Hollywood isn’t exactly known for its wholehearted accuracy when it comes to race cars or outer space. But you generally don’t know how bad they are unless you’re something of an authority on the whole business. We’ve already talked about the motorsport side of film inaccuracies here—now let’s let a NASA astronaut tell you everything that’s wrong about your favorite space films.
The astronaut in question is Nicole Stott, a retired astronaut who participated in the International Space Station Expedition 20 and 21, along with being a mission specialist on other trips out into the great beyond. And Wired has her analyzing movies like Total Recall, Interstellar, Gravity, and 2001: A Space Odyssey.
Instead of overlooking general techniques, Stott focuses strongly on very specific scenes. The cracking helmet in Total Recall, for example, or the underwater training in Armageddon.
I won’t spoil the analysis for you, because Stott is as hilarious as she is informative, and it’s worth taking a half hour break from whatever you’re doing this Monday to watch. It’s Thanksgiving week. You’re allowed.