Corrected entry: At one point on the return to Earth when they're about to make another burn, Lovell (Tom Hanks) looks out the window to his left at a stream of smoke or gas flowing by. At the left bottom corner a hand of the crew or someone outside of the ship is quickly noticeable, but even more so when you watch the scene in slow motion. The hand moves slightly, then quickly moves from the window as if the crew member realised what he was doing. (01:41:35)
Corrected entry: In the scene where the media is asking about the CO2 problem, Deke Slayton is sitting to the right of the NASA director, but at the same time mission control is telling the astronauts how to make the filter and when they finish you can see him patting one of the guys on the back. Somehow he is in both places at once.
Corrected entry: At the beginning of the film Walter Cronkite is narrating "a mere 18 months after the tragedy of Apollo 1..." The Apollo 1 tragedy occurred 27 Jan 67, while the moon landing of Apollo 11 occurred 20 July 69. The two events are actually separated by a little less than 30 months.
Corrected entry: As the spacecraft nears Earth the men in Mission Control remark that its angle of approach continues to wander away from plan. They figure out that it's due to the absence of the originally planned mass of moon rocks. This is wrong in several ways. First, it could not wander off course while coasting due only to the vehicle mass. From the time of Galileo it's been known that objects fall with equal acceleration (at a given distance) regardless of mass. Indeed, if that were the reason then the mass difference would not just be a lack of moon rocks, but also the extra unplanned mass of the entire lunar module. The actual reason was simply the slow leaking of gases from the damaged vehicle, acting as a low thrust rocket motor pushing it sideways. (01:53:20)
Corrected entry: In the very beginning when we see Apollo 1 on the pad, astronauts Grissom, White, and Chaffee get in and there is a fire. In the film, the fire is started by a button they press, but in reality the investigation concluded that the most likely cause was a spark from a short circuit in a bundle of wires that ran to the left and just in front of Grissom's seat. (00:01:05)
Corrected entry: While Lovell is shown in the film using the Earth as a point of reference, Lovell actually used the sun.
Corrected entry: Okay, it's an accepted science fiction convention, but "Apollo 13" is supposed to be an authoritive, documentary-style film about a failed NASA mission, not a Buck Rogers space opera. So did there really have to be sound in space in this film?
Corrected entry: When Gary Sinese is trying to figure up a power-up checklist for the command module, there is talk there is not enough power. Two men yell that it is four amps. This is discussed in the book, and it was not four amps, it was more like thirty. The power loss was caused by an automatic system that tapped the reentry batteries in case of main power failure in the service module. I assume this was changed to four amps to heighten the emotional strain (four amps is more critical than thirty.).
Corrected entry: Just after the explosion, there is a shot of Odyssey's instrument panel with the mission timer reading 91 hours and 34 minutes. The accident occurred around 56 hours into the flight. The next time the mission timer is seen, it reflects the proper time.
Corrected entry: When they're approaching re-entry, the people at mission control are blaming the shallowing of the trajectory on the lack of moon rocks. In real life, the shallowing of the trajectory was caused not by lack of rocks but by steam venting from the LEM's cooling system, as the book correctly points out.
Corrected entry: The explosion was not actually felt by the crew but in the film we see them thrown about in the cabin.
Corrected entry: In several shots where the Apollo capsule is shown traveling through space, the shadow of it is clearly visible on the starry background.
Corrected entry: The movie is set in 1970 when all telephones in the USA were analogue and had a fixed connection. However, in the movie, the phones used are connected to modular jacks (the kind used everywhere for digital connections and that can be pulled out of the socket).
Corrected entry: As the spacecraft disappears behind the moon you can hear Swigert (Kevin Bacon) saying "see you on the flip side" and a shadow begins to fall across his face. Assuming the spacecraft's attitude wasn't changing at the time, the only way a shadow (presumably of the moon) would have fallen like this would have been if the moon's phase was full or close to full, as seen from earth. The lunar landings were planned for times when the sun was low in the lunar sky, to avoid intense surface heat, thus the moon was usually a crescent as seen from earth.
Corrected entry: When Mattingly is getting ready in the simulator to try re-entry power-up procedures, he asks someone for a flashlight. The person who tries to hand him one starts grabbing for his flashlight before Mattingly asks for it. (01:18:35)
Corrected entry: when Marilyn is watching Jim talk about flying with no light in the cockpit, the carpet changes from green shag, to orange shag, and back again.
Factual error: When Lovell's daughter is complaining that the Beatles have broken up, she slams the album Let It Be into her rack. The scene takes place on the day of the initial explosion aboard Apollo 13, April 13 1970 - immediately prior to the Lovell family attending the screening of a television broadcast from the spacecraft. Let It Be was not released as an album until May 9th, 1970.
Gene Kranz: I don't care about what anything was *designed* to do. I care about what it *can* do.
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