Their lunar landing aborted, the Apollo 13 crew — Swigart, Commander James A. Lovell, Jr. and Lunar Module Pilot Fred Haise, Jr. — all returned safely to Earth four days later. For all of the amazing accomplishments that NASA has had over the years, the safe return of the Apollo 13 crew is arguably their best achievement.

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