[source: Warner Bros. Pictures]
We’re in the middle of a new age of space exploration not seen since the race to the moon.
This means that interest in everything that the great beyond has to offer is at an all-time high, as we head towards landing the first humans on Mars.
While we have time to kill between Mars rover landings, SpaceX launches, and trips to the International Space Station, why not take in a film set outside of Earth’s atmosphere?
Insider gave former NASA astronaut Garrett Reisman the task of watching 10 space movies and rating them based on accuracy.
We picked three of the best, and three of the worst, according to Garrett, and threw a couple of trailers in so that you can get the full experience.
THREE OF THE BEST
2001: A Space Oddyssey (1968)
This is one of my all-time favorite space films. And what’s really amazing about it is how realistic it is considering they filmed all of this before Apollo 11, before we landed men on the moon. And the science in the movie holds up tremendously well.
He notes that one of the most astonishing parts of the film is how they predicted the generation of artificial gravity.
So, you might be asking yourself, why is the space station spinning and why is it constructed as a big wheel? What you’re doing is you’re creating inertial forces that simulate gravity and have the same effect.
It’s official. Stanley Kubrick is a wizard.
Star Trek Into Darkness (2013)
When you’re up on the International Space Station, they ask you if you’d like to chat with any celebrities or interesting people, and Garrett chose Ron Moore and David Eick who created Battlestar Galactica. They had a video conference where they discussed why so many space movies use “artificial gravity”.
“You know, you did the same thing. You come up with this artificial gravity on Galactica. Everybody’s just walking around like they’re on Earth, but you’re out in the middle of space. Where’s the gravity coming from? Why do you have to do that? Like, why would you take away one of the coolest things about being up here, the ability to fly?”
Ron Moore said:
“Garrett…you have any idea how expensive those special effects are and all those stunts?” So I get why, especially if you’re doing something like “Battlestar Galactica” or “Star Trek” that you’d want to just say oh, artificial gravity.
So, says Garrett, “I’m not gonna knock Star Trek down”.
Apollo 13 (1995)
What you see in that movie is 100% real. They even used actual dialog. You know, NASA recorded all the transmissions to and from the spaceship and on the intercom, and so they had transcripts of what actually happened during the real Apollo 13.
I’ll be giving that film another watch.
THREE OF THE WORST
Oh, my goodness. Oh. Yeah, that was bogus. [laughs] I really like this movie, despite the fact that the science, totally wrong. This movie takes great liberties and completely blows off the basic laws of physics.
Garrett also points out that in the film the astronauts can see space debris flying at them.
That’s bogus, OK? This stuff is traveling an order of magnitude like 10 times faster than a rifle bullet. You can’t look at a shooting range and see a rifle bullet flying around from thousands of kilometers away. You’re not gonna see this stuff coming.
Sandra Bullock grabbing George Clooney’s tether to stop him as he flies by wouldn’t work, either. His momentum would have just dragged her along with him.
The Martian (2015)
This whole idea about puncturing your glove to fly like Iron Man and be rescued by your spaceship. Yeah, not so much. We have a jet pack that we wear when we do spacewalks on the space station. We needed to have something to do if you became untethered and started floating off and you’re gonna become lost in space during a spacewalk. That’s why we added these jet packs. It’s just nitrogen. And it’s just little puffs, “psh, psh, psh,” of nitrogen that come out of those little jets is enough to let you fly back to the space station and stop you from being lost in space.
You’d also need a spacesuit pressurised really, really high to get enough pressure to actually get the kind of thrust that Matt Damon achieves.
I can’t believe you actually want me to comment on the scientific realism of “Spaceballs.” They’re flying around space in a Winnebago with a dogman as your second in command, and, really, you want me to talk about whether or not it violates the laws of physics?
I’ll leave it at that.
You’ll find more detailed reviews and Garrett’s opinions on a couple more space movies here.
Finally, if you’re keen to take part in the next trip to Mars, to pick up the samples that Perseverance has collected for analysis, you can send your name up into space on the 2026 mission.
We’re sending 2oceansvibe up there:
To infinity and beyond.
[imagesource:here] The FBI has now confirmed that the human remains found in a Florida ...
Welcome to part two of our series of articles designed to help you understand the flow of ...
[imagesource: Netflix] You must have seen or heard about the new Netflix series taking ...
[imagesource: AP] There's not much that can ruffle the feathers of New Zealand's prime ...
[imagesource: : Jaco Marais / News24] In December 2014, former Fidentia Group founder a...