Space station astronauts have finally hit the big time, at least when it comes to the big screen. You might say that the astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) have decided to renovate their living room.
NASA’s astronaut Scott Kelly told the Associated Press earlier today that he and the rest of his fellow crew members have recently installed a 65-inch projection screen that was delivered by way of a rolled up package on the SpaceX Dragon capsule two weeks ago. It comes shortly after another delivery of an espresso maker, delivered to ESA astronaut Samantha Cristoferetti, one of Kelly’s fellow crew members.
While astronauts like Scott Kelly and Terry Virts, who recently returned home after completing a space mission, maintain a strong social media presence, they have had to use video devices on their laptops to interact with people back home – for conferences and training exercises, as well as for making viral videos. Kelly will be spending a year in space as part of an experiment that hopes to shed light on how weightlessness affects the human body in the long term.
But it’s also great for entertainment purposes too when they aren’t busy on spacewalks and other experiments, according to Kelly. Last weekend, along with his crew, Kelly hooked it up to a Blu-Ray player to watch the 2013 science fiction epic “Gravity,” in which Sandra Bullock played a doctor turned astronaut staying aboard the ISS.
The movie met with some substantial acclaim for offering what was largely a scientifically accurate depiction of life in space, complete with elaborate asteroid sequences as Bullock’s character struggles to return safely back to Earth. Astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson praised some of the scenes – such as when Bullock’s tears crystallized into ice.
Those of you who watched the movie in theaters, particularly in 3-D, might not necessarily agree that this is the best movie to watch while spending time in orbit. The Texas-based manufacturer of the projection screen, Screen Innovations, named it the Viewscreen in honor of the large video screens that were used by the characters on “Star Trek” to receive messages in space – just another example of life imitating art.
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