How close is NASA to going ‘Interstellar’ like McConaughey?3 min read

Althopugh NASA continues to stretch itself farther into the cosmos, reaching the depths of space that Matthew McConaughey‘s reaches in “Interstellar” is still too far-fetched, the agency said.

 

NASA has weighed in on the upcoming Matthew McConaughey and Christopher Nolan collaboration “Interstellar” which opens on Friday in theaters.

Nolan, who previously directed “Memento,” “Insomnia,” “Inception” and the latest Batman trilogy, is known for eloquent plot twists and turns so you can expect his first foray into the space travel genre to be just as engrossing as the other films in his canon.

In the film a crew of astronauts must travel into space to search for and explore a new planet for mankind to populate due to the global warming crisis in the film. The film was written by Nolan and his brother Jonathan.

The trailer, released in the late summer, had Nolan fan boys geeking out over the visuals alone. In a statement on Friday, NASA took advantage of the film’s upcoming release to remind the public that the space agency is currently working on projects that aren’t too terribly far removed from what Nolan deals with in “Interstellar.”

The work of theoretical physicist Kip Thorne, with the California Institute of Technology, is credited with helping propel the film’s plot. In interviews leading up to the film’s release, Nolan has said he visited NASA locations and Elon Musk’s SpaceX to get a feel for how his film should look.

According to one science blog the warp drive used in the film looks something like what could be in the cards from future explorers.

The last big space travel flick to catch NASA’s collective eye was 2013’s “Gravity,” which starred Sandra Bullock and George Clooney. NASA reminded the public that the thrilling, fantastical chain of events in the film was just that – fantasy – but the agency commended the film for its seven Academy Awards wis in March. They even sent a video message from real-life astronauts Richard A. Mastracchio, Michael S. Hopkins and Koichi Wakata, aboard the International Space Station with Expedition 38.

Obviously NASA is not sending any crews into deep space to find us a new planet to populate, like in “Interstellar,” but NASA is surely working towards sending men and women further than ever before.

“As of now, the distance between stars is too great for spacecraft to traverse using existing propulsion,” NASA writes in its release. “Only one spacecraft is poised to leave the solar system in the near future. Voyager 1, launched in 1977, made the historic entry into interstellar space in August of 2012, reaching the region between stars.”

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“The near-term future of exploration should be cause for much excitement, though, as humans and robotic spacecraft pioneer the path Voyager traveled, deeper into our solar system, where extra-terrestrial life may exist, and where humans could one day thrive,” NASA adds.

NASA mentions the first flight test of the Orion Spacecraft coming up in December, a new rover heading to Mars, and a planned mission in the next decade where astronauts will explore an asteroid orbiting around the moon as work going on in the spirit of Interstellar.

“Those astronauts will travel farther into the solar system than anyone has ever been,” NASA says of the lunar trip.

Just not “Interstellar” far.

Even though the film takes Hollywood liberties with the technology currently in our grasp, it will no doubt motivate and inspire countless explorers to one day make the next giant leap for mankind into the universe.

 

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Sebastien Clarke

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