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First Man (2018) Poster

(2018)

Goofs

Jump to: Anachronisms (1)  | Continuity (3)  | Factual errors (19)  | Miscellaneous (1)  | Incorrectly regarded as goofs (1)  | Revealing mistakes (1)  | Spoilers (1)

Anachronisms 

When the men are watching the Sputnik space flight the outlets the television is plugged into are three-pronged outlets. In the sixties there were only two-pronged outlets.
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Continuity 

The word "NASA" on the tail of Armstrong's X-15 is in yellow lettering when he lands but (correctly) in black after the recovery team arrives.
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When the photojournalist is shooting at Armstrong's home, the close-up of the photographer is mirrored/reversed. The Leica camera he is holding normally has a transport knob on the left hand side.
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When Armstrong stands on the very edge of a moon crater looking into it, between wide and high shots his distance from the crater rim shifts.
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Factual errors 

Neil Armstrong never trained in the spin test device, known as MASTIF (multi-axis spin test inertia facility). The device was used for the original Mercury program astronauts but was deemed unrealistic and abandoned. It is considered an irony in space program history that Armstrong never trained in this device and yet is the only astronaut actually to experience the condition is simulated.
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The interiors of the various spacecraft are shown as slightly grubby, with the appearance of grime and fingerprints. Actual spacecraft are kept scrupulously clean to reduce the possibility off floating debris causing an equipment failure.
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The windows on the command and lunar modules are heavily streaked throughout the trip to the moon. The CM windows are sheathed by the launch escape system until the rocket clears low level clouds, while the LM windows are enclosed within the third stage cowling until after the rocket leaves Earth orbit. The windows should be clear, as is evident in the pictures and movies taken during the original moon flight.
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Transmissions between the earth and the Apollo capsule as it neared the moon were shown as comments and instant responses while, in fact, the moon is 240,000 miles away and there is a 1.4 second delay in the time it takes for electronic signals to travel that distance. Thus, a comment on one end would take 1.4 seconds to reach the receiver with another 1.4 seconds for the response - a total of 2.8 seconds minimum between making a comment and receiving a response.
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The movie depicts lunar terrain as incredibly rugged with sheer crater walls and cliffs. In one scene Armstrong stands on the brink of a crater that looks like a deep, dark, well. In fact slopes on the Moon are very gentle, almost never greater than 35 degrees, due lack of wind and water erosive processes. Actual lunar terrain has a smooth appearance thanks to sandblasting by micro-meteoroids for billions of years.
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Neil's spacecraft vibrate mightily during launches, but in reality, astronauts have reported the ride up rather smooth.
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The astronauts can see out of what appears to be all of the Command Module windows during the Apollo 11 launch. The launch escape tower actually covered the windows on the Command Module, except for the hatch window, until the Launch Escape tower is jettisoned.
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The launch sequence is incorrect. The Saturn V main stage engines start 8 to 9 seconds before the actual launch of the rocket. Then all of the umbilical connections swing away at once and the hold-down clamps release.
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Armstrong is shown being introduced to Buzz Aldrin and Roger Chaffee in August 1965 as though he hadn't met them before. They had actually been selected into the space program in October 1963 so Armstrong would have known them quite well by then. In the same conversation he is told that Dave Scott has been assigned to be his pilot on Gemini 8. Scott was in the same astronaut group as Aldrin and Chaffee.
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After the LEM lands physically on the moon, Aldrin says "Contact light" and Armstrong says "Engine stop". In fact the contact light comes on when the lander is about 5 feet above the surface (from a strip which hangs down from the LEM's feet), and stopping the rocket engine allows the lander to fall the rest of the way, so these things were actually said immediately before the Eagle rested on the ground, not afterwards.
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When Neil is looking out the window of the spacecraft, the moon is shown in last quarter phase. In reality, it was just after Full Moon.
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During the LTV simulation, the "Lunar Module" is seen plummeting straight to the ground while exploding in mid-air but with Neil ejecting himself just in time. Although Neil did eject himself before the explosion, the LTV explosion was a little different. In the footage from 1968, unlike the movie, the LTV is seen coming to the ground. Then, it starts to climb up and almost reach 90 degrees before exploding.
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In the scene on the pad just prior to the Gemini 5 launch, Deke Slayton advises Neil that he has been selected to command Gemini 8, and suggests that it will probably be the first docking mission. However, Gemini 6 was already planned as the first docking flight, and didn't achieve that goal owing to the launch failure of its Agena target vehicle.
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From Cape Kennedy, the Moon had just risen and was only 14 degrees above the horizon at liftoff - so the Moon was not visible to the astronauts looking upward through the hatch window.
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The X-15 flight depicted in the film where the aircraft bounces back out of the atmosphere occurred on April 20, 1962 not in 1961 as shown in the movie.
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During the scene showing Neil and Buzz in the quarantine facility (watching a rerun of JFK's 'We choose to go to the moon...' speech at Rice University in 1962), the camera scans across many different newspapers and magazines covering the flight in a nearby shelf. One of the magazines was National Geographic. NG's cover article on Apollo 11 wasn't until the December 1969 issue.
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The movie depicts Neil's wife at home in Houston during the moon mission. In fact, families were routinely at the launch site during the event. Both Armstrongs are also shown driving a beat-up '62 Chevy throughout the movie. They surely would have gotten a better car in seven years. In fact, GM lent the astronauts new Corvettes as an ad for the car's high performance image.
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In this film Bob Gilruth is depicted as having a full head of hair and Buzz Aldrin is bald. In real life, at the time of the Apollo Program Gilruth was bald and Aldrin had hair.
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During translunar injection, the crew were mandated to have helmets and gloves on (source: Carrying the Fire, Michael Collins). In the film they are shown without.
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Miscellaneous 

The exterior view of the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) has the USA flag painted on the side of the building. This was not present during the Apollo Era. This painting was completed in 1976 for the country's Bicentennial.
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Incorrectly regarded as goofs 

In the last meal before the Apollo 11 crew heads into space, Neil Armstrong is shown eating using the European style, with fork in left hand with the tines pointed down. This surprises some American viewers but Armstrong did eat this specific breakfast in that specific manner - it is seen in the famous sketch by Paul Calle and various photographs for example.
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Revealing mistakes 

When one of the astronauts is shown collecting a lunar soil sample, the crotch strap of his spacesuit is undone.
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Spoilers

The goof item below may give away important plot points.

Factual errors 

Towards the end of the Apollo 1 fire, an exterior shot shows the hatch accompanied by a loud thud, presumably a breach of the inner wall of the capsule. No one else is there and there are no flames or smoke coming from within after the inner wall breach. The scene does not depict the ground crewmen who frantically tried to open the hatch from the outside or the flames and smoke that hampered their rescue efforts.
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See also

Trivia | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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