Space Debris Makes it to Hollywood

Gravity will be set on the International Space Station, damaged after a collision with space debris (Credits: Filmconic).

In recent times, space debris has definitely become a hot topic. After countless scientific studies and governmental proposals on how to handle the intensifying problem, the topic is making its way to the Silver Screen. Director Alfonso Cuaron is currently editing the movie Gravity, which features Sandra Bullock and George Clooney as two surviving astronauts trapped inside the remote space station damaged after a collision with a piece of space junk. The movie is expected for the next November, and is already considere one of the most anticipated events in the cinema industry for next year.

Director Alfonso Cuaron, who also wrote the screenplay along with his son Jonás, aims at raising the bar for Science Fiction movies. The movie will be released in 3D, using cutting edge technology. But according to insiders, instead of focusing on action, the movie will explore the boundaries of space psychology, human consciousness and modern “weird physics” discoveries about space and time. Some have even mentioned references to the work of Stanley Kubrick: Cuaron plans in fact to use shots up to 20 minutes long, just as the legendary director did in his famos “2001 -A Space Odyssey”.

Despite the highanticipations, the movie had to go through several major obstacles. Angelina  Jolie, who was supposed to play the leading role, left the project, and so did Robert Downey jr.Natalie Portman and Scarlet Johansson were among the possible candidates for the female part, with Sandra Bullock eventually getting the role.

As we are approaching the era of commercial space travel and space tourism, it seems natural that space debris is getting more attention from general public. Some of the future commercial space travel providers have already began to emphasize their concern for space debris impact mitigation. As an example, Bigelow Aerospace, the Las Vegas based company specialized in inflatable habitats, is now protecting their habitats with a multilayered outer shell made out of Vectran, which is twice as strong as previously used Kevlar.

In the video below, the official teaser trailer of the movie Gravity.

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