Eclipsing Space Sci-fi

by juneberrystar


Everyone is in a huge buzz over today’s solar eclipse. Thousands of people traveled to the “totality path” to see the full solar eclipse. NASA had live streaming of the eclipse, filmed from a plane 35,000 ft in the air, on their website. What a remarkable day. I walked over to my local library to participate in their viewing party. It was such a success. They had educational programing, coloring and the live streaming from NASA. Thankfully, the clouds opened for bits and parts of our partial eclipse. So much fun to take time to do this today.

While at the library I picked up my usual slew of movies to take home with me and was instantly inspired by today’s events and got a bunch of space movies. One of my all time favorite movies is “Apollo 13”. I have had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Lovell on more than one occasion since he lives in my hometown. I can’t imagine what kind of experience that was for him to live through especially after Apollo 1 tragic accident. What inspired me to write today was the huge difference between “Apollo 13” movie and space sci-fi movies of today. Another of my favorite movies is the “The Martian”. I once read an article that referenced, that we (America/the movie industry) has spent $900,000,000,000 saving Matt Damon movie character’s lives, “The Martian” included.


I love watching “The Martian” when I don’t have anything to watch. There is just something so visually interesting about this movie that I never really get tired of it. There is something that has always bothered me, with the vast change of movie graphics there was something (outside of the outrageously unbelievable “catch him in space” moment) was when the crew is in the spaceship and they are moving about. Their “weightless-ness” or lack there of always seemed to bother me and it wasn’t till tonight that I understood why.

“The film “Apollo 13”, used NASA’s KC-135 plane (a.k.a. the “vomit comet”) to film scenes of the actors floating in “space.” The plane is normally used to introduce astronauts to the feeling of being weightless; it flies up to 36,000 feet before diving towards the ground in such a way as to briefly counter the force of gravity, kind of like a giant roller coaster. Howard and his actors initially planned to ride it just once for research, but after experiencing the free fall, the director began to wonder if Apollo 13 could be partially filmed in Zero-G by building a set inside the KC-135.” source

The scenes in the Odyssey looked so realistic where as scenes in current space movies like “The Martian” look and feel like the actors are hanging from wires. Now, I haven’t gone further into any research into how exactly they created weightless-ness in “The Martian” but I just thought it was so amazing that they would film “Apollo 13” in this plane. Check out this link and watch the behind the scenes for the 20th Anniversary of the film.