First Man

First Man (2018)

1 suggested correction

(5 votes)

Factual error: Armstrong sees the first quarter moon through one of Columbia's windows during the launch. However, the Command Module was sheathed in a protective shell that included an escape tower in the event that the launch had to be aborted. According to Michael Collins in "Carrying the Fire", the windows were covered until the tower and shroud were jettisoned when the Saturn V reached an altitude of 60 miles. Additionally, on July 16, 1969, the moon was two days past New Moon, only 4% illuminated, and would have been too thin and too near the sun's glare (from Earth's perspective) to be seen without optical aid. It did not reach the phase depicted until July 22. Later the same day, when Columbia docks and pulls Eagle out of the second stage housing, the Earth appears just shy of a first quarter phase. In fact, the Earth was nearly full, since Earth's phases are always opposite those of the moon.

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Suggested correction: Most of this comment is accurate. One quibble: the Apollo capsule was covered during launch, but the cover contained openings for the hatch window and the commander's window. In other words, Collins wouldn't have been able to see outside, but Armstrong would.

Factual error: When they are in quarantine after returning to Earth, they are in a room with several magazines. One of the magazines is an issue of National Geographic with the cover image of them standing on the moon. That is the December 1969 issue of National Geographic, whereas they were actually in quarantine in late July/early August 1969.

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Neil Armstrong: I don't know what space exploration will uncover, but I don't think it'll be exploration just for the sake of exploration. I think it'll be more the fact that it allows us to see things. That maybe we should have seen a long time ago. But just haven't been able to until now.

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Question: A lot of fuss was made over the omission of the lunar flag planting in this movie. However, when I saw the movie in the theater, I distinctly remember seeing the flag on the moon, just not the actual planting. However, that particular shot seems to be missing in the home video release. Does anyone know the reason for this?

Answer: The home release includes a clear shot of the lunar lander with the American flag next to it.

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