Take to the Skies with an Astronaut Movie
This year marks the 35th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Lunar Mission which lifted off from the Kennedy Space Center on July 16, 1969. Neil Armstrong was the modest man who made “one giant leap for mankind” when he and his fellow astronauts Michael Collins and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin piloted their spacecraft safely onto the surface of the moon on July 20, 1969. The lunar landing of Apollo 11 was a monumental moment for anyone glued to his or her television set back on planet Earth.
Self-described in 2000 as “a white-socks, pocket-protector, nerdy engineer,” Armstrong never sought for celebrity status. Yet his achievement was a bright spot during the tumultuous decade of the 1960s.
As the world mourns Armstrong’s passing at age 82, we take a look at movies inspired by the achievements of these courageous space travelers.
Apollo 13 stars Tom Hanks, Bill Paxton and Kevin Bacon as the astronauts forced to scrap their flight plan when an explosion causes damage to their rocket. The movie is based on true events surrounding the Apollo 13 Moon Mission.
In the Shadow of the Moon documents the ambitious American space program’s nine missions to the noon. Combining archival footage with interviews, the film spotlights this rare club of humans who have set foot on another sphere.
Another documentary, The IMAX Space Collection, is a 5-disc set highlighting the history of humans in space including the Mission to Mir and the recovery and repair mission of the Hubble Space Telescope.
2010: The Year We Make Contact is the fictional story that picks up nine years after the ill-fated Discovery mission at the center of 2001: A Space Odyssey.
After his aerospace career is aborted, a wannabe astronaut begins constructing his own rocket in the barn in The Astronaut Farmer.
A former astronaut with a billion bucks in his pocket decides to start a family business with his sons. Based on a 10602 TV show, this massive rescue operation makes use of space, air and aquatic vehicles in Thunderbirds.
A group of actors who played space travelers on a television program are relegated to being the main attraction at sci-fi conventions until the encounter some visiting aliens in Galaxy Quest.
Other space travelers take to the skies in Fly Me to the Moon, Space Chimps , Planet 51 and Space Camp.
Former astronaut Buzz Aldrin tries his acting skills in Transformers: Dark of the Moon.
Agent K uses Apollo 11 to carry a shield into space that protects the Earth from alien invaders in the 2012 movie Men In Black 3. But the three American astronauts who are headed into space, Aldrin, Collins and Armstrong, are worried the mission will be aborted if they report seeing the Men in Black fighting an alien villain. So the trio remains tight-lipped on take-off.