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NASA employees give their favorite and lowest favorite room movies



When a space movie film comes out, you can bet that Neil deGrasse Tyson will dissect and pick it out on his Twitter feed. But what do people think about NASA?

BBC recently talked to a number of women on NASA to ask about the best and worst room movies (and a bit about room tv also shows). The results ended up relatively straight, with the more accurate films becoming the most famous, although more speculative sci-fi that did not make too many claims about realism got more space.

The most popular and widely accurate films on NASA were The Martian, Hidden Figures, and Apollo 13 which showcase some of the crying realities of space travel while still flashy enough to count as a popcorn movie (especially in Martians case).

And since most people in NASA are nerds (on this site, it's really a notice period), there are also many fans of Star Wars, Star Trek Movies (The Next Generation TV show was also talked about fondly) and newer space operas like Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy. When you introduce a talking plant that can only say its own name, viewers seem to stop worrying about scientific accuracy and just enjoy the movie on their own terms.

On the other hand, the worst films of NASA's standards tend to be those that seem like closest hard science stories, but that get most of the details wrong. The Bruce Willis movie Armageddon was a pretty nasty criminal here, as well as lots of Mars-themed movies like Red Planet and Brian de Palma's Mission to Mars, Do not even name DNA strings properly.

But the most unanimously worse film at the space agency seems to be Gravity, which was not perfect from an accuracy perspective. Sandra Bullock had some trouble moving between courses and did not have a diaper like most astronauts, and NASA was generally not happy with the public to watch a movie where everything that could go wrong in space went wrong. It does not inspire much public confidence in space travel.

So if there's a lesson here, if you want NASA engineers to enjoy your movie, do your research if you're going with hard science fiction. Or just create a movie with Groot and trust mistakes of mistrust.


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