It’s the half-way point of a special one-year mission on the International Space Station. NASA is testing the limits of extended stays in outer space. That’s as a new movie about an extended stay on Mars is about to premiere.
“This will come as quite a shock to my crew mates — and to NASA — and to the entire world — but I’m still alive. Surprise!” said Mark Watney, Matt Damon’s character in “The Martian.”
“The Martian” centers on one astronaut’s survival on planet Mars. He is believed to be dead, but proves otherwise, and then needs to be rescued.
Actors from the movie visited the Johnson Space Center to compare notes with astronauts and crew members.
It was a chance for Sebastian Stan and Mackenzie Davis to meet ISS astronaut Mike Hopkins.
Mackenzie Davis: “Well, how long is a spacewalk?”
Mike Hopkins: “Spacewalks typically are about six hours.”
Davis: “Six hours!”
Hopkins: “Six hours, but that doesn’t tell the whole story. There’s a long procedure on getting into the suit.”
Sebastian Stan: “Forty-five minutes, right, it takes you, or more?”
Hopkins: “No, it’s even more than that. Yeah, it’s five or six hours from when we start preparing to when we’re actually going out the hatch. And all of a sudden it’s six hours later and you’re coming in after completing a space walk.”
For realism when making films about space, Hollywood often collaborates with NASA.
Sebastian Stan talked about one problem in making the film.
Stan: “I should mention, by the way, that when they made our astronaut suits, they did not, like, think about us going on pee breaks, at all!”
Hopkins: “Ditto! Yeah! That’s … it’s the same!”
“The Martian” opens in theaters on October 2nd.