April 10, 2020

Space Exploration Movies: Why Do We Love Them?

Gravity

Space Exploration Movies. Indeed they’re are always fun to watch. While, space exploration movies range in genres, they’re likewise exhilarating and thought-provoking.

Honestly, space exploration movies can have plenty of genres and sub-genres. Regardless of where they come from. Nowadays we have SF space exploration movies, horror and of course action-packed ones. It seems like, Hollywood has been making space exploration movies since space exploration began.

Space Exploration as a theme

First of all, let’s take a closer look at the very beginning. The exploration of space, as we know it today began in the ’50s and had its peak in the 60-‘s and ’70s.

As a result of the tense relations between the USSR and the USA, the „space race“ was more than just a race for national glory and prestige. Of course, it was a race for knowledge and conquering the frontier of outer space, to go beyond earth.

Space Exploration Movies

And as an entertainment

Ultimately, the key motive for space exploration was knowledge. Previously thought of as untouchable, space soon became a reality. Consequently, we boldly went where no man has gone before! Also, Star Trek!

Frankly, it wasn’t just a sentence of a popular television show. It seems like, Star Trek took the spirit of that era, and made it into aspiration. It’s no wonder that Star Trek originated from precisely that period. The space exploration’s boom happened first.

Video games side-note: No Man’s Sky

So, in honor of our deal on No Man’s Sky, Kerbal Space Program, as well as Stellaris today on Indie Gala, let’s discuss this topic. Space exploration and its use in space exploration movies.

Space exploration movies and technology

Before we got the answers for what’s up there, we needed the technology. Even more so, if you think about it. The quest for space exploration has prompted us here on Earth to seek technology improvement.

Better lunar probes and much more efficient missions. So, with the tech improvement, came the improvement of our perception of space. Us exploring new and uncharted territories became a possibility, not just a dream. As a result of that tech, of course.

Contact

Hollywood got the bug too!

And when that happened, Hollywood came knocking too. Almost in sync with real space exploration, Hollywood’s movies keep appearing.  Because of that, we now have movies like Gravity, Moon, The Martian. Stanley Kubrick’s 2001 Space Odyssey premiered 1 year before Neil Armstrong even walked on the Moon. How cool was that?

I suppose some directors were ahead of their time. Even today, 2001 Space Odyssey remains one of the best space exploration movies ever made.

But do Space Movies get the science right?

Well, some of them do. Now probably more than ever. However, we love to nitpick the scientific accuracy of space exploration movies. Are the events of Contact possible? Is the sky crane of Ad Astra doable? Can we grow potatoes on Mars?

Surprisingly, The Martian turned out to be one of the most accurate movies, according to Neil deGrasse Tyson, one of the leading astrophysicists of today. On the other hand, movies like Interstellar seem too far fetched even for modern science.

Drama and thrills in today’s movies

In addition to being scientifically inaccurate, most modern movies are made more dramatic and thrilling. Almost too dramatic, don’t you think? After all, it’s a Hollywood movie that we’re watching. Not a NASA live stream. And I think that answers the question in the title. Space exploration movies give us a glance of the world that we know so little of.

Gravity

They keep us entertained!

Nowadays, we get to see space exploration mostly through the lances of Hollywood. The thrilling scenes are the things that we’re after. Sandra Bullock spinning in space. Brad Pitt going on a rescue mission to Neptune.

Maybe these things will never happen. But we should at least see them happen on the silver screen. Space, much like our imagination is infinite. And just by being infinite, it gives us a license to seek, explore, and assume. Even when all of that is done in a Hollywood studio.

Your thoughts

We’ll do a separate listing of great space exploration movies shortly. But for now, we’d love to know your thoughts on this subject. Tell us in the comments below. What’s your favorite space exploration movie?

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