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What’s the Most Realistic Movie About Space? Here’s What 8 Movies Got Right—and Wrong

This year marks the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11, the historic mission during which Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first humans to land and walk on the moon on July 20, 1969. There are few events in American history that epitomize the intrigue and allure of space exploration as much as Apollo 11, a pivotal moment at the height of the space race that showcased the unique place the cosmos hold in both our imaginations and culture.

So perhaps it should come as no surprise that in the five decades since the mission took place, space travel has been an integral source of inspiration for tales on the silver screen. While many of the movies take creative liberties with reality, veering into fantasies of the many unknowns of space, others have sought to portray the reality of what we know of space so far.

With that in mind, here’s a look at eight of the most realistic films about space and how they stack up to real life, as explained by NASA planetary scientist Rick Elphic.

Warning: Contains spoilers.

The Right Stuff (1983)

Plot basics: The film adaptation of Tom Wolfe’s nonfiction novel of the same name, The Right Stuff details the origins of America’s first space program, Project Mercury, which began with testing high-speed rocket aircraft after World War II at an Air Force base in Southern California. It also features the selection of the first American astronauts, known as the Mercury Seven.

Director: Philip Kaufman

Notable cast members: Ed Harris, Scott Glenn, Sam Shepard, Fred Ward, Dennis Quaid, and Barbara Hershey

What the movie gets wrong and what it gets right: Although it’s based on Wolfe’s New Journalism masterpiece, Elphic says The Right Stuff was more rooted in a heroic narrative than

Article source: https://time.com/5627032/most-realistic-space-movies/

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