Author Topic: What has led to the explosion of astronaut themed pop culture recently?  (Read 1048 times)

Offline CmdrShepN7

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Astronaut stuff has always been popular but it seems like during the past 2 years it has exploded on TV.









And it shows no signs of slowing down.


Has SpaceX caused a massive increase of interest for spaceflight and space exploration?

Or did the success of the 2010s astronaut movies "Gravity", "Interstellar", "The Martian", and "Hidden Figures" have an effect on the executives of streaming services?

Offline Endeavour_01

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SpaceX has most definitely played a huge role in making spaceflight a larger part of the public consciousness and engendering more media content involving space. Seeing boosters return to land on a drone ship is undeniably cool even for non space buffs. Then the Falcon Heavy test flight and Starman generated a lot of excitement. Finally, the return of astronaut flights from US soil with DM-2 was one of the few positive things to happen in 2020.   

I also think part of the resurgence in space based media content is the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11 and subsequent lunar landings. These anniversaries bring back the history of the space program to the public mindset and nostalgia is something Hollywood is deeply invested in. Then of course there are things like the landing of Perseverance, the flights of Ingenuity, launch of JWST, and other recent uncrewed space missions.
I cheer for both NASA and commercial space. For SLS, Orion, Falcon 9, Falcon Heavy, Dragon, SS/SH, Starliner, Cygnus and all the rest!
I was blessed to see the launch of Space Shuttle Endeavour on STS-99. The launch was beyond amazing. My 8-year old mind was blown. I remember the noise and seeing the exhaust pour out of the shuttle as it lifted off. I remember staring and watching it soar while it was visible in the clear blue sky. It was one of the greatest moments of my life and I will never forget it.

Offline Blackstar

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SpaceX has most definitely played a huge role in making spaceflight a larger part of the public consciousness and engendering more media content involving space. Seeing boosters return to land on a drone ship is undeniably cool even for non space buffs. Then the Falcon Heavy test flight and Starman generated a lot of excitement. Finally, the return of astronaut flights from US soil with DM-2 was one of the few positive things to happen in 2020.   

I also think part of the resurgence in space based media content is the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11 and subsequent lunar landings. These anniversaries bring back the history of the space program to the public mindset and nostalgia is something Hollywood is deeply invested in. Then of course there are things like the landing of Perseverance, the flights of Ingenuity, launch of JWST, and other recent uncrewed space missions.



Yes to all that. Success also breeds copies. The Martian was successful, and resulted in a number of Mars-themed shows that followed. (Something that I have written about.) This is part of the "bring me another..." habit in Hollywood where studios want to copy success.

But there was also a big increase in demand for content now that there are so many streaming services. So there are a lot more shows about detectives, about supernatural stuff, about everything. Make the pie bigger and each slice is going to get bigger too. (You wanna see something amusing? Go to your streaming service and look up all the streaming apps for dogs. Yeah, you now have multiple options for television shows for your dog.) But the recent news about Netflix may indicate that things are going to contract. We may see some streaming services go away and many programs disappear. Maybe that will mean fewer astronaut-themed shows in the coming years.

Offline ccdengr

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Netflix already cancelled AWAY; Hulu only gave THE FIRST one season.

Offline Zed_Noir

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Netflix already cancelled AWAY; Hulu only gave THE FIRST one season.
Netflix is going to cancel a lot of things including possibly itself. Due to the huge debt load it has.

Offline butters

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I think, when things are perceived to be going well in the real world, people are drawn to content about life in the real world. For example, the many successful "cubicle movies" of 1999. When things are not seen as going so well, people are attracted to content that offers an escape from their everyday lives.

Offline KelvinZero

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There was also an earlier rash of (moderately) hard SF movies using small sets and a small cast because they were set in cramped capsules etc.. in many cases this put the budget quite low also but not always!.

Apollo 13
Moon
Apollo 18
Europa report
The Martian
Interstellar
Ad Astra

..and some others but I can't remember them at the moment.


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