The International Space Station has an HD projector, and in the most meta move of the year, NASA’s Scott Kelly and the rest of the ‘nauts on board used it to watch Alfonso Cuarón’s space disaster flick, Gravity. Bravo ISS team, bravo.
We couldn’t let the astronauts have all the fun, so we’ve done labs in some of Earth’s most extreme environments the favor they didn’t know they needed, and planned an appropriate meta movie night for each. If all goes according to plan (seriously, scientists: your mission, should you choose to accept) here’s what we expect to see next in 2015:
Titanic: Now screening on the Research Vessel Nautilus
The research vessel Nautilus is responsible for some of the most viral deep-sea footage we’ve seen to date – most recently this epic clip of a sperm whale at 2,250 meters (7,380 ft) in the Gulf of Mexico. What could better accompany hours of ROV watching at sea than the most famous ship-sinking of all time?
Return of the Jedi: Now screening at Gobabeb Research center
Located in the heart of the Namib Desert, the Gobabeb Research and Training Center has been voted most likely to be demolished by the Sarlacc. Gobabeb conducts research in a wide variety of fields ranging from archaeology and anthropology to climate and ecology. With the climate crisis looming, we figure there is no time like the present to brush up on your ROTJ defense strategies – this is one lab we’d rather not lose.
The Thing: Now screening at the South Pole Observatory
The South Pole Observatory is a collaborative scientific research station located on the high plateau of Antarctica, 2,835 meters (9,301 feet) above sea level. Observatory staff members spend one year tours of duty at the station which includes a nine-month isolation period and six months of darkness … mhm, we know what happens next. One minute you’re keeping an eye on a 10-meter telescope, the next you’re confronted with a parasitic alien apocalypse.
Jaws: Now screening at Aquarius
Du nuh. Du nuh. First of all, if you haven’t checked out the underwater research lab Aquarius, you should. The lab, which can be found 60 feet beneath the surface of the Florida keys, is inhabited by “aquanauts” (could there be a better title?), who spend days – and sometimes months – living underwater to study marine ecosystems. These BAMFs study a wide range of things from ocean acidification and climate change, to fisheries and the overall health of the marine food web. It’s also the perfect spot to train specialized divers, develop new tech, and of course watch the best shark movie of all time.
What movies would you want to screen at a famous research facility? Ang Lee’s Hulk at Los Alamos? Contact at SETI? Let us know in the comments below.