Top 15 Apollo 13 Movie Facts

Following is our collection of Apollo 13 facts. Handpicked and verified, these little-known details can be obscure enough most people will miss. These behind the scene easter eggs and hidden messages will give you another view of Apollo 13 film message.

As the astronauts prepare for re-entry, you can see a large tropical storm below them. This is because a tropical storm almost forced the Apollo 13 landing site to be changed, but the storm moved out of the area at the last moment.
As the astronauts prepare for re-entry, you can see a large tropical storm below them. This is because a tropical storm almost forced the Apollo 13 landing site to be changed, but the storm moved out of the area at the last moment.

At the end of Apollo 13, while the crew is greeted on the aircraft carrier, Tom Hanks as Jim Lovell explains in voiceover what became of the major characters in later years. He saves himself for last and says "As for me..." at the precise moment when he shakes the real Jim Lovell's hand.

Apollo 13 Trivia

These trivia from Reddit and other sources can be used as questions with answers in quizzes or games.

  1. The zero-gravity scenes in Apollo 13 (1995) were filmed in NASA's "Vomit Comet" aircraft. By the end of filming, Tom Hanks, Bill Paxton, and Kevin Bacon had each amassed more "weightless time" than any astronaut in history.

  2. Instead of using CGI or wires to get the effect of zero gravity, the filmmakers used a padded, windowless Boeing 707 which climbed up to 30,000 miles, giving them a 23 second time frame to shoot the scenes. The actors and crew did this about 40 times.

  3. Jim Lovell wore his old Navy Captain's uniform in the scene where he greets the astronauts aboard the U.S.S. Iwo Jima. When Ron Howard asked Lovell if he'd like to be in the film as the ship's Admiral, Lovell agreed, but pointed out, "I retired as a Captain; a Captain I will be."

  4. After the accident in Apollo 13 (1995), Houston instructs the astronauts to stop all urine dumps. The exchange sounds like filler, but in real life the situation caused Fred Haise to return to Earth with a serious urinary tract infection.

Apollo 13 Hidden Details

The overhead projector machine breaks down. Flight Director Kranz doesn't waste any time trying to fix it, but instead comes up with a new plan to get the job done using only the resources on hand. This scene marks the beginning of the rescue effort.

1 - She dreams the control panel in the spacecraft inaccurately (because she would not have known the correct layout and was dreaming), but in the "real" movie spacecraft, the panel is accurate to the actual Apollo cabin.
She dreams the control panel in the spacecraft inaccurately (because she would not have known the correct layout and was dreaming), but in the "real" movie spacecraft, the panel is accurate to the actual Apollo cabin.
1 - One comment card given to Ron Howard said that they had disdain for the film, as it was a "traditional Hollywood ending and in reality they would not have gotten home safely!"
One comment card given to Ron Howard said that they had disdain for the film, as it was a "traditional Hollywood ending and in reality they would not have gotten home safely!"
1 - Tom Hanks' character says 'We've lost The Moon' whilst out of the window you can see The Moon move out of view
Tom Hanks' character says 'We've lost The Moon' whilst out of the window you can see The Moon move out of view

The zero-gravity scenes in Apollo 13 (1995) were filmed in NASA's "Vomit Comet" aircraft. By the end of filming, Tom Hanks, Bill Paxton, and Kevin Bacon had each amassed more "weightless time" than any astronaut in history.

When the first stage of the Saturn 5 is released, the center engine isn't glowing. This is accurate. As the rocket burns fuel, it gets lighter and accelerates harder. To reduce G forces, the center engine shuts down early.

1 - - Tom Hanks (James Lovell) is slightly wide eyed with a smirk during lift off, while his crew is not. He was the only one of the crew to have flown before.
- Tom Hanks (James Lovell) is slightly wide eyed with a smirk during lift off, while his crew is not. He was the only one of the crew to have flown before.
1 - Tom Hanks plays astronaut Jim Lovell. The man saluting Hanks here is Jim Lovell himself. Ron Howard wanted Lovell to play an admiral, but since he retired a captain, that's the uniform he wears in this scene
Tom Hanks plays astronaut Jim Lovell. The man saluting Hanks here is Jim Lovell himself. Ron Howard wanted Lovell to play an admiral, but since he retired a captain, that's the uniform he wears in this scene
Apollo 13 poster
Apollo 13 poster

Apollo 13 Plot

NASA must devise a strategy to return Apollo 13 to Earth safely after the spacecraft undergoes massive internal damage putting the lives of the three astronauts on board in jeopardy.

Cast and Details

Here are the full cast and crew of Apollo 13. The goofs, crazy credits, and trivia they have performed may have not taken your attention. Some are hidden for a reason, while others randomly forgotten.

Genre Adventure, Drama, History
Director Ron Howard
Stars Tom Hanks, Bill Paxton, Kevin Bacon, Gary Sinise
IMDB score 7.6