Apollo 13 came to theaters on June 30, 1995. Nine academy award nominations later, the film is still a fan favorite after 25 years. In honor the critically acclaimed film's anniversary, here are some facts and tidbits about Apollo 13!


Scenes were shot in a reduced-gravity aircraft, nicknamed "vomit comet"

Zero Gravity Corp.

This aircraft flies in parabolic trajectory to achieve the effects of zero gravity, but it only lasts for about 20 seconds. In total, the crew spent 13 days working in this aircraft and flew 612 parabolic arcs.

'Apollo 13' is director Ron Howard's favorite

Ron Howard - Facebook

Ron Howard has directed many hits like A Beautiful Mind, The Da Vinci Code, Parenthood, and Willow, but to him, Apollo 13 is his favorite out of all of them. (IMDb Trivia)

Several of Ron Howard's family members appeared in the film

Apollo 13 - Universal Pictures

Clint Howard, Ron's brother, played the role of flight controller Seymour Liebergot. His father played a priest, his mother played Jim Lovell's mother, and his wife and daughter were crowd members.

Real photos from the Apollo 8 mission were used for some shots where the Earth can be seen through the windows

Apollo 8 - NASA

The collection of photos taken by astronauts Jim Lovell and Bill Anders in 1968 on the Apollo 8 mission are still so breathtaking and were actually used in Apollo 13.

Marilyn Lovell lost her ring in real life, too

NASA

In the film, we see Jim Lovell's wife lose her wedding ring down the shower drain. Marilyn Lovell says that this happened in real life, saying, "To me, it felt like the worst omen of all" but she was later able to get the ring back (AMC).

Tom Hanks got an asteroid named after him

NASA

After his role in the film, Tom Hanks actually got an asteroid named after him. The asteroid is called 12818 Tomhanks (1996 GU8) and was discovered by a group of astronomers called Spacewatch who observe from University of Arizona telescopes.

Each spacesuit costs $30,000.

The budget for Apollo 13 was not cheap, with each of the spacesuits costing $30,000. (IMDb Trivia)

Brad Pitt was offered a role

C. New Line

Brad Pitt was offered to play the role of Jim Swigert but instead starred in the movie Se7en. He says that after Apollo 13 came out, his mother called him to tell him what a great movie it was and that he should work on more movies like that, so he had to tell her that he turned Apollo 13 down to work on Se7en, and that she needs to wait to see that! (Film Ink: Close Casting Calls)

Beef-a-roni stew was used to simulate vomit

Universal Pictures

In the film, Bill Paxton's character, Fred Haise throws up, so stew was used to simulate that. In a bet between Hanks and Paxton, Paxton had to eat the leftover stew. (E! Online)

"Houston, we've had a problem"

In the movie, we hear Hanks say "Houston, we have a problem." In reality, Jim Lovell says "Ahh, Houston, we've had a problem" but only in response to Jack Swigert first saying "OK Houston, we've had a problem here" and mission control misunderstanding, having him repeat what he said. (IMDb Trivia)

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