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Astronauts have home theatres to keep themselves entertained in space

Starship Troopers and Star Trek among more than 500 movies and TV shows available to astronauts on the ISS

PUBLISHED : Friday, 08 July, 2016, 3:22am
UPDATED : Friday, 08 July, 2016, 12:04pm

One could argue that everything is neater in space. Mundane activities like eating, sleeping, and just looking out the window become exponentially more awesome.

Even a Friday night spent relaxing and watching a movie becomes just a little bit cooler when you’re doing it while orbiting the Earth at 17,500 miles per hour.

Last year, astronauts installed an HD projector and a 65-inch screen in the International Space Station (ISS). The new set-up was a huge step up from the small screens of the devices astronauts previously had to watch movies on.

“Its home theatre set-up puts most of our terrestrial TVs to shame,” Wired writes.

The set-up isn’t exclusively used for movie-viewing — astronauts also use it to make calls to their families back home or to touch base with Mission Control.

Knowledge of the ISS’ new entertainment system surfaced back down on Earth when station commander Scott Kelly tweeted a picture of the screen playing a scene from Gravity.

Astronauts order movies the same way you would order Netflix DVDs to your doorstep (they just might take a little longer to get there).

“Every crew can request and have delivered on a number of cargo vehicles (as the cargo allotment permits) a contemporary collection of DVDs for their viewing enjoyment,” Stephanie Schierholz, a NASA spokesperson, says. “TV and films, along with books and music, are important aspects of psychological support for astronauts on long-duration missions.”

Gizmodo recently published a list of more than 500 movies and TV shows that are available to astronauts on the ISS, ranging from comedies like Ghost Busters to action flicks like The Terminator. And of course the list includes obvious space-based classics such as Starship Troopers and Star Trek.

So next time you’re kicking back and watching a movie, just think: Somewhere out there an astronaut might be doing the same thing... in space.

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