The kids and I watched Apollo 13 the other night. I'd seen it before but I wanted to share it with them for the first time.
Spec. Fiction, even Science Fiction, involves a lot of fantasy. But to make it believable, you have to incorporate some reality. Space travel will be more believable if you present what is known about space rather than make things up because you didn't do your homework.
I love movies like Apollo 13 for many reasons. But as a writer, I love the visuals and realistic portrayal of what space is really like, how hostile and opposed to earth life it really is. Movies like Apollo 13 helps keep things real and shows how dealing with real, believable issues make a great story.
I love technical side of Apollo 13, like putting the engineering department on earth at work to make the Command Module filters work for Lunar Module to bring the CO2 levels back down and having to burn fuel and fly manually to get the capsule on course for the angle of re-entry.
I also love the human aspect of it. Things like watching Lovell's mother's complete confidence in her son and the concern of his wife and children over their dad's safety.
Apollo 13 is a must see for anyone, but I especially recommend it for anyone wanting to write Science Fiction that involves space travel.