Essay on Lost Moon vs. Apollo 13

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Lost Moon vs. Apollo 13

“Houston we have a problem,” those words caught the attention of the world on April 13, 1970 during the flight of Apollo 13. The movie Apollo 13, made in 1995, is based on Jim Lovell’s autobiography called Lost Moon, published in 1994. Lovell was the commander of the Apollo 13 mission; Tom Hanks played him in the movie. The crew also included Jack Swigert and Fred Haise. In general, the movie does a good job of portraying the flight of Apollo 13; however there are some significant differences. The producers of the movie consulted with Jim Lovell while making it, and he wanted it to be as accurate as possible. One reason for the deviations is that if the movie showed everything in the book,
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Particular scenes like this one make the movie more personal, rather than just scientific. One fact that is accurate about the movie that may surprise some viewers is that the astronauts’ families had NASA PR representatives living with them during the missions. Jim Lovell’s mother was not actually mentioned in the book as she was in the movie. Finally, during the mission, the astronauts had a TV show that was supposed to be broadcast back to Earth, but the networks chose not to show it; NASA officials decided to go ahead with the broadcast anyway, because it would get some publicity. This was very accurate in showing how people were beginning to lose interest in the space program. However, in the movie the astronauts weren’t told that they weren’t on the air, but they actually knew in the book. In the movie, Jack Swigert, one of the astronauts, mentioned that he hadn’t paid his taxes yet. In the book, he actually said that, but not during the TV broadcast.

The second major difference between Lost Moon and Apollo 13 is that there are several things in the book that are left out of the movie. Lovell describes his childhood and earlier career a lot in the book, but most of it is left out of the movie. He grew up in the Midwest and was in the Navy. If everything from the book were included in the movie, it might have been ten hours long, and many people would not have understood it.

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