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NASA employees give their favorite and least favorite space movies



Whenever a space-themed movie comes out, you can bet that Neil deGrasse Tyson splits it on his twitter feed and sorts it out. But what do NASA people think?

The BBC has recently featured with a number of women at NASA talking about the best and worst space movies (and a little bit about space TV) too). The results were relatively straightforward, with the more accurate films praising the most, although more speculative sci-fi, which did not put too much emphasis on realism, got more leeway.

The most popular and generally accurate films at NASA were The Mars, Hidden Figures, and Apollo 13 which show some of the creepier realities of space travel while still being conspicuous enough to be considered a popcorn movie in The Fall of Mars (1

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And since most people at NASA are nerds (on this site that's certainly an expression of tenderness), there are also many fans of Star Wars, Star Trek movies (The Next Generation TV show was also spoken of by loving) and newer space operas like Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy. As soon as one introduces a talking plant that can only say its own name, viewers no longer seem to care about scientific accuracy and enjoy the film only on its own terms.

On the other hand, the worst films by NASA standards tend to be those that look like futuristic, harsh science stories that misunderstand most of the details. The Bruce Willis film Armageddon was a pretty nasty offender here, as well as many Mars films like Red Planet and Brian de Palma's mission to Mars DNA strands could not even be properly named.

But the unanimously ill-conceived film in the space agency appears to be Gravity which was not perfect from the point of view of accuracy. Sandra Bullock had little problem switching between orbits and, in particular, was not wearing diapers like most astronauts, and NASA was generally not happy with the public, watching a movie in which everything that could go wrong in space went awry , It does not raise much public confidence in space travel.

So, if there's a lesson, if you want NASA engineers to enjoy your movie, you should do your research when you're on hard science-fiction. Or just make a movie with Groot and rely on the suspension of unbelief.


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