Overcoming functional fixedness: Apollo 13

In 1970, America embarked on her third manned mission to the moon - Apollo 13. However, two days after the launch an explosion occurred in an oxygen tank in the service module, also damaging another oxygen tank and causing a loss of electrical power. The command module only had enough oxygen and electrical power for the last few hours of the mission leading up to reentry into the earth's atmosphere. Therefore, the three-man crew had to use the lunar module as a lifeboat for four days. However, because this had only been designed for two men for three days they found their air becoming increasingly polluted with carbon dioxide.

The command module had additional filters for removing carbon dioxide, but these were incompatible with those in the lunar module. Mission Control found a way for the astronauts to construct a "jury-rigged" filter, by using a variety of items that were available in the spacecraft. In this way, they overcame functional fixedness. Here is a clip from the movie Apollo 13:

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