NASA astronauts watched ‘Gravity’ on the International Space Station


“Gravity” was chilling enough in theaters. Just imagine watching the thriller on a doomed space expedition … in space.

That is apparently what the crew aboard the International Space Station was up to ahead of the Academy Awards, where “Gravity” picked up Oscars for directing and cinematography, among others. So on Sunday night, the ISS crew — American astronauts Mike Hopkins and Rick Mastracchio, and Japanese astronaut Koichi Wakata — beamed down a congratulatory message to “Gravity’s” producers.

“Up here at 260 miles above the earth, we know a bit about Gravity… and lack of Gravity,” Hopkins joked. The three go on to praise the film’s “stunning visuals and stark imagery,” which presumably look a bit like the everyday view from their window.

But as other NASA employees have complained, “Gravity’s” beautiful, hyper-realistic view from space helps mask the science and physics the film mucks up. At the end of the day, Sandra Bullock’s epic, nail-biting battle against death/space/infinity probably couldn’t happen.

That may explain how the ISS crew could watch the destruction of their station without fleeing for the nearest Soyuz pod. Also, as NASA’s Twitter account chirpily humble-bragged all evening, they have better views of space than any moviegoer does.

Caitlin Dewey runs The Intersect blog, writing about digital and Internet culture. Before joining the Post, she was an associate online editor at Kiplinger’s Personal Finance.
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Caitlin Dewey | March 3