In Hidden Figures, during the section subtitled "Alan Shepard's Launch", there is some confusing dialog. A reporter with a mic in his hand stands on the beach, in front of a chainlink fence, with the rocket launchpad in the background and excited onlookers nearby.

Reporter: It's a historic day here at Cape Canaveral, and here's what we can expect. Alan Shepard and Freedom 7 will be launched into space at an altitude of about 116 miles an hour.

The last part of the quote makes no sense. Altitudes are measured in miles, not miles an hour. I'm trying to figure out why that was included in a movie that seemed to treat physics and mathematics pretty seriously.

  • Was this something a reporter of the time actually said?
  • Was the line written this way to insinuate that reporters didn't understand the science they were talking about?
  • Was this line improvised by the actor who played the reporter?
  • Was this really just bad writing?
  • 1
    It's just a stupid mistake, and no reporter will ever ask the makers of the movie about how such an insignificant blunder came to pass.
    – BCdotWEB
    Nov 18, 2017 at 6:43
  • 3
    Interesting that the dialogue does not appear in the script which would leave one to believe it a late insert that just hap[ens to contain a blunder.
    – Paulie_D
    Nov 18, 2017 at 10:21
  • Downvoter: why? Nov 18, 2017 at 18:16
  • Probably because the answer can be found in the trivia section of IMDB and it's the 7th hit when you google launched into space at an altitude of about
    – Mazura
    Nov 20, 2017 at 23:55

1 Answer 1


It's a goof, probably on the part of the actor. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4846340/goofs?item=gf3247322

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