Apollo 13

Apollo 13 (1995)

1 mistake since 25 Oct '20, 17:39

(10 votes)

Factual error: In the reentry scene in the Command Module, the astronauts are sitting with their backs are against the Earth and the CM is decelerating. The condensed water droplets should be dropping towards the Earth not the opposite. In the movie, the droplets fly away from the Earth. (02:06:00)

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Suggested correction: The drops are coming off the panel and dripping onto the astronauts, so toward the heat shield. This is the correct direction given the capsule is decelerating.

jimba

Marilyn Lovell: Naturally, it's 13. Why 13?
Jim Lovell: It comes after 12, hon.

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Trivia: The Apollo 13 mission set a record for the greatest distance from Earth ever achieved by mankind. This occurred because unlike the other Apollos, Apollo 13 did not make a burn behind the moon to drop into lunar orbit. The free-return trajectory the mission followed took the spacecraft farther behind the moon than any other mission.

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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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