Apollo 13

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.

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.

Trivia: In an interview, Ron Howard revealed that, after a test screening, he was concerned about an audience reaction card that rated the film as "terrible" until he read a comment on the card dismissing the ending as "more Hollywood b*llsh*t", saying that had it happened in real life, the astronauts "would never have survived".

Tailkinker Premium member

Trivia: When Bill Paxton vomits they used Beef-a-Roni stew for the vomit. Since they only had to use a spoonful for each take, they had half a can left at the end of the day. After losing a bet with Tom Hanks, Bill had to then eat the rest of the can. Bill Paxton confirmed this personally at an autograph signing.

Trivia: Marilyn Lovell did lose her wedding ring in the shower before hubby had his "problem." Check the audio commentary on the DVD. It wasn't added to the movie for dramatic effect. The ring, however, was recovered.

Trivia: Ron Howard's mother and father have cameos in the film. Ron's father, Rance Howard, plays the priest who keeps a vigil with the family, and his mother, Jean, plays Jim Lovell's mother.

wizard_of_gore

Trivia: Thomas K. Mattingly (played by Gary Sinise), is bald (as opposed to Gary's full head of hair), and about 8 inches taller than the actor. Adm. Mattingly also speaks with a Texas accent.

Bruce

Trivia: Many people have claimed that Lovell's LEVA (Lunar Extra-Vehicular Visor Assembly) is incorrect because it shows a Navy Anchor and "No LEVA had that." Interestingly enough, Jim Lovell's flown LEVA had a blue box containing the Navy Insignia, a custom made helmet and the only one of its kind in the entire program. NASA has a photo of it on their Apollo Lunar Surface Journal which can be viewed here: http://www.hq.nasa.gov/alsj/a13/a13LovellVisor.jpg.

Trivia: To make the effect of the actors in space they flew in NASA's KC-135 aircraft which simulated the weightlessness in space. All of the scenes where you can see the whole body of the actors are in the aircraft, and when it's only a part of the actor's body it's on ground.

Trivia: The Apollo 13 mission has a lot to do with the number 13. It's called Apollo 13, it took off at 02:13 Houston time from complex 39A (which is 3 x 13), the launch date was 11 April 1970 (4+1+1+7+0 = 13), and the problem occurred 2 days later, on April 13.

OL1V3R666

Trivia: Jack Swigert actually said "Houston, we've had a problem." It was changed in the film to "we have a problem" so the audience would know it was an ongoing problem and the crew were still in danger, also for Tom Hanks to deliver the line.

Bishop73

Trivia: During the broadcast, Fred starts playing the song "Spirit in the Sky," and Jim mentions it should have been the theme from "2001." In real life, the crew actually did play the theme from "2001." In this case, the film was joking about altering history for artistic purposes.

Vader47000

Trivia: The EECOM Arthur is actually John Aaron, who was from Gerald Griffin's team of controllers. There is no such thing as EECOM Arthur. He was instrumental in saving both Apollo 12 and Apollo 13.

Trivia: Ron Howard's brother Clint is cast in this movie. He plays the flight controller White Team Electrical, Environmental and Consumables Manager (EECOM) Sy Liebergot.

Factual error: When the cabin temperature drops, an astronaut's breath is visible. His visible breath rises as he exhales. This is an effect of gravity - on earth the water vapor in breath, which is the component that becomes visible in the cold, rises because it is lighter than the surrounding air. Since the astronaut was in a "weightless" environment, his breath should have travelled in a straight path from his mouth into the surrounding atmosphere, rather than rising.

More mistakes in Apollo 13

Gene Kranz: I don't care about what anything was *designed* to do. I care about what it *can* do.

More quotes from Apollo 13

Question: Did the interior of the Apollo 13 spacecraft really become cold, and frosty as shown in the movie?

Answer: From what I have read, according to the real astronauts, it was not as cold in the capsule as was depicted in the film. The movie exaggerated that for dramatic effect.

raywest Premium member

More questions & answers from Apollo 13

Join the mailing list

Separate from membership, this is to get updates about mistakes in recent releases. Addresses are not passed on to any third party, and are used solely for direct communication from this site. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Check out the mistake & trivia books, on Kindle and in paperback.