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10+ Things That Hollywood Gets Wrong About Space

Filmmakers aren't scientists. So when it comes to understanding the complexities of space, Hollywood tends to take a lot of creative liberties —much to the chagrin of real-life astronauts and astronomers.

To help correct their mistakes, I've scoured the internet in order to discover 10+ things Hollywood gets wrong about space, time, and time again.

So buckle-up, Houston because we've got some problems here.

Everyone needs help getting into a spacesuit.

Sony Pictures Classics

So often in space movies, you'll see an astronaut run to an airlock chamber and quickly don their spacesuit. In reality, they're much more cumbersome and hard to maneuver.

According to NASA, it takes on average 45 minutes for one astronaut to put on their suit.

Space is HUGE!

Our minds can't even begin to comprehend how big it actually is. According to an interview that astronomer Pete Edwards did with The Guardian:

"The visible universe contains around a 100 billion galaxies. Each one of those galaxies contains around about a 100 billion stars."

This means that there are more stars in the visible universe then there are grains of sand on planet earth.

You can't travel faster than the speed of light.

20th Century Fox

This myth became popularized in films like Star Wars. But as of right now, there's absolutely no technology that would allow a ship to travel anywhere near the speed of light.

Hyperspeed, Warpspeed; call it whatever you like. It's a complete myth.

Cryo-sleep would kill you instantaneously.

Columbia Pictures

Have you ever had frostbite? Well, imagine that over your entire body, inside and out. That's what cryo-sleep would do to a human.

Our bodies are made up almost entirely of water. Freezing would cause it to form ice crystals and would destroy all your living tissue and organs.

The laws of physics apply equally to all things.

20th Century Fox

There's one scene in the movie Alien where Sigourney Weaver opens an airlock in order to kill the monster. It gets sucked out, and she's then able to calmly shut the door.

According to the laws of physics, Sigourney would've been sucked out too.

The gross misrepresentation of female astronauts.

Commander Chris Hadfield is quick to point out that the most experienced astronaut in American history is a woman named Peggy Whitson. While he was reviewing the film Gravity for Vanity Fair, Chris said:

"I think it set back a little girl's vision of what a woman astronaut could be an entire generation."

Space has a smell!

20th Century Fox

This is something you never hear in any space movie (at least not in any that I've seen). But according to Commander Chris Hadfield, space actually smells like burnt steak!

Who's got the bbq sauce?

There's no such thing as an on/off switch for gravity.

Columbia Pictures

In the film Passenger, there's a scene where the ship's gravity control stops working.

Jennifer Lawrence almost drowns in a pool of water and is miraculously saved at the last minute when the ship's centrifuge kicks back in.

In reality, it would take an incredible amount of time to get something that big to spin that quickly.

Interstellar space travel will not happen in our lifetime.

The only way to even attempt it would be to make what's known as a "wormhole" but according to an interview with Neil DeGrasse Tyson and NPR:

"We don't know how to make one, and even if we did make one, the equations show that they're unstable and they would collapse upon you if you tried to go through."

The movie *Armageddon*.

Buena Vista

According to Commander Chris Hadfield, Armageddon is the most atrocious, misinformed, all-around worst space movie that's ever been made.

"I haven't seen it since I first turned away from it in theaters," Chris said to Vanity Fair.

In space, no one can hear you scream!

Universal Pictures

No one can hear anything for that matter. Yet in almost every single space movie that's ever been made, from Alien to Apollo 13, there's some type of loud explosion.

This is a huge error because there's absolutely nothing in space to carry sound.

Different planets have different gravity.

For example, a human being on Mars would weigh approximately one-third of their bodyweight on earth. This means that Matt Damon wouldn't be able to look as chiseled as he does in The Martian.

He would've been bouncing around as he walked, too.

Absolutely nothing can withstand a black hole.

Paramount Pictures

Least of all the human body. Whenever you see a movie wherein the ship flies into a black hole in some miraculous escape attempt (Star Trek, I'm looking at you!), be sure to raise a red flag.

It's perhaps the most egregious as well as one of the most common errors in science fiction.

Astronauts don't ask "Houston" for help or permission in emergencies.

Warner Bros.

While reviewing space movies for Vanity Fair, astronaut Chris Hadfield couldn't help but laugh at Gravity.

"They're all yelling back to Houston as if somehow Houston is going to help them right here?" Hadfield continues by saying "It isn't astronaut behavior, it isn't logical behavior."

Microgravity is horrible for the human body.

Paramount Pictures

Very few films, if any, actually show astronauts working out. Being in zero-gravity for such a prolonged period of time causes our muscles to atrophy.

Which is why astronauts work out a minimum of two hours a day, every day.