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- I found after they made "Interstellar",
some of the folks told me, that when I was
on the International Space Station,
and I did a cover of a David Bowie tune,
and they were trying to light Matt McConaughey's face
when he was looking through the windows of his spaceship,
they actually looked at that clip of me
to see how the light, the actual light on a spaceship,
looked, and then they mirrored that
when they were lighting Matt's face.
It made me laugh that art imitating life imitating art.
My name's Chris Hadfield, Colonel in the Air Force,
astronaut, flew in space three times,
commanded the International Space Station,
did two different space walks,
used to be a test pilot and engineer, downhill ski racer,
occasional guitar player, and we're here today
to look at some scenes from different space movies.
- [Astronaut] You need to detach.
I can't see you anymore.
Do it now.
- I'm trying.
This is "Gravity", and this is the scene
where the space shuttle explorer is orbiting the earth
and they're doing repairs on the Hubble telescope,
and they go through some sort of asteroid debris field.
Okay, well that's a nice concept.
And the visuals are great.
But what happens is so far from reality
that I just, I want to turn my head.
First off, this satellite goes whizzing by
at about, I don't know, maybe 120 miles per hour.
Satellites are going five miles a second,
17.5 thousand miles an hour.
How that thing where you can,
oh, you can identify the satellite going by.
And then, it's like some big dump truck just suddenly
put this big pile of rubble just upwind of the space shuttle
and suddenly it looks like an avalanche in space
has poured in front of this shuttle.
And they violate the laws of physics when Sandra Bullock,
she's on the end of the big cannon arm, the big robot arm,
and it's tumbling, and she releases her little straps,
and suddenly, whoosh, she flies away
in a while new direction like there was some force on Sandra
that wasn't on the arm.
How come she has a different gravity than the arm does.
And then everybody in the crew, I mean, the dialogue,
they're all yelling back to Houston as if
somehow Houston's going to help them right here.
- [Astronaut] Houston, I've lost location on Dr. Stone.
- And George Clooney is referring to this other astronaut
as Dr. Stone, like they haven't really met each other yet.
And he's asking permission from somebody, I don't know,
to go and help her out in the, I mean,
it's not astronaut behavior, it's not logical behavior,
it's so execrable from actual practical demonstration
of what the reality of space flight is like.
The most experienced astronaut in American history
is a woman.
It's Peggy Whitson.
She's been in space longer than any other American.
She commanded the International Space Station twice,
she's done 10 space walks, she was NASA's chief astronaut.
In this movie, Sandra Bullock has only been an astronaut
for less than a year, and when she's faced with a problem,
she's panicking and has no idea what to do,
and George Clooney is driving around like some sort
of space cowboy as the only person that really knows
what's going on, and it's like they met when they were
out on this space walk.
And then it's like, he's trying to pick her up
during a space walk.
- Prototypes, even for your pretty blue eyes.
- What is he even doing out there,
driving around in his jet pack.
I mean, we don't go outside recreationally.
It's so different than the actual people
that are exploring space that devote their lives
to being astronauts that are actually
on the Space Station right now.
The wonderful human role model examples we have
of people who are doing these things.
I think it set back a little girl's vision
of what a woman astronaut could be an entire generation.
Sandra Bullock did a great job of portraying this character
in the movie, but I just think the character
that they wrote for her was really disappointing.
That's what I would've changed.
Get the characters right, get it to represent
what astronauts are actually like,
and then build the story around that.
Don't just make it the perils of Pauline,
where she's strapped to the train tracks,
and she needs George Clooney to magically appear
next to her to tell her which book to open
to be able to do the right thing.
Real astronauts recognize the seriousness of their job.
The fact that it's always life or death,
and that we're there as the representatives
of 7.5 billion people.
Everybody's trusting us to be good at this,
to have spent decades getting good at this.
If you want to know what a space walk looks like,
there's never been a better movie though than "Gravity".
That opening scene is magnificent for the visual impact
and the beauty of the silent turning world
and the resolution of each of the fine things
and the lighting, it's wonderfully good.
It gives you the raw emotional sense of a space walk.
Just don't pay attention to what the astronauts
are actually doing.
This movie is "Passengers",
so if you're gonna get on a ship
and you're gonna be on it between stars,
going to settle some planet in another solar system,
you can't be floating weightless the whole time.
Who knows what your babies would be like
if they were conceived and developed and tried to grow
Their bodies wouldn't grow right.
How do you make gravity if there's no planet nearby?
One way of course is just like we do in a little experiment
where we spin it in a centrifuge,
you can spin the whole ship, and then everybody
is pinned against the outside of the ship
just by the centrifugal force,
and that feels like gravity.
If you shut off the spinner, then it would continue to spin
for quite a while.
There's really nothing to slow the spin down,
and that's one of the big scenes in "Passengers",
the ship has a problem, it stops spinning,
and therefore, everything becomes like
on the International Space Station and starts floating.
I'm not sure why, when it starts losing power,
the ship suddenly starts slowing down.
You'd actually have to put big brakes onto it
to stop all of that metal from spinning.
I'm not sure why the ship
didn't just blithely keep on spinning as it drove
into the asteroids, but it would've been a worse story
if that had happened.
Let's say, all right, the ship stops spinning,
now everybody's got no gravity,
and one of the characters is in a swimming pool.
What happens to water without gravity?
Onboard the International Space Station,
we played with water all the time.
You could squirt it and it would just float there
in front of you.
It naturally, with the surface tension,
goes to a perfect ball.
That's the easiest shape for it to go.
If you had a swimming pool held in place by gravity,
and then the gravity went away,
the water would have some inertia as the ship slowed down,
and it would slosh, but then the water would
almost look like a big blob slowly forming itself
into a ball.
And I think that's quite well shown.
And the weirdest thing is
if you were in the water at the time,
how would you even know which direction to swim?
Which way is the surface if there's no up or down?
Even if you started swimming one direction,
the blob is flexing, and the way you're swimming
might be getting further away from you.
That was a very compellingly accurate scene,
assuming there's a swimming pool on board a spaceship.
The way it resolves though, it bends the edge
of probability because if you spin the ship back up again,
then you generate the centrifugal force,
and the water would get squished back down
into the pool side of the room,
but it would take a lot of force and time
to take a ship that is stopped,
this great big massive metal thing,
and get it spinning again.
It wouldn't be like nothing, and then bang, gravity,
like it's portrayed in the movie
where suddenly everyone is going, bang, into the floor,
as if gravity was an on/off switch.
But that wouldn't haven't been as visually compelling
and allowed the crew member, the young lady,
on her last dying breath to burst out of the water
and stay alive.
- I'm going in, I'm coming in hot.
- We're coming in hot.
Oh yeah, okay.
This movie is "Armageddon", which is the disastrous end
of everything, and I think that's an appropriate name
for this movie.
I haven't seen it since I turned away from it
when it first came into the theaters.
This scene here where the two space shuttles
are landing on an asteroid
with the deep sea worker blaster guys
who are gonna blow up the asteroid
so it doesn't destroy earth.
There are so many things wrong with this
that I don't even really know where to begin.
Let's start with the fact that they're talking
to mission control real time.
There's no lag.
How did suddenly time and space change,
you get instantaneous communication
all the way out to this asteroid with no lag?
And then, one of them says, "We're coming in hot."
We're coming in hot?
Relative to what?
What are you talking about?
And how do you know that?
Do you have some magical landing information
about an asteroid so that you know you're going faster
than you meant you were supposed to?
And then if you watch as the shuttle comes in to land,
it flairs, like it slows down so it can touch down
on the asteroid, like by pulling back on the stick.
There's air on an asteroid?
I mean, what made that magically happen?
And there's these weird video game displays
in the space shuttle that allow you to,
like suddenly you're flying in the game Asteroids,
and the crew, ah, everybody is panicked
and yelling at each other.
The big engines on the back are constantly running.
Where's the fuel coming from?
There's no gas tank.
So they'd be accelerating the whole time.
Why, I mean, what are they doing that for?
It is as atrociously bad as any space movie
that was ever done.
It's so bad, it's tragic comic.
I'm glad they safely landed on the asteroid,
but it's just atrocious.
- What's the abort force?
- [Astronaut] Anything more than that
and the map could tip.
- This is "The Martian".
I like how the one crew member is wearing his name tag
in the middle of his chest.
It's a little far along in the mission
to be wearing your name tag.
[door blows open]
- Mars is an interesting planet in that it has dust storms.
We can see them through our telescopes from earth.
And some of those dust storms envelope huge sections
of Mars simultaneously.
This is unfortunately about the worst part
of the whole movie, "The Martian", is that the atmosphere
is so incredibly thin on Mars.
It's almost like the very edge of space.
On earth, you would have to be 100,000 feet up
to get to how thin the air is on Mars.
And think of the people that go to the top of Everest,
which is only 28,000 feet up.
Almost all of them need oxygen just to be able
to get to the top of Everest,
and this is four times as high as that.
If the air was blowing incredibly fast,
there would be so few air molecules going by you
that you'd hardly even feel them.
And there's no way you could pick up all those big pieces
and blow them and knock Mark Watney over,
and it's a slow, cumulative change of seasons on Mars.
The people that made the movie just decided
the gravity on Mars is the same as the gravity on earth,
even though it's actually only 38% of the gravity,
so Matt wouldn't be quite that hunky on Mars.
He wouldn't be solidly on the floor.
He'd only weigh one third as much as he does on earth,
so he'd be a lot more bouncy moving around
and things would move differently.
Mark Watney played by Matt Damon
is trying to find a way to make enough food
to last until he can be rescued.
All he's really got are potatoes,
but potatoes are simple and they grow and multiply.
He needs a few things.
He needs water, he needs nutrient-rich soil,
he needs heat, and he needs oxygen.
- I'm gonna have to science the shit out of this.
- It makes sense actually
that they're growing plants on Mars.
If you're gonna live there, you can't bring everything
in little tins and dehydrated packages.
You gotta grow food where you go.
We've been growing stuff on spaceships for decades,
and so the movie ends up being very good
for how could you get that little environment
for one human being and his crop of potatoes
to grow on Mars?
The idea of using the human crap from outside
in order to harvest the nutrients
that you need for potatoes, just like putting manure
on crops at home here on earth.
How he used existing chemicals, whether it was rocket fuel
or whatever, they're all just hydrocarbons,
things with hydrogen and oxygen and carbon in them,
and so as long as you can get the right chemical reaction,
you can get out the things you need.
And if you think about it,
that's sort of what happened on earth.
We didn't used to have oxygen on earth,
it's just a chemical process that created our atmosphere
here on earth, and Mark Watney, Matt Damon,
is hastening that process on Mars.
- I am the greatest botanist on this planet.
- One of the best parts of "The Martian"
is that it came from the book by Andy Weir.
He's a really smart guy and an engineer,
but he also crowdsourced the science
as he was writing the book.
He put it out there and said, "Hey, everybody,
"tell me what's wrong with my science here.
"What am I doing wrong?"
As an astronaut, Mark Watney could've been just
any of the people in the astronaut office.
It's that type of person, the deep academic background,
the strong operational sense of what you're gonna do next.
I think it gave people a sense
of what being an astronaut is like.
There's some hard, sad, difficult parts,
but there's some ridiculously fun and almost always joyful
parts to it, and a great sense of camaraderie,
better than almost any space movie,
"The Martian" shows that.
- Damn, we've got a problem here.
- "Apollo 13"
"Apollo 13" tells the story of an explosion
that actually happened on the way to the moon.
Really good movie.
Maybe the most realistic of all of the space movies.
- Uh, this is Houston.
Say again, please?
- Houston, we have a problem.
- When you're talking on the radio, of course,
the first word you have to say is who are you talking to,
so that's why from a spaceship, the first word we say is
Houston or Moscow or Tokyo or whoever we're talking to.
Mission control is sitting there,
and if they hear the commander of the ship say,
"Houston, we have a problem."
it's an understatement, but it has a huge impact.
All normal operations cease,
and everybody is now listening to hear what the commander
is gonna say next, looking at their data like crazy.
It's a wonderful, succinct way to phrase it,
and all space commanders since then, self included,
have used that phrase when needed
because it has the desired effect.
- [Mission Control] Uh, yeah, Jim,
could you check your CO2 gauge for us?
- If you've lost a bunch of your oxygen
and a lot of your purification equipment,
how do you get the carbon dioxide out of the air
onboard a spaceship?
You need some sort of scrubbing equipment,
and when you've had a malfunction,
maybe it's not gonna work the way you planned,
but they had the lunar lander.
It had it's own carbon dioxide scrubbing system.
The trouble is, they were built by different companies.
The pieces weren't interchangeable.
The engineers recognized the problem early,
they presented to the flight director,
Ed Harris doing a great job of playing Gene Kranz,
and Gene's saying, "Okay, I understand the problem.
"Now go fix it."
That happens every day in space flight.
Maybe not that dramatically,
but I worked in mission control.
It's this great detective hunt every day
of how can we take what we hope to do,
which is now being ruined by the reality
of everything going wrong,
and we're constantly reinventing stuff.
And all the people in the back rooms
are trying to figure out the solutions to the problems.
But the way it's portrayed in "Apollo 13",
it was a terrific, dramatic example of it,
but it's almost a textbook of what actually happens
to solve problems to get something done.
Ron Howard, when he made the movie,
he tried to restrict the dialogue between mission control
and the space capsule to be actually what the transcripts
of what the crew had said back then.
Ron actually came to Houston, spent time with us there,
saw what the houses were like.
He came down to launch.
He really wanted to get to know what astronauts
and everybody else at the Johnson Space Center
and in the space business were like.
I really admire the team that put together "Apollo 13",
and I love the movie.
I think it does a great job of showing what space flight
is like, especially at that moment in time.
- [Man] Time is represented here as a physical dimension.
You have worked out that you can exert a force
across space time.
- Well, I'm just confused now.
This is "Interstellar".
If you get sucked into a black hole, ah.
I mean, people are worried about the riptide at the shore.
This is like a riptide, a Tyrannosaur-riptide.
This is beyond our ability to imagine the scope
of the forces that are involved,
and not just a force like gravity holding us down
to the surface of the earth, but a change in gravity
with distance because gravity, the strength of it
is proportionate to where the black hole is.
The closer you get, the more gravity you get.
It would be just tearing everything to pieces
until eventually the forces are so high,
it even sucks light into it.
It's not something you can build yourself
a tough little capsule and somehow penetrate.
There's nothing we know of right now
that could withstand the destructive force
of being near a black hole.
How that's going to be portrayed in a movie,
you can do whatever you want with it for now.
- Love is the one thing we're capable of perceiving
that transcends dimensions of time and space.
- Nowhere in a mathematical equation is there
a symbol for love.
It'd be a nice little heart, I guess,
but I don't know how you'd multiple it or divide it.
Maybe for the arch of an artistic story,
then love is the only way to get through to the end.
To end up at that place looking through
into his daughter's library rack,
it's very emotionally nice,
but I'm not sure that Einstein or Stephen Hawking
would've followed the logic.
- I brought myself here.
We're here to communicate with a three-dimensional world.
- How do you deal with time travel,
which is essentially what happened here.
It becomes so confusing, it's almost like
the movie needs footnotes and scientific subtitles here
so that you can clue in the viewer as to what's happening.
Also, there's no point in yelling through your space suit.
Nobody can hear you outside your space suit.
I'm also really confused just by the physicality
of what we're looking at.
I mean, suddenly he's in some sort of huge filing cabinet.
The endless land of Venetian blinds
the movie creators had some specific thing in mind
trying to take the physics and the math
and make them three-dimensionally compelling.
It still ends up for me just being quite puzzling.
"Interstellar" has a fascinating history of birth.
It was the brainchild of one of the best physicists
in the world, a guy named Kip Thorne.
And Kip was trying to figure out the math
of what happens around a black hole,
and he hired a company called Double Negative.
And they took his math and turned it into the raw visuals
of what a black hole would look like,
and that became the genesis of the movie.
It's a real interesting coupling
of a science fiction story based very much
on an experiment of how to visualize
the non-intuitive complexity of what the environment
would look like around the weird singularity
that is a black hole.
The reason the time is dilated for the crew
in "Interstellar" is just because of the incredible change
of gravity, the distortion of time due to the
huge gravitational forces.
But what that means is, if you get going faster and faster
and faster, time passes differently for you
than someone who's not going that fast.
So while I was on the space station,
I had some people do the math to see was I aging
faster or slower than people on earth.
I'm actually younger than I would've been
if I had stayed on earth for the whole six months.
Every month, I aged about one millisecond less
than people on earth.
So after six months, I was six milliseconds younger
than my family.
It doesn't mean anything, but if you extrapolate it
to the speeds and the physical conditions of "Interstellar",
then suddenly the difference becomes huge.
- I waited years.
- Where a fixed amount of time for Matt McConaughey
and his crew would be a wildly different amount of time
for people who are in a different set of circumstances.
It doesn't intuitively make sense.
You just have to accept that the world that we live in
is only one particular set of physical circumstances,
and some wildly different ones exist in other places
in our galaxy and in the universe.
[astronaut breathes heavily]
This movie is "First Man",
the story of the very first human being to walk on the moon.
The story of Neil Armstrong.
Didn't that altimeter say he was at 45,000 feet?
Before astronauts become astronauts,
they always have some other significantly complex,
A lot of them used to be test pilots,
and that includes all three of the astronauts
in Apollo 11, including obviously Neil Armstrong.
And there's the opening scene in the movie
where he's flying an X-15 right at the edge
of the envelope, right at the edge of its capability.
One of the biggest problems with the scene is sound.
It's sort of like he's in a pickup truck
driving across a field with this big whiny noise
that tells you just how fast he's going all the time.
You can hear it going up and down
like maybe there's a big, I don't know, piston engine
It's all completely wrong.
You don't hear that in the cockpit.
And the vibration, there's so much little rattly vibration.
Where's that coming from?
He's in a bullet plane with a rocket motor on the back.
The vibrations would be imperceptibly small.
Airplanes, especially airplanes like that,
fly really smoothly.
Also, he keeps going in and out of cloud.
He's at 45,000 feet.
What clouds are there at 45,000 feet?
There's maybe the occasional thunder storm
that sticks up that high,
but you would not fly the X-15
through one of those thunderstorms.
And then it goes from this weird rattly kind of noise,
like it's some old jalopy he's flying
to then suddenly dead quiet.
Then what happened there?
Where did all that sound come from
and where did it all go?
And as the pilot also, he's wearing a pressure suit.
He's got a headset on, he's inside a cockpit.
You don't hear any of that.
As he pulls back on the stick and starts going up
to get the X-15 up high, that's fine.
Once you're rocket lights, then you want to start going up
where the air gets thinner and thinner.
Well the sky oddly enough gets lighter and lighter.
The sky goes from a normal blue to this light blue.
That's the opposite of what happens.
As you ride a rocket up to space, it goes from light blue
to dark blue because there's less and less air
to refract the light to eventually it goes black.
In this clip, for whatever reason, it goes from regular sky,
to light blue, light blue, and then suddenly bang,
the sky turns black,
as if he went around a corner or something.
The front of the X-15 starts glowing with the heat.
Well that's because of the friction of the air
as he's going fast.
It doesn't happen at the right time.
Up where the air is the thinnest,
and they didn't really show what speed he was going,
the time it takes to the heat the front of an airplane
and the amount of air molecules that have to hit it
to cause the friction and the drag to make all that heating
and make the metal glow a different color,
it almost looked like he got to space,
and then the nose got hot.
Those two things aren't related to each other.
What disappointed me most about "First Man"
was how sad everybody was.
Everybody inside was glum and space flight is joyful,
it's hilarious, it's magic.
You can fly, you're seeing the whole world.
These guys were going to the moon.
They had a lot of responsibility,
but where is the spark of joy that is there
and every second of the time
that you're onboard a space ship?
- The distance from launch to orbit, we know.
Where it's own mass, we know.
Mercury capsule weight, we know.
- You did the math.
- I look beyond.
- I really like the movie "Hidden Figures".
It tells a story that most people don't know about.
It highlights a group of people that did really pivotal work
to get us into space at the beginning,
and it's a really nice human story,
and it's really well acted.
There's one scene where the character, Catherine Johnson,
who's of course one of the real brilliant human computers
that's in the movie,
is trying to solve one of the math problems
you have to solve for orbital mechanics,
and getting people into orbit
and doing it accurately enough.
It's super over-simplified and dramatized.
It's like the entire staff of NASA is 15 people
in this one room somewhere,
and the part played by Kevin Costner,
he's like the leader of this team,
and he seems to be the administrator of NASA,
and he seems to be the flight director
of the specific mission, but you gotta simplify things
to tell a story, and I guess that's okay.
But people sitting in front of black boards
postulating and coming up with ideas, that's real.
That's realistic, that's how we figured out
a lot of those things.
- Maybe it's not new math at all.
- It could be old math.
- There's nothing unusual about saying
that this is old math.
All math is old.
It's just whether we've figured out
what the mathematic principles are or not.
One of the guys how figured out a lot of the math
was a guy named Tsiolkovsky, who was a math teacher
in the 1800s.
He figured out space flight with his mathematics
by candlelight in his house in rural Russia.
And Euler came up with some of the equations
that are absolutely necessary for us to be able
to do the predicting properly in order to do rendezvous
and burn the engines at the right time
that you're gonna get to where you want to go.
But I love the interplay of the bright minds
and the kind of quirky people that actually allowed
early space flight to happen.
- NASA, we have what looks like unidentified rovers
approaching our position.
Possible pirate activity.
And I got a couple of VIPs with me.
- This is the movie "Ad Astra", the chase scene
on the surface of the moon between the bad guys,
who are in black moon rovers, and the good guys,
who are in white moon rovers, making it easy
for those of us on earth to follow along.
- We're being ambushed.
- Guns work fine without air.
Guns don't need oxygen to work, really.
If you think about what happens inside a bullet,
there's this striker in the back,
and it causes a chemical explosion,
and it's the exploding gas inside the confines of the rifle
that make the projectile come out the end really fast.
That doesn't count on gravity,
and it doesn't count on earth's atmosphere.
So a gun would work fine on the moon.
In fact, we actually carried guns
onboard the Russian spaceship that I flew.
When I went to the Russian Space Station, Mir,
in 1995, the ships that came up had guns in them,
but they were in the rescue pack
because if you did an emergency deorbit
from the space station, you might land anywhere on earth,
and you might land in a place where there were, you know,
grizzly bears, and so there was this specially-designed gun
that had two shot barrels and one gun barrel
so that you could fire two shots at the grizzly bear,
and maybe the last one for yourself.
I don't know.
But we've had guns in space before.
Never fired one in space that I've ever heard of.
On the moon, there's about one sixth gravity
as there is on earth, so the bullet's gonna fall more slowly
than it would earth.
It's gonna take longer to hit.
So that means the bullet with the same speed horizontally
would go further.
It'd go further around the moon.
It's possible, I guess, if you had a big enough gun,
that it would get to the speed where it might actually
be able to escape from the moon.
It can get to escape velocity where it was going so fast
that by the time the pull of gravity of the moon
kept bringing it down, it would be far enough away
that it would have the inertia
to float away from the moon forever.
I haven't done the math to figure out exactly
what that speed is.
I'm sure we could make a big enough gun to do that.
Why are they driving Apollo rovers around in the future?
Those rovers were built in a great big hurry
during the Apollo program to try
and let the exploring astronauts have slightly better range
and explore more of the moon.
We would not build rovers like that in the future.
That's like if you were watching some movie in the future
and they brought in a Model-T Ford as the vehicle
that everyone's racing around in.
It's like, why are they driving Model-T Fords?
Those were from the 1920s, that doesn't make any sense.
As you watch this scene, where is all the noise coming from?
You are in a perfectly empty vacuum on the moon.
As you watch this scene, it's really noisy.
You can hear the vehicles bouncing along,
and you can hear the guns being fired,
and you can hear them hitting and everything.
There's no air on the moon.
If you make a noise on the moon,
there's no way that the pressure wave
can be carried anywhere.
You can't hear anything that doesn't happen inside your ship
or inside your suit.
It's as if there are, I don't know,
Mel Gibson driving around in some sort of dystopian future
and you can hear the great big vehicles behind him.
It would be perfectly silent the whole time.
All you would hear is everybody breathing
and talking to each other.
I guess it makes it familiar for people, but it's wrong.
[upbeat classical music]
Perhaps the greatest space movie of all time,
"2001: A Space Odyssey".
Arthur C. Clarke's great book amazingly portrayed
in the late 60s by Stanley Kubrick and his team.
When I came back from my first space flight
and sat in my living room with my wife,
I remember telling her, "It was amazing.
"How you see the world,
"the speed you're heading over the world,
"the big curve of it,
"it's exactly like they guessed it would be
"when they showed it in "2001"."
The imagery of it as that ship that left earth
and is coming up to dock with the rotating space station.
The gigantic, slow ballet of spaceships.
At the time I remember thinking, it's like elephants mating.
This big, ponderous, careful, three-dimensional activity
with a specific purpose in mind.
That's what it felt like to fly a ship up
to try and dock with the space station.
The little pen floating out of the passenger on board
who has fallen asleep.
Now the flight attendant walking down the aisle
and having Velcro on the bottom of her shoes
matching the Velcro of 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
with the one type of Velcro,
and the wall is the pile or hook.
She did sort of stumble though, which was obviously
a gravity thing if you watch it really closely,
but the idea of placing one foot,
and then placing another foot,
and peeling them almost like someone walking up a wall
of ice or something, that was an interesting solution
to the problem.
I think it's beautifully, artistically,
and quite scientifically portrayed.
[WALL-E clangs around]
This movie is "WALL-E", really designed for kids,
In this scene, WALL-E is out there flying around in space
and having fun, using a fire extinguisher.
And Eve, the more advanced robot,
has own propulsion system.
I'm a little confused about Eve
because Eve's head isn't attached to the body,
but there's this weird red cable umbilical on the outside.
What intrigued me was how the animators moved WALL-E around
by firing a fire extinguisher.
And it would work just fine.
You get a fire extinguisher, you pull the trigger,
all that stuff flies out of the fire extinguisher,
and if you don't brace yourself,
it'd sort of push you over on earth.
If you're floating in space
and you can't brace yourself at all,
it's gonna propel you just like a little rocket motor,
and they were clever enough to make sure
that WALL-E always got it down to the center of his body.
Cause if you did it up by your head,
then it would push you off center,
you'd just sort of pinwheel.
But if you can push it through the middle of your mass,
middle of your body, then it's going to move you
in a straight line.
And he's very careful to constantly move the nozzle
to the right spot.
It's quite cute, and quite a nice little study
of orbital mechanics.
The very first American space walk, when Ed White went out,
he actually had one of those squirters with him.
Not a fire extinguisher, but a little handheld squirter
that he could maneuver around with.
Eventually we found it was an impractical way to move.
You're better just to put hand holds on the ship
or wear a jet pack.
But the same thing that WALL-E's using,
that was actually used by the first American
to ever walk in space.
- Ladies and gentleman, Mercury.
- This is "Sunshine", a movie about a crew
having to reignite the sun, but in this scene,
the crew recognized that they're going to see Mercury
go between them and the sun.
It's almost like a tiny little version of an eclipse.
People love eclipses.
It's almost mystical, it's a neat thing to see.
I think that would be natural.
The crew would love to see Mercury highlighted
against the light of the sun.
In the scene though, Mercury is whipping around the sun.
I mean, just in the time it takes those people
to sit and look out the window,
it goes probably an eighth of the way around the sun.
In earth days, Mercury takes like months,
88 days or something, to go around the sun.
You wouldn't perceive the motion relative to the sun
just looking out the window like they are.
Also, the sun is stupendously bright.
How are you seeing Mercury against the sun.
It's like staring at the headlights of a car
and trying to see a marble or something.
Your eyes would be so overpowered by the brilliance
of the sun, unless they've got some really great
special filters somehow on their viewing screen
of their ship.
What's nice about the scene is the sense of wonder,
the awe at the majesty of the reality
of the rest of the universe.
And seeing it first hand.
I've been around the world 2650 times or so,
and I never once could see enough of it.
During my first space walk, while I was outside in the dark,
we actually were far enough south that we went
through the earth's aurora.
It is so fantastically beautiful
and such a raw artistic human experience.
To look at the northern lights is like magic.
To be in them, to surf on them, that's beyond magic.
My last orbit of the world was even more rich
and magnificent and awe-inspiring
than all of the ones before it.
The unheralded beauty of our planet and of where it sits
and the environment that we're in
is so constantly magnificent that when you're looking at it,
you're talking in hushed tones.
Like you've walked into a giant forest
or the most beautiful cathedral on earth.
You don't talk in a big brassy voice there.
You're reverential of where you are.
And I think that little scene gets some of that,
the reverence and understanding of both the minuscule nature
of being a human in the enormity of the universe,
but also the enormity of being able to see it in that way.
The huge awareness that we have of our ability
to try to interpret it and understand it.
I think they portrayed that well.
I'm Chris Hadfield.
I love space movies.
It was nice to have a chance to look
at some of them with you.
I look forward to every new space movie that comes out,
and hopefully maybe some of the things that I've said here
will help you see each of the new space movies