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1st Science Fiction Movie Filmed in Space


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A new documentary about space tourist Richard Garriott's flight to the International Space Station is hitting theaters now, but the sci-fi movie he made aboard the orbiting lab remains under wraps.

"Man on a Mission," which opens today (Jan.13), chronicles Garriott's journey to the station in October 2008, a trip that cost him $30 million of his own money. While up there, the video-game designer made a playful eight-minute film called "Apogee of Fear," with some standout acting assistance from a Russian cosmonaut and two NASA astronauts.

"Apogee of Fear" is the first science-fiction movie ever made in space, Garriott said, and he would like to let the public see it. There has been some demand, with the Smithsonian Institution even asking to put the film in its permanent archives because of its historical value.

But NASA hasn't given the necessary go-ahead, according to Garriott.

"NASA has, so far, decided that since it's filmed onboard NASA hardware and uses NASA astronauts as actors, they have resisted me releasing it publicly," Garriott told SPACE.com Wednesday (Jan. 11). [Photos: The First Space Tourists]

The first sci-fi movie ever filmed in space

Garriott's not fighting mad about the movie's current underground status, but he wants "Apogee of Fear" to come out. In an interview with SPACE.com at a conference last year, he said the film shows a more light-hearted side of astronauts and life aboard the space station, so it could serve as something of an education and outreach tool.

Asked to speculate about why NASA wouldn't give permission to release the film, Garriott offered up a few ideas.

"It's too playful," he told SPACE.com. "It's just not their message."

He doesn't think the space agency actively dislikes "Apogee of Fear" or wishes to suppress it. Rather, he believes NASA simply sees no reason to support it.

"It's just that the default answer is no," Garriott said.

A private screening

After his talk at the conference last year, Garriott gave a private screening of "Apogee of Fear." That is, he showed the eight-minute movie on his laptop to a half-dozen or so folks who had stuck around to ask him questions or introduce themselves.


Well this would be interesting to see.Hope that NASA would allow it to be shown to general public.I remember how someone mentioned some 20 years ago how one day Star Trek would be filmed in Space.Who knows maybe that would be reality soon.

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Reminds me of Cameron's work filming the real wreck of the Titanic for his movie. I'l be first in line at the IMAX come re-release in April. Never witnessed the spectacle back in 1997.

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