The mission of the "Interstellar" spaceship Endurance is clear — space exploration — at least based on its newly-revealed mission patch.
Paramount and Warner Bros. provided a fresh glimpse at the movie "Interstellar," director Christopher Nolan's upcoming space adventure, in a new trailer released Wednesday (July 30). The two and a half minute preview builds upon the footage previously released in May.
"We used to look up in the sky and wonder at our place in the stars," actor Matthew McConaughey says at the start of the new trailer. "Now we just look down and worry about our place in the dirt." [Image: “Interstellar” Endurance mission patch]
McConaughey, who as "Cooper" is an engineer-astronaut, is seen wearing a spacesuit on the Endurance alongside a similarly-outfitted "Brand" (Anne Hathaway), a fellow crew mate. Both wear an American flag on their left shoulder, a "NASA" insignia centered on their chest — although it is unlike any design that the real-life U.S. space agency has used in its history — and the Endurance mission patch on their right sleeve.
The trailer offers a fairly clear view of the Endurance patch — clearer than it provides of the movie's plot — but some fortunate fans got an even better look at the crew badge at the recent Comic-Con convention held in San Diego.
McConaughey and Nolan made a surprise appearance at the conclusion of Paramount's panel discussing its films. The actor and director did not divulge much about the plot of "Interstellar," but the movie studio had another surprise in store for the panel's audience, giving out the Endurance patches to them all.
The five-sided, blue, white and silver emblem features the "Interstellar" spaceship at its center. "Endurance" appears across the top, just above the words "Space Exploration."
The mission patch, which mimics the symbol-rich patches employed by NASA, is among a number of nods to real space exploration included in "Interstellar" and revealed in the new trailer. Another is a rocket launch — perhaps the booster that Cooper rides to leave Earth — which exhibits structural features and markings reminiscent of the Apollo moon missions' Saturn V.
"Interstellar," which follows Cooper, Brand and their crew mates as they journey through a wormhole in search of "potentially habitable worlds," is based on the gravity-field research by noted theoretical physicist Kip Thorne of the California Institute of Technology.
In addition to McConaughey and Hathaway, "Interstellar" stars Jessica Chastain and Michael Caine. The film opens in theaters on Nov. 7.
Click through to collectSPACE.com to see the “Interstellar” Endurance mission patch.
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Robert Pearlman is a space historian, journalist and the founder and editor of collectSPACE.com, an online publication and community devoted to space history with a particular focus on how and where space exploration intersects with pop culture. Pearlman is also a contributing writer for Space.com and co-author of "Space Stations: The Art, Science, and Reality of Working in Space” published by Smithsonian Books in 2018. He previously developed online content for the National Space Society and Apollo 11 moonwalker Buzz Aldrin, helped establish the space tourism company Space Adventures and currently serves on the History Committee of the American Astronautical Society, the advisory committee for The Mars Generation and leadership board of For All Moonkind. In 2009, he was inducted into the U.S. Space Camp Hall of Fame in Huntsville, Alabama. In 2021, he was honored by the American Astronautical Society with the Ordway Award for Sustained Excellence in Spaceflight History.