Popular Science

'First Man' is astonishingly accurate—here's how NASA helped

Yes, this article has spoilers
ryan gosling sitting in orange NASA uniform

Ryan Gosling, star of First Man tours NASA's Johnson Space Center

Josh Valcarcel

  • NOTE: this article discusses pivotal plot points from the movie First Man. You have been warned.

Long before the advent of modern rocketry, filmmakers were enamored with space, dreaming up wild adventures far from Earth’s surface to the delight of audiences around the world. But a number of space films have looked to reality instead of science fiction for their dramatic narratives: 1983’s The Right Stuff, 1995’s Apollo 13, 2016’s Hidden Figures, and last weekend’s First Man, to name a few.

Conjuring the dawn of space exploration decades later can be a challenge, but Hollywood had some help in making those films as accurate as possible. NASA is an archival treasure trove for screenwriters and filmmakers looking to produce a project on its missions. The agency’s Bert Ulrich, Multimedia Liaison, Film and TV

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