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‘Mars’, ‘Apollo 13’ and ‘Star Trek’, the best space movies, according to NASA workers

‘Mars’, ‘Apollo 13’ and ‘Star Trek’, the best space movies, according to NASA workers

The BBC visits NASA to interview various professionals from the agency. We know the opinion of engineers, analysts, designers and astronauts about the ones that best reflect their work and the ones that worst.

Movies set in space literally take us to other worlds. There are many and very varied. They direct us to Mars, to the Moon, to the limits of the known universe or to other galaxies, fictional or real, that we know less about. But which are the most faithful to reality? Which ones best reflect the work of astronauts?

To answer this question, BBC Radio 5 has interviewed several professionals who work at NASA.

NASA’s Top Rated Space Movies


Mars (2015) is one of the films that best reflects the lives of astronauts, according to Allison McIntyne, NASA’s Chief Mockup Facility. She does not explain why, but knowing the plot, we can sense the anguish and crudeness of his work, in a completely unknown and different medium to the earth.

apollo 13

Apolo 13 (1995) –Movistar+ and Netflix– is not far behind either. “If it weren’t for Apollo 13, it would be very difficult for me to explain what my job is about,” says Emily Nelson, NASA Mission Control flight director.

Opinion shared by his colleague Karen Nyberg, astronaut of the current International Space Station (ISS), who assures that it shows well how they fly in space.

star trek

Another of the great options chosen by NASA professionals is the mythical Star Trek saga (1979), which has continued to have sequels. Unlike the previous two, his story is more fanciful, but this does not mean that he is everything. a stimulus.

This is corroborated by Tori Wills, a Heat Shield analyst, and Misty Snopkowski, from the NASA launch program, who highlights her as a source of inspiration since she was little: “I used to run home from school to see her. It’s one of the reasons I’m probably here.” Can a tape go further? Few can boast of mobilizing the working life of a person.

Some more

But in addition to Mars, Apollo 13 and Star Trek, the well known starwars (1977 2020) –Disney+– and Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) –Disney+– and the most recent and emotional interstellar (2014) –Netflix– andhidden figures (2016).

The worst movies about space according to NASA

As for what, in his opinion, are the worst films in space, several titles stand out. Either because they don’t like them or because they contain errors that make them not very faithful to the reality of the astronauts.

For boring or unrealistic

Subashini Iyer, lead engineer for the CST 100 Starliner, says that whenever she sees Planet of the Apes (1968) falls asleep. Regina Spellman of the launch program says that space ball (The crazy history of the galaxies, 1987) is very corny. And Emily Nelson, flight director, criticizes that Armageddon (1998) is not very precise, although it is so epic.

The lack of precision is also the reason on which they agree to criticize Gravity (2013). They consider that it shows a negative image of NASA and its professionals, since “all the things that could go wrong, go wrong in the film,” says Tori Wills, an analyst at Heat Shield.

It is logical that you do not feel comfortable with a bad image of your job, but is it as exaggerated as you say? Cinema tends to dramatize everything to capture our attention, but there are also incidents in space exploration.

There are many titles

Be that as it may, we invite you to get this knowledge firsthand, from the movies themselves. The ones they like the most, because the astronauts have pointed out that they reflect their work better, and the ones they like the least.

Image: Mars.