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".


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: 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.


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: 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.


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: 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.


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.


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: Moments before and during the lift-off of the Saturn V, Ken Mattingly is shown to be watching from a somewhat private grassy field. Wherever he is supposed to be, he is far too close to the launch pad. No unauthorized persons were allowed to be that close, and certainly not in an undisclosed and unsupervised area, not the least of which was for security reasons. The fact that Mattingly is an astronaut would not give him carte blanch to do this, and his training and discipline would prevent his ever attempting doing so in the first place. In reality, Mattingly was in Houston at Mission Control at the time. Otherwise it is a nice shot.

More mistakes in Apollo 13

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

More quotes from Apollo 13

Question: When Aquarius is descending during re-entry, why is the Navy preparing Search & Rescue instead of the Coast Guard?

Cubs Fan

Chosen answer: Aquarius was most likely going to splashdown in international waters; since the U.S. Coast Guard only has jurisdiction within American waters, the Navy would have to rescue them.


Answer: Because the Navy was assigned the Search, Rescue and Recovery task for all of NASA's space program. Imagine how long it would take the Coast Guard to get to the other side of the world.


More questions & answers from Apollo 13

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