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Science fiction movies are known for the advanced technology viewers hope to witness one day. However, 2001: A Space Odyssey is one example of how the genre can predict the future. For instance, one gadget the characters in the 1960’s era film use heavily resembles a tablet computer.

Beyond having fictional technology become a reality, the film is pretty realistic regarding space trips. Astronaut Chris Hadfield confirmed that some of the details are true to life. As a result, 2001: A Space Odyssey is one of his favorite space movies.

Chris Hadfield explains what details are accurate

'2001 A Space Odyssey' movie poster at the Prop Store auction house in Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire
‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ movie poster | Andrew Matthews/PA Images via Getty Images

While some space movies require viewers to suspend their disbelief, others use realistic elements for worldbuilding. 2001: A Space Odyssey is one sci-fi film with several accurate details. In fact, Chris Hadfield spoke with Vanity Fair about its accuracy, seen on YouTube.

Hadfield recalled how the view of the Earth is similar to what the movie depicts. The beginning shows a space station near a planet. The in-movie planet’s curvature was realistic to how it appears in real life.

“Now the flight attendant walking down the aisle and having Velcro on the bottom of her shoes matching the Velcro of the floor, the inside of the International Space Station, there’s Velcro everywhere. Anywhere you want to stick anything, including that pen, there’s Velcro on the pen,” Hadfield explained.

Hadfield also mentioned how the flight attendant moved was an “interesting solution.” Since gravity is an issue, she carefully placed one foot in front of the other. The retired astronaut compared the movement to someone climbing up a wall.

‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ is one of Chris Hadfield’s favorites

Many people have enjoyed watching 2001: A Space Odyssey, including Chris Hadfield. In fact, he finds it to be one of his favorite space films. During the interview, he stated that it was “perhaps the greatest space movie of all time.”

Hadfield viewed the movie as a decent portrayal of Arthur C. Clarke’s short story. Of course, Stanley Kubrick expanded on the plot and added details that Hadfield enjoyed. The details made the fictional world more realistic, especially for a film from the 1960s.

When Hadfield returned from his first space flight, 2001: A Space Odyssey was the first thing he thought of. He even explained how the trip was “exactly like they guessed it would be” to his wife. Therefore, he finds the movie “beautifully, artistically, and quite scientifically portrayed.”


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One of the many highly-regarded space movies is Apollo 13 from 1995. The film depicted the real-life Apollo 13 mission and featured stars like Tom Hanks and Kevin Bacon. Audiences and critics praised the movie, especially for how realistic it appeared.

The 2016 film Hidden Figures is about three real Black mathematicians who worked at NASA during the space race. Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, and Janelle Monáe star as the leads, and they all received award nominations for their performances. The film itself got a nomination for Best Picture.

Another sci-fi movie set in space is the 1979 classic Alien. Starring Sigourney Weaver, the story centers around a crew planning to return to Earth. However, a creature makes its way on board and begins killing the characters one by one. In addition to creating a long-lasting franchise, Alien left a substantial impact on the sci-fi and horror genres.

The 2013 sci-fi thriller Gravity tells the story of two astronauts struggling to survive during a space mission. Some debris significantly damages the shuttle, and the protagonists need to find a way to communicate with Earth. The suspense in Gravity led to it reaching the top of the Box Office.