The ESA has spent the past few years working towards the creation of an international lunar base, something that will serve as a spiritual successor to the International Space Station (ISS). To accomplish this, they have enlisted the help of other space agencies and contractors to develop concepts for space habitats and construction methods as well as ways to provide robotic and logistical support.
Recently, the ESA’s Technology Development Element (TDE) signed on with the French technology developer COMEX to create the TRAILER robotic system. This two-year project will test a new mission architecture where two rovers work in tandem (and with the help of astronauts) for the sake of exploring the lunar surface and building a permanent outpost on the Moon.
The second full trailer for 20th Century Fox’s upcoming film The Martian dropped this morning and it looks like a whole red-planetful of awesome space adventure! Directed by Ridley Scott and based on the runaway hit novel of the same name by Andy Weir, The Martian stars Matt Damon as Mark Watney, a member of a fictional yet not-too-distant-future NASA mission to explore the surface of Mars. After a violent dust storm batters the camp the team is forced to abort the mission, abandoning the base and Watney, who was injured and assumed dead. Except, of course, he’s not, thus beginning his new mission to remain alive on Mars long enough to be rescued — a feat which will require bravery, brains, luck… and a whole you-know-what-load of science. (If you haven’t read the book yet, it’s a lot of fun. I highly suggest it.) So check out the trailer above, and feel free to repeat as necessary.
Christopher Nolan, the writer and director of Memento, Inception, and the most recent Batman films, is taking up space on the big screen next year — literally. Nolan’s newest film, Interstellar, will be a space exploration adventure featuring Matthew McConaughey, Jessica Chastain, Anne Hathaway, and Michael Caine (of course) and, based on this teaser trailer, maintains a reverent awareness of the iconic missions of the Space Age.
I love science fiction films and I especially love it when the “science” part leans closer to fact than fiction. (Yes, I’m looking at you, Europa Report.) Now I’ve never seen an actual catastrophe in orbit (and I hope I never do) but I have to assume it’d look a whole lot like what’s happening in the upcoming film “Gravity,” opening in U.S. theaters on October 4. This full official trailer was released today.
A disaster film sure becomes a whole lot more interesting when everything is moving 18,000 miles an hour and there’s no up or down. And, of course, space. (!!!)
If you’ve ever been involved in one, you know that even a minor vehicle accident is a confusing and scary event. Trying to desperately regain control of your own movement as you’re suddenly subjected to forces beyond your control is stressful and terrifying… now imagine it happening at 17,500 mph and 230 miles up and you’ve got an idea of what the upcoming film “Gravity” is about.
Still can’t quite picture it? Check out the latest trailer below:
Directed and written by Alfonso Cuarón and co-written with his son Jonas, “Gravity” is the story of two astronauts (played by George Clooney and Sandra Bullock) whose shuttle is destroyed by a run-in with space junk during an EVA, stranding them both in orbit.
If that wasn’t bad enough, their oxygen is running out and they have lost communication with the ground. Cast adrift in orbit, they have to figure out how to survive and get back home.
It’s like “Open Water” in space. Without the sharks. (Let’s hope things turn out better for them!)
I enjoy sci-fi and I especially enjoy when they try to get the “sci” part right. How do things move in microgravity? (Hint: really fast.) What happens when stuff smashes together? What would happen to the human body in that situation? And, most importantly for any movie, how do the people involved handle the experience?
Above all, “Gravity” is still a movie so it has to take us on a two-hour, candy-munching, soda-slurping ride. Based on this latest trailer, I’m confident that they’ve done their homework on the mechanics of movement in orbit… now let’s see if Cuarón (Children of Men, Y Tu Mamá También, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban) has once again worked his storytelling magic to bring the characters to free-falling life.
Here’s one bit of NASA outreach that won’t be affected by suspensions or sequesters: an edited version of “We Are The Explorers,” a video highlighting the past successes and future goals of the space administration — created by NASA and featuring an inspiring narration by Peter “Optimus Prime” Cullen — will be screened in several major U.S. cities during the premiere of Star Trek Into Darkness thanks to an overwhelmingly successful crowdfunding effort on Indiegogo.com.
Now that the initial goal of $33,000 has been met and the 30-second ad spot can be purchased, the team responsible for the campaign (Aerospace Industries Association of America) will use any funds donated during the next 29 days to reach its next target: getting the ad in at least one theater in every state in America for two weeks. In order for that to happen, a grand total of $94,000 will need to be reached.
Want to help make it so? Find out more about how you can contribute:
According to the Indiegogo campaign page, “If we raise our funding total to $94,000, students, young people, and the general public will see this video from coast to coast. This new goal will expand our reach from 59 movie theater screens to 750 screens!”
That means a lot more chances that the spot will run at the theater where you go to see the new Star Trek film when it comes out on May 17. (Because you know you’re going to go see it, let’s be honest. It’s Star Trek.)
And because it’s Indiegogo you’ll get a “perk” depending on the amount you contribute, ranging from digital copies of the final spot to DVD copies of the excellent HBO series “From Earth to the Moon” (while supplies last.) Because the initial goal has been met, some perks are already sold out… but then, contributing to something as important as space exploration isn’t about the stuff you get, it’s about the message you can give.
“This is more than a fundraiser, it’s a demonstration of support for space exploration programs. By donating to this campaign, you’re making a very powerful statement about the widespread enthusiam that exists for space programs. A crowdfunding campaign is the best vehicle to deliver this message. By reaching our goal, we not only enable a first-of-its-kind ad campaign, we also demonstrate that countless people support a strong space program that’s in development.”
You can contribute here, and be sure to spread the word too. That way, when you’re looking at the video on the big screen, when you see them putting Al Shepard’s gloves on, when you see the fiery exhaust of the Saturn rocket and you hear Cullen’s voice rumble “we are the explorers,” you can know that you helped make it happen — and that somewhere in that same theater a young mind may very well be inspired to continue the exploration.
Maybe that mind might even be be your own.
“Our next destination awaits. We don’t know what new discoveries lie ahead, but this is the very reason we must go.“
This crowdfunding campaign is the work of the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) of America. This campaign is not endorsed by NASA nor is it conducted at their direction or request. Note: by donating you acknowledge that donations are not tax deductible.