Moonraker

Factual error: Although it's already been mentioned that the scene of the shuttle being stolen from the back of the 747 is impossible because the shuttle wouldn't be fueled while being transported, it should also be noted that even if the shuttle was fueled, it would still be just as impossible: During the getaway, the thieves ignited the shuttle's 3 main engines to get free of the 747 and escape: the thing is, the shuttle's main engines are fueled entirely by the large external tank the shuttle and the solid fuel boosters are attached to during liftoff, and once the tank is jettisoned, these engines cannot be used. The only engines the shuttle's internal fuel feeds are the reaction control thrusters, and the Orbital Maneuvering System (which are the two smaller engines located in the bulges just above the main engines). Both the RCS thrusters and OMS engines are almost totally useless within the atmosphere, so even if the thieves managed to get the shuttle free of the 747, they could only get it as far as it would glide unpowered: In fact, they could probably get it farther if it wasn't fueled.

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Factual error: The space station rotates for pseudo-gravity, but everyone falls along the rotational axis towards the bottom of the screen instead of falling outward from the axis as they actually would. Admittedly this would be difficult to film (Stanley Kubrick's astronaut jogging in a giant hamster-wheel in Space Odyssey - nuff respect) so I guess they just hoped the audience wouldn't know the difference.

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Factual error: Two pilot/astronauts steal a space shuttle by firing it up and launching it off the back of the Boeing 747 transporter. This cannot happen : the 747 can't lift the shuttle with a full fuel load - it only just lifts it empty. (Why would they carry a fully fuelled shuttle anyway?)

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Factual error: The space shuttles in this film are supposed to be the same that we use but they attach on the space station beside their airlock. It's impossible for the astronauts to enter the station.

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Dr Wilson

Factual error: When Jaws jumps from one cable car to the other there is no way he could have leapt the distance he does considering the way he hops off the first cable car.

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Paul Bessant

Factual error: As Bond switches his gondola to hovercraft mode in Venice, a large skirt unfolds from the bottom of the craft. There could never be enough room below the deck of a gondola to store the folded skirt plus whatever fans and machinery the air cushion drive would require.

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Doc

Factual error: When a real shuttle is launched (or any other large rocket) the exhaust must be deflected sideways and guided through massive tunnels or trenches so that it does not bounce back into the base of the vehicle and destroy it. The Moonrakers lift off from inside an enclosed structure with no means of guiding the massive exhaust plume safely away. The tiny tunnel through which Bond and Holly escape would have been utterly useless to vent the exhaust of a real shuttle. In common with other movies, the noise and violence of a real launch simply cannot be portrayed accurately.

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Factual error: Drax hides his station by "jamming" Earth radar. However, jamming involves blasting out noise to confuse radar. At the very least, it would alert authorities that something was up there.

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Factual error: Jaws cuts one of the steel ropes of the cable car by biting through it. Even with his metal teeth it would have been impossible for him to do that - to cut such a large steel rope would require hundreds of tons of pressure.

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Factual error: Prior to the boat chase, Bond is travelling up river, so he shouldn't wind up at the top of a waterfall.

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Factual error: Space shuttles are designed to glide and not fly like a plane - even if the stolen shuttle was flown off the plane it would not make it to Drax's jungle base.

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Factual error: Moonraker 6 with Holly and James on board jettisons its booster rockets after reaching space. The solid fuel boosters are jettisoned after they burn out at about 50 km height, far below orbit. Their empty weight is considerable, it is highly doubtful if the shuttle would even be able to carry them into orbit.

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Doc

Factual error: When Bond and Goodhead's space shuttle enters space, it still has the main fuel tank attached. However, when Bond releases the fuel tank it falls downward. It should maintain its momentum in orbit around the Earth until atmospheric drag (which extends out to high orbit) causes the orbit to decay over many years.

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Tobin OReilly

Factual error: When James Bond is in the control room of the secret base, I think it's when the second shuttle takes off, there's the time at the bottom of the TV screen moving forward, but it's written T- instead of T+.

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Dr Wilson

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Quotes

[The staff of MI6 are watching a large screen that shows Bond and Dr. Goodhead making love in space.]
Minister: My god, what's Bond doing!?
Q: I think he's attempting re-entry, sir.

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Mistakes

At 1:46:22 roughly, we see one of the Space Marines. He's standing almost full on to the camera with a slight turn to screen right. He gets blasted and he dies.But at 1:46:29 he's back and in the same position.

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Trivia

The film's budget had been more than the first six Bond films added together, but Broccoli's gamble paid off. Upon release in the Summer of 1979, the film enjoyed huge success globally, and the film easily recouped its budget.

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