Lost MoonThe Perilous Voyage of Apollo 13Review By Josh Kerber

--- Book --- Lost Moon: The Perilous Voyage of Apollo 13Written By Jim Lovell and Jeffrey Kluger Published By Houghton Mifflin

--- Movie ---Apollo 13Directed By Ron HowardProduced By Brian GrazerStarring Tom Hanks as Jim Lovell

Overview: ´╗┐Not only is Apollo 13 NASA's most successful failure, but its also one of the most famous space missions to ever take flight. The lunar landing mission of Apollo 13, commanded by veteran astronaut Jim Lovell, was to be the best accomplishment of his career in the space program. Little did he know, less than two days into the flight, an oxygen tank would explode, destroying the equipment in their service module. The oxygen leve
Apollo 13 Launch
ls plummet down and the CO2 levels skyrocket up causing the crew to quickly migrate to the Lunar Module (LEM). The LEM is only built only for two people to land on the moon, but the 3 men are forced to use it as a lifeboat for their 7 day futile journey through space. As the days go by, more and more things go wrong, and each day has new challenges for the astronauts and the control center back in Houston. Along with the detailed plot line, Mission Control's heroic efforts to figure out a way to bring the crew home safely and the astronauts' race against time in a freezing spacecraft are just some of the reasons why this narrative is so captivating. This inspirational story of courage and survival will have you at, "Houston, we have a problem."

Narration: Unlike most movies, there is some narration inclued in Apollo 13. Right of the bat we have a narrator talking about past Apollo missions and the Apollo space program, that gives us somebackround information to think about. One specific thing that he talkes about is the Apollo 1 disaster where during a routine test flight check, a spark caused a fire which claimed the lives of three astronauts. This is adopted from the book discusion of this disaster, but talking a considerably longer amount of time on the subject unlike the 60 seconds in the movie. After th
Apollo 13 Crew
e quick narration it jumps follow Jim Lovell's (Tom Hanks) life until returning to narration at the end. However, this time it is Jim Lovell talking about where him and his fellow space pilots will go when they get older. The decision for narration in the movie is similar to the narration in the book-to-film adaptation for Into The Wild. To get some critical information from the book up on the big screen they have a quick narrated blurb about it. The book on the other hand, which is entirely narrated in 3rd person omniscent, follows the lives of many diffrent characters and provides a good mixture of intensity and entertainment to the story.

Setting: The fact that a non-fiction story plays a big advantage in book-to-film adaptations is not necesisarily true, but it does help to determine the point of view you can look at the situation. In this case, Mission Control Center, Launch Control Center, the Lunar Module, or even from Jim's wife, Marilyn's, gathering she is having at her home can all be valid places to put yourself in the story. The locations, and point of views, are nearly endless. In the book, they pay a lot more attention to the control centers then in the movie. While watching Apollo 13, I noticed that the majority of the time you felt like you were up in space with the astronauts, occasionally cutting to the Houston control center. T his is very diffrent however from how I felt when reading Lost Moon. When reading the book version of the mission I
Spacecraft Leaving Atmousphere
definitly felt like I was in a whole diffrent setting solving the problems, doing the math, and helping out with Mission Control. Although sometimes when I was reading I felt like some of the math inlcuded in the book was unnecessary, it was extremely intresting to put yourself in the shoes of the control crew and make decision that your astronauts lives depended on. The detailed added about Mission Control and the jobs it had to complete was extraordinary in the book, and amazed me everytime I read another situation of an engeneer solving a nearly impossible problem. Where ever you are, on the ground or in the sky, the story of Apollo 13 will still grap you and suck you in.

Characters: Both the movie and the book have an extensive amount of side characters that add to the story of lives of Jim Lovell, Fred Haise, and John Swigert; Apollo 13's astronauts. In both, the mission control crew plays a big role, especially in the book where they focus strongly on the lives of mission control. In the movie, there is a big focus on Jim Lovell's family, more then the book pays attention to them. Lovell's wife, Marilyn, daughters and sons (one being in a military academy), and grandmother in a nursing home. are all brought to attention. Besides the beginning where Jim Lovell (Tom Hanks) is with his family most of the time, they in addition occasionally cut from Jim in outer space, to his family back on earth. Obviously his family is going to be emotional considering the state of Jim Lovell's spacecraft bleeding to death, and the scenes with the family really make you feel their pain, and add an intensity to the story. The book on the other hand does not have this emotional stress about Jim's loved ones like the film does. Besides the emotions you get from the crew of Apollo 13 almost dying, the emti
Earth From Apollo 13 In Space
onal stress comes from the crew of Apollo 1 dying and Jim Lovell almost dying in an aircraft near-fatal flight (two situations they take about in the first part of the book). These two both are mentioned breifly in the movie but talked about stronly in the book. Although there are both ways of telling Apollo 13, book and movie, the movie tends to take advantage of side characters more, and use them as trigers of emotion.

Conclusion: First off, the casting for the movie was phenomenal, and might just be the best casting job I have ever seen for a feature lenght film. All the way from Ed Harris playing Gene Kranz (head of mission control) to Kathleen Quinlyn playing Marilyn Lovell (Jim's wife) all the characters expressed rich emotions in their acting. The film's special effects were also near perfect which earned it an Oscar for best film editing in the 1996 Academy Awards. Although the book didnt win any major awards I think, in the long run, this book-to-film adaptation is outstandingly faithful in sticking to the story line; some help coming from the non-fiction genre. Regardless, it is deifnitly successful and both versions are good ways of learning the story of these brave men on NASA's finest hour. When it comes down to it, although both Lost Moon and Apollo 13, both have their advantages, I would chose the film version over the book. The film does two significant things that book doesnt. To start, the movie doesnt have as much information about Mission Control's arithmatic, something that a good amount of us would find useless, basically keeping the story faster on screen. Along with that, the Lovell family adds a spark of emotion in the movie that I dont feel in the book. However, both the book and the film of Apollo 13 do an amazing job of describing the "most successful failure" of space exploration.

Official NASA Apollo 13 Seal

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--->To learn more information on the Apollo 13 space mission, visit NASA's Apollo 13 Website