Apollo 13

Apollo 13 (1995)

3 suggested corrections

(11 votes)

Factual error: On several occasions the astronauts address the Capcom as "Andy." None of the Apollo 13 Capcoms were named Andy. Their names were Jack Lousma, Joe Kerwin, John Young and Vance Brand.

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Suggested correction: While that is technically correct, many characters were condensed or changed to suit the movie. It's not a documentary, after all, it's a movie based on true events.

stiiggy

No, it's not a documentary, but all of the other characters have their "real life" names. Why change this one?

wizard_of_gore Premium member

"Andy" was used to avoid viewer confusion between Jack Swigert and CAPCOM Jack Lousma.

They changed and condensed many items in the movie. "I vunder where Gunther Vent" quote was from Apollo 7, not 13. The EECOM John Aaron was given another name, and the "steely eyed missile man" quote was from Apollo 12. Marilyn Lovell didn't lose her wedding ring in the shower, she found it.

stiiggy

No, they used John Aaron's real first name, which did clash with John Young (played by Ben Marley) when they were in the simulator scene together.

Factual error: When Marilyn is talking to NASA on the phone, the phone has a modular connector in the handset. This would be fairly impossible since AT&T did not start installing them in houses until 1976. Prior to that they would have been hardwired. (01:03:40)

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Suggested correction: From Wikipedia: The first types of small modular telephone connectors were created by AT&T in the mid-1960s for the plug-in handset.

Suggested correction: A friend of mine had modular phone jacks in her house in the early 70s. I don't know if she had them as early as 1970 but definitely before 1976.

Continuity mistake: The direction of the spacecraft keeps changing. After the extraction of the LM (Lunar Module), the craft is travelling with the CSM (Command/Service Module) engine bell facing forward. After the explosion, it is shown with the LM facing forward. Going around the moon, and back to earth, the CSM is again facing forward.

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Suggested correction: The orientation of the spacecraft was not constant. There is no reason why it should be (and, indeed, good reason why it won't). Apollo 13 did indeed have the LM leading at some points and the CSM leading at others.

Peter Harrison

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. In April Ringo was still recording drum tracks, not even possible for an advance copy to get out.

More mistakes in Apollo 13

Fred Haise: It hurts when I urinate.
Jim Lovell: Well, you're not getting enough water.
Fred Haise: No, I'm drinkin' my rations, same as you... I think old Swigert gave me the clap. Been pissin' in my relief tube.
Jim Lovell: Well, that'd be a hot one at the debriefing for the flight surgeons... Another first for America's spacemen.

More quotes from Apollo 13

Trivia: The exchange between Lovell and his wife about holidays ("you know that Easter vacation? There's been a change of destination ... how about the moon?") in fact took place in 1968, when Lovell was assigned to Apollo 8 and so missed his planned Christmas vacation.

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Question: Why did the Apollo 13 spacecraft need a parachute? They were landing on water not solid ground. It's easier to survive a fall when landing on water, so why would they need a parachute if they were landing on water?

Answer: Spacecraft re-enter Earth's atmosphere at extremely high velocity (thousands of miles per hour). Atmospheric friction slows the spacecraft descent somewhat; but, without parachutes, the Apollo spacecraft would still reach the surface traveling at hundreds of miles per hour. Landing in water at such high speed would be like hitting concrete, which would of course be instantly fatal. Hence the necessity of multiple parachutes. The Apollo program (and all early U.S. manned space programs) chose to land in the ocean for two reasons: 1) It was easier to track spacecraft re-entry from horizon-to-horizon at sea without visual and radar obstacles, and; 2) It was faster and easier to position several Navy vessels in the general splashdown location, then deploy helicopters to rapidly retrieve the astronauts and their spacecraft.

Charles Austin Miller

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