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In Capricorn One, the NASA mission control center maintains fluent communication with the spacecraft crew, which is obvious especially in the scene where the astronauts talk with their wives, even though the spacecraft was so far this would be impossible.

I would consider this just another logical glitch in the movie (which is full of them, IMHO), but the fact the signal from the spacecraft takes 21 minutes to reach Earth is repeatedly stressed in the movie just prior to these scenes. So I wonder, did I miss something? Is there any explanation, or is it really just an (obvious) error?

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up vote 8 down vote accepted

The comment prior to the conversation with the astronauts´ wives (in the control center) clearly states that Capricorn 1 is just close enough to Earth to allow the fluent conversation. Only at the most distant point of the mission the conversation gaps reach 21 minutes. Thus, there seems to be no blooper nor plothole.

(I am much more worried about the Apollo mission technology used for a journey of at least a year. Could three astronauts just sit in the command module most of the time? I guess even the strongest personalities would have gone mad. There might have been a strong extended/additional stage of a modified Saturn rocket for the outward and return journey. If this stage was equipped with extra rooms, stores etc. it would appear more realistic than what we see in the movie.)

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Watching the family conversation scene once again and paying special attention, it seems you are right! There is a single sentence by the TV commentator, stating “This is the first time the crew has been close enough to Earth to make normal conversation feasible.” Obviously, I did not notice it while watching the movie for the first time! (Even though the prior communications are still filmed in a way suggesting fluent conversation, but this might be explained as a film storytelling shortcut; there seem to be no true plotholes.) –  Mormegil Nov 10 '12 at 21:31
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Sat down and watched this one (its all on this link) I can only conclude that this is a blooper. They say one thing and do the exact opposite few scenes later.

One could hope that this was a "hint" or "the vital evidence" that the mission was a hoax, but noone seems to notice it.

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This was in fact a plot device:

They also appear in a live TV broadcast talking to their wives in a normal dialogue - despite the fact that radio signals take at least several minutes to reach Earth from their location in space. The conspiracy is known to only a few officials, until alert technician Elliot Whitter (Robert Walden) notices that ground control receives the crew's television transmissions before the spacecraft telemetry arrives. Whitter mysteriously disappears before he can finish sharing his concerns with journalist friend Robert Caulfield (Elliott Gould). (Wikipedia)

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It is an error to allow the smooth flow of dialog. It is odd that they ram it down out throats in that way though.

It is rather like aliens in Star Trek speaking English because the translator translates the words ... but somehow their lips also perfectly match the English that it is being translated to rather than the alienese that they actually spoke.

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