Where Was Apollo 13 Filmed? An Awesome Science Classic!


Everyone has dreamt of being an astronaut at some point in their lives. The ability to float in space and feel weightless must feel magical. All this has to be courtesy of space exploration movies like Apollo 13. The movies have seen more science than they have seen fiction. So today we will tell you all about where was Apollo 13 filmed!

Apollo 13 came out in 1995, so the bar had already been set low for the movie. Of course, it’s not possible to switch off gravity on earth. But according to movie makers, they did end up finding a way. The scenes where we see the astronauts floating in their shuttles have been done for real!

And where was Apollo 13 filmed? Most of the filming was done inside the studios at Universal. Other scenes of space shuttles and space labs have been shot at Johnson Space Center and Kennedy Space Center. 

The filming locations of movies provide an interesting view of what is behind the scenes. If information like this intrigues you, you should check out where Revenge of the Nerds and New Amsterdam were filmed!

The Plot Of Apollo 13 | What Is The Movie All About?

As we move on to see where was Apollo 13 filmed, let’s take a brief refresher on what the movie is about. Apollo 13 is based on real-life events. Following the launch of the moon lander named Apollo 13, which was launched in 1970.

What is supposed to be another mission exploring the moon almost ends up as a major space disaster. We follow the real events that happen after the launch. An explosion within the space shuttle quickly depletes all the oxygen available for the one on board.

NASA, which is commandeering the whole mission from the earth, has to change its plan. The plan goes from being an exploration mission to a mission to save the lives of those onboard. While the astronauts onboard regret not being able to recreate what Neil Armstrong did, bigger things are at stake.

With time running out, the crew must find a way to safely return to earth. Landing in the most dramatic way possible. Does the crew make it back alive or not? Well, you will have to watch Apollo 13 to find out!

Where Was Apollo 13 Filmed? All The Locations You Need To Know About!

Apollo 13 starred some of the biggest names in Hollywood. We’re talking about Tom Hanks, Kevin Bacon, Ed Harris, Bill Paxton, and more! So where was Apollo 13 filmed, and were the floating scenes in space real or computer generated? Keep on reading!

Stage 36, Universal Studios Universal City, California, USA

Where Was Apollo 13 Filmed? An Awesome Science Classic!

As generous as NASA was with the making of the movie, some things are understandably off-limits. And that included the interiors of the space crafts. So to compensate for that, a bit of movie magic was used. Thus the interiors of the Apollo 13 voyager were constructed in Universal Studios.

Director Ron Howard sought NASA experts’ help in designing the models as accurately as possible. This was done to ensure the movie remains as close to the real deal as much as possible. Afterall, Apollo 13 has been made as an homage and not as a piece of fiction.

Kennedy Space Center, Titusville, Florida, USA

Where Was Apollo 13 Filmed? An Awesome Science Classic!

If you’re fascinated by space stuff, then you must be really happy to know that the take-off was filmed at a real place. Yes, the Kennedy Space Center, which is the home to NASA’s crucial missions, did end up being used for real.

Although the take-off had to be faked, the outdoor shots are real. If you’re interested in visiting the space center, you can do so easily. Kennedy Space Center has a visitor’s complex where you can indulge in all things space related.

Ellington Airport (formerly Ellington Field), Houston, Texas.

Where Was Apollo 13 Filmed? An Awesome Science Classic!

The biggest question remains – where were the weightless scenes filmed? And this is where you will find your answer. After speaking with Stephen Spielberg, director Ron Howard rented out the KC-135 cargo plane. The team built a small set inside the cargo plane to resemble a shuttle.

Then the plane was taken on a spin 30,000 ft in the air. NASA has developed a specialized maneuver that is designed to train astronauts. The movement within the plane would mimic space-like conditions and would give a sense of weightlessness.

Though this would end up lasting 23 seconds each time they did it. So the crew and cast had a limited window to get the shot on the first try itself. The dedication and the perfect execution of these difficult scenes are a true testament to the acting skills of all the actors that were involved.

Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas, USA

Where Was Apollo 13 Filmed? An Awesome Science Classic!

The rest of the scene with space shuttles, the backdrop of shuttles being ferried from one place to another, have been shot at the Johnson Space Center. There is one scene in particular that gives a birds-eye view of the rockets. That scene is credited to having been shot here.

Right now, if you’re around Texas, then you could visit the space center for a tour. You will be able to see space crafts that have been retired from service. There will also be some memorabilia from the movie, so it’s worth a visit for sure!

Final Words

We hope now you know where was Apollo 13 filmed! The movie was way ahead of its time, considering the computer graphics that were used in it. On watching it almost three decades later, you wouldn’t really be able to say it’s a movie from the 90s!

Meanwhile, if you’re interested in checking out filming locations of other movies, too, then check out where Line of Duty and Fifty Shades Freed have been filmed!

Where to watch Apollo 13 in 2022?

You can watch Apollo 13 on a lot of platforms. You can watch the movie on Netflix, Amazon Prime, YouTube movies, Apple TV, and more! If you don’t have a subscription to these services then check out free websites like divicast, 123movies, and more!

Is the movie Apollo 13 based on a true story?

Yes, the movie Apollo 13 is based a true story!

What is the most famous line from the movie Apollo 13?

One of the most famous lines from the movies is “I have never lost an American in space, sure as hell aren’t going to lose one now. This crew is coming home. You got to believe it!”

Ujwal Mattoo
Ujwal Mattoo
With full journalism and half engineering background, Ujwal has hands in both the tech and creative fields. He is a film enthusiast who loves all kinds of genres. As much as he enjoys watching movies, he is always amused to know more and write about the locations to feed his hunger for traveling. In this world of fictional louds, he voices his opinions softly! He is either busy writing or playing with Milo, his dog!


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