Here Are The Movies Astronauts Can Watch On The International Space Station

In space, no-one can hear you Netflix and chill.

It must be lonely up there, in the cold vacuum of space… so what’s an astronaut to do on their downtime? The International Space Station now has a full HD home theatre setup, as well as a massive library of movies.

But while astronaut Michael Barratt watched the new ‘Star Trek’ in 2009, what are the most popular movies amongst NASA’s best and brightest?

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The folks at Gizmodo have compiled a complete list of all the movies that are on board the International Space Station.

And there are some pretty interesting choices…

2001: A Space Odyssey

It’s one of the most terrifying movies on this list… for reasons you’ll understand if you’ve already seen it. ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ is a Stanley Kubrick classic. But while its clean and sterile vision of space may seem harmless, it all comes undone rather quickly.

Introducing HAL – the iconic computer-gone-bad who sabotages poor astronaut Dave’s mission and seemingly turns against him. It’s a sci-fi classic, but not exactly the kind of film you’d want to watch while floating about in space.

At least, not with the pod bay doors open.


Another sci-fi classic, ‘Alien’ introduced the world to Ridley Scott’s iconic xenomorph… and with its claustrophobic interiors and game of cat-and-mouse through the Nostromo, it’s difficult to see how anyone could watch this movie in the darkness of space.

But there it is aboard the International Space Station, along with ‘Aliens’, ‘Alien 3’ and even the much-derided ‘Alien: Resurrection’.

But ‘Prometheus’ didn’t make the cut. Just don’t tell Ridley.


It’s perhaps a bit more appropriate, but ‘Gravity’ is just as nerve-wracking. Sandra Bullock stars as Dr Ryan Stone – a medical engineer aboard her first space mission along with veteran astronaut Matt Kowalski (played by George Clooney).

But things soon go awry…

During a routine spacewalk, a cloud of debris causes the mission to go sideways. And soon enough, Sandra Bullock finds herself fighting for survival – as well as a way back to earth.

It’s a terrifying look at what might happen if things go incredibly wrong… and after watching ‘Gravity’ aboard the ISS, they might want to check every nut and bolt on the entire station.


The impressive big screen debut from Duncan Jones, ‘Moon’ stars Sam Rockwell as Sam Bell – a mining corporation worker nearing the end of his 3-year stint at Sarang Station… which happens to be situated on the Moon.

Thankfully, this time the drama isn’t quite so close to home.

At least, we hope not.

Living with only an AI named GERTY for company, Sam comes across a shocking secret that changes everything. But can he make his way back to Earth? An interesting choice for ISS astronauts. But far less scary than anything else we’ve listed so far.


It’s classic Bond – ‘Moonraker’ stars Roger Moore as 007 himself, James Bond. But this time, he’s traded in the Aston Martin for a Moonraker space shuttle. The sinister plot which Bond has to foil revolves around Huge Drax – an industrialist who owns a fleet of space craft and who plans to wipe out the entire human race from his space station.

How is he planning to do that?

After transporting several ‘perfect’ couples to the station in order to repopulate the Earth after the dust has settled, Drax intends to launch pods of nerve gas to wipe out the rest of us. But it doesn’t take Bond long to throw a spanner in the works.

Impressive space battle scenes coupled with Roger Moore’s classy wit makes ‘Moonraker’ a complete hit. Let’s just hope NASA isn’t up to anything similar.

Planet of the Apes

Another classic, starring Charlton Heston as astronaut George Taylor. ‘Planet of the Apes’ sees a crew of astronauts setting off on a light-speed voyage in deep hibernation… but when they awake, something is very wrong.

Almost two millennia after their departure, they find a desolate planet populated by talking apes. But while the indigenous population of this new world are sentient, they’re not exactly friendly.

Of course, eventually the twist is revealed – the astronauts landed back on Earth.

It’s a shocking twist which really could unsettle any ISS astronauts due to head back to Earth. We’re looking at you, Tim Peake. Thankfully, he didn’t find Big Ben buried in a sandy beach upon his return.

The full list of ISS movies is available at Gizmodo, and includes a huge number of classics such as ‘Casablanca’ and ‘The Maltese Falcon’, as well as more modern treats including ‘Lord of the Rings’, ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ and ‘Kingsman: The Secret Service’.

Interestingly, one movie which doesn’t appear on the list is ‘Apollo 13’.

It’s one thing to put the frighteners up your crew with the likes of ‘Alien’… but perhaps the Tom Hanks classic hits a little too close to home.

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Picture Credit: 20th Century Fox, MGM, NASA, Sony Pictures, United Artists, Warner Bros