Science fiction and space movies and TV series are always going to push the envelope in terms of what’s realistic. Some movies, such as Apollo 13, have been praised for their realism, and at the other end of the scale you’ve got the likes of Transformers 3 and Fast and Furious 9. Chris Hadfield, a real-life astronaut, has been watching some films and shows set in space and seeing what they get right and wrong – including For All Mankind.
For All Mankind is an Apple TV show which speculates what might have happened if the Soviet Union had won the race to the moon before the USA. Hadfield tells Vanity Fair that; “I really think it’s a clever possibility for a plot, but very soon, just a few episodes in, everything becomes sort of cartoonish.”
In a scene where American astronauts confront Russian astronauts with guns on the moon, Hadfield criticizes how the spacesuits move, as well as the behavior of the astronauts who would have all had military backgrounds at the time. However, he praises the accuracy of how guns and bullets would work on the moon, and when interacting with a spacesuit.
Hadfield explains; “Guns don’t need air to work, in fact lack of air would be better because then there would be no air to slow down the bullet. And there’s a lot less gravity on the moon, so the bullet would go straighter and further.”
In the sci-fi series scene, the bullet causes the inside of the Russian’s spacesuit to ignite. “It’s 100% oxygen inside a spacesuit, so everything burns. We have had a fire inside a spacewalking suit. It was a test at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, and even the aluminum was burning inside the suit. Fortunately, there was not a person in the suit. You don’t want any sparks to be even possible inside a 100% oxygen environment.”
Find out what we know so far about For All Mankind season 4 and read our opinion piece on how For All Mankind is the new Star Trek. We’re looking forward to The Marvels and Avatar 3, for more space-set silliness.