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Very little of the thousands of hours of Mission Control audio on the website has been heard or documented. As you find moments of interest, post them here for discussion.

Author Topic: Apollo 13 Film vs Reality  (Read 3336 times)

Offline bfeist

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Apollo 13 Film vs Reality
« on: March 12, 2020, 08:52:18 pm »
The Apollo 13 in Real Time volunteer team have assembled this series of links to specific mission moments for easy comparison between the Hollywood film, and what really transpired in 1970. Below each film clip are links to the real moments on https://apolloinrealtime.org

Feel free to reply to this thread and add more as you find them.

Ben


Apollo 13 (1995) - Suiting Up Scene
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kn8k_ox5OXs
https://apolloinrealtime.org/13/?t=-03:49:22
https://apolloinrealtime.org/13/?t=-03:34:58
https://apolloinrealtime.org/13/?t=-03:08:41

Apollo 13 (1995) - Go for Launch Scene
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lMtWWls4oas
https://apolloinrealtime.org/13/?t=-00:04:00&ch=14 (head for the hills)

Apollo 13 (1995) - Houston, We Have a Problem Scene
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C3J1AO9z0tA
https://apolloinrealtime.org/13/?t=055:52:57 (“Stir O2 tanks”)
https://apolloinrealtime.org/13/?t=055:54:52 (Explosion)
https://apolloinrealtime.org/13/?t=055:55:18 (Swigert, “Ok Houston, we’ve had a problem here.”)

Apollo 13 (1995) - A New Mission Scene
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XLMDSjCzEx8
(didn’t happen)

Apollo 13 (1995) - Failure Is Not an Option Scene
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tid44iy6Rjs
(didn’t happen)

Apollo 13 (1995) - Square Peg in a Round Hole Scene
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ry55--J4_VQ
https://apolloinrealtime.org/13/?t=080:20:25 (Brand tells the crew about LiOH plan)

Apollo 13 (1995) - Duct Tape and Cardboard Scene
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f6F6MzMT2g8
https://apolloinrealtime.org/13/?t=079:04:13 (deke holding CO2 adapter)
https://apolloinrealtime.org/13/?t=090:08:43 (instructions read up to crew)

Apollo 13 (1995) - Just Breathe Normal Scene
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UNYBtjHAuSA
https://apolloinrealtime.org/13/?t=076:07:10 (kind of)

Apollo 13 Story Part 6 - Adjusting Angle of Re-entry Scene
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wm628c3sgt8
https://apolloinrealtime.org/13/?t=058:04:04 (please check my arithmetic)
https://apolloinrealtime.org/13/?t=058:05:41 (checking arithmetic)

Apollo 13 (1995) - It's Been a Privilege Flying With You Scene
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zZTH3HdE8Sg
(didn’t happen)

Apollo 13 (1995) - Re-Entry Scene (11/11) | Movieclips
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s_7PfocHTmc
https://apolloinrealtime.org/13/?t=142:39:37 (LOS CSM)
https://apolloinrealtime.org/13/?t=142:49:58 (we show you on the mains!)
« Last Edit: March 13, 2020, 07:15:53 am by bfeist »

Offline Tim Hamilton

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Re: Apollo 13 Film vs Reality
« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2020, 01:38:02 pm »
Oh, that's really helpful, Ben et al.!

I have my students go watch Apollo 13 before we do the simulator, and I always get questions about how close to reality the scenes were.  I'll send these to them.

Offline MattMason

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Re: Apollo 13 Film vs Reality
« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2020, 09:04:29 pm »
Didn't know you had a forum, Ben! Glad to find it. Was great to be part of the A11 beta test for the last site. (It's "KS" from the Hipsters on FB.)

Here's one of my favorite bits of cinematic realism. Actors Brett Cullen and Ben Marley. Cullen was a composite of CAPCOMs but was mostly Jack Lousma, who was on station at the time of the accident. Marley was a dead-ringer for the real John Young, which he played.


The left photo is of the actors. Compare to the actual mission photo of the real astronauts.


Offline spacewhippet

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Re: Apollo 13 Film vs Reality
« Reply #3 on: April 13, 2020, 09:13:06 pm »
I found a bunch of articles which state that while Kranz never said "Failure is not an option," he claims to have said "I have never lost an American in space, sure as hell aren’t going to lose one now. This crew is coming home. You got to believe it. Your team must believe it. And we must make it happen." Do you happen to know if this was recorded, or if it is otherwise documented somewhere?

Offline Naraht

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Re: Apollo 13 Film vs Reality
« Reply #4 on: June 25, 2020, 05:07:10 pm »
Apollo 13 (1995) - A New Mission Scene
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XLMDSjCzEx8
(didn’t happen)

In a way this did happen, just not as it was depicted in the movie.

Obviously a decision was made not to try to use the SPS for a direct abort. I'm certain it was discussed in many places by many different people, but at one point Gene Kranz just decreed on the loop that this option should be ruled out in the abort planning. This was a mere hour after the accident. No one argued with him.

https://apolloinrealtime.org/13/?t=056:50:51&ch=8

Whatever planning you do, I want to do assuming that we're going around the Moon and we're using the LM for performing maneuvers, because in the present configuration, unless we get a heckuva lot smarter I think we're wasting our time planning and using the SPS... So I think all of our return-to-Earth type planning should be assuming the use of the LM DPS and/or RCS. And I think third priority down the line should be CSM RCS.
« Last Edit: June 26, 2020, 03:34:56 am by Naraht »

Offline Acanthus

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Farewell Aquarius, Fred Haise's Illness, Medical Mutiny, and my thoughts
« Reply #5 on: July 03, 2020, 05:42:35 pm »
I thought I might share some more scenes/lines from the movie that stood out to me as interesting! In no particular order, here they are:


1. Farewell, Aquarius: When Apollo 13’s beloved liftboat and lunar module Aquarius is jettisoned in the movie, Fred Haise woefully remarks, “She sure was a good ship”.
In reality, it is Jack Swigert who says this.

(142:31:13) Swigert, “She sure was a good ship”: https://apolloinrealtime.org/13/?t=142:31:13

Additionally, CAPCOM Joe Kerwin can be heard saying 'Farewell, Aquarius, and we thank you' in the same movie scene. This line is genuine.

(141:30:05) Kerwin, “Farewell, Aquarius, and we thank you”: https://apolloinrealtime.org/13/?t=141:30:05




2. Haise’s Illness: The urinary tract and kidney infection that left Fred Haise in pain for the last several hours of the flight goes undiscussed on the air-to-ground loop. However, the movie scene in which Lovell is seen embracing Haise to share his body heat is taken almost word-for-word from Jim Lovell’s book, Lost Moon: The Perilous Voyage of Apollo 13, as well as other accounts about the mission.

I was unfortunately unable to track down a YouTube clip of this scene, but here’s an except from Lovell’s book:

“Staring out his porthole at the panorama outside, Lovell said, 'Freddo, it’s about time we bailed out of this ship.'
From behind him, Haise said nothing.
'Freddo?'
Lovell turned to face his crewmate and was brought up short by what he saw. Braced against the bulkhead, Haise was a paler shade of grey than Lovell had seen him the entire trip. With his eyes closed and his arms folded tightly against his chest for warmth, he had begun to shake violently with chills.
'Fred!' Lovell said, allowing more alarm than he had intended to creep into his voice. 'You look awful.'
'Forget it,' Haise said with an unconvincing wave. Forget it. I’m fine.'
'Yeah,' Lovell said, drifting over to him. 'You look just terrific. Can you hold out two more hours?'
'I can hold out as long as I have to.'
'Two hours, that’s all you have to hang on for. After that, we’re floating in the South Pacific, we open the hatch, and it’s 80 degrees outside.'
'Eighty degrees,' Haise repeated a little dreamily, and began to shiver again.
'Man,' Lovell muttered, 'You are a mess.' Moving up behind Haise, the commander wrapped him in a bear hug, to share his body heat. At first the gesture seemed to accomplish nothing, but gradually the trembling subsided.”
(Jim Lovell and Jeffrey Kluger, pages 325-326).

Lovell also remarks in his book that Haise was not exactly keen on “accepting inquires into the matter,” hence why we probably didn’t hear anything about Haise’s illness in the air-to-ground loop. I also believe that there were certain patient confidentiality measures that NASA had to follow; besides the CAPCOM, the flight surgeons were the only people in Mission Control that could occasionally talk directly to the astronauts to maintain privacy.




3. Medical Mutiny: Alright, this one is one of my favorites. In the movie, after receiving a request from the flight surgeons that the astronauts get some sleep, Jim Lovell grows impatient. He tears off his biomedical sensors--the array of electrodes and wires that recorded body the vitals stats of the astronauts and relayed them down to the ground. Much to the flight surgeon’s bewilderment, Haise and Swigert soon follow suit, and all three astronaut’s heart rates flatline on mission control’s displays.
When the CAPCOM inquires as to why they’ve suddenly lost biomedical telemetry, Lovell’s reply is terse: “I’m not wearing my biomed sensors, Houston.” Classic.

You can watch the scene here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eaieUNAuuq4

Okay, let me break this scene down.
It is true that Lovell did remove his biomed sensors. Houston is asking for Lovell to switch his biomedical sensors on and trying to understand why they are receiving no telemetry. Lovell’s reply is very similar to the movie:

(098:54:45) Lovell, “Now you know, Houston, I don’t have BIOMED on”: https://apolloinrealtime.org/13/?t=098:54:45
Listen for a flight controller’s exclamation of, “oh, okay!” directly after on one of mission control’s loops.

A couple of other things: I haven’t found any evidence that Haise and Swigert also removed their biomed monitors as they did in the movie. I’m inclined to think it was just Lovell.
Also note in the movie scene that Jim Lovell says “I’m sick and tired of the entire western world knowing how my kidneys are functioning!” In reality, Apollo-era biomedical monitoring systems did not monitor kidney function. From what I understand, they only tracked pulse, blood pressure, respiratory rate, and body temperature.
As far as motivation goes, Lovell discusses why he removed his biomeds in his book. According to him, he took them off for a few reasons: the glue on the electrodes was itchy and uncomfortable, he wanted to save power, and he was bothered by the issue of privacy. “Jim Lovell had long prided himself on his ability to keep emotions out of his voice… But while the voluntary nervous system responds to such exertions of will, the involuntary one doesn’t, and nobody could control the accelerated respiration and triphammer heartbeat that even the most impenetrable pilot could experience in an emergency.” (Lovell and Kluger, 270)
Finally, in case you missed it in the transcript, you can also hear a recording of some biomedical telemetry here: https://apolloinrealtime.org/13/?t=032:37:00




I could go on, but I’ll leave it at that for now. I hope somebody out there finds these interesting! I’d love to hear your thoughts. :)