Chris Pratt, Jennifer Lawrence Beam Up! 'Passengers' Heads to Space Station

Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence in Passengers
Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence star in the science fiction movie "Passengers." (Image credit: Copyright, 2016 Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc. All rights reserved)

Astronauts and other crewmembers on the International Space Station will get to watch the new science fiction movie "Passengers," while in orbit. 

Sony Pictures Entertainment announced today that it is working with NASA to send a digital version of the film to the orbiting laboratory. The movie centers on a massive spaceship carrying a group of humans on a 120-year-long journey to a distant planet, where they will make a new home. To survive the long trip, the passengers are placed in a hibernation state, but two people (Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence) wake up 90 years too early and are forced to cope with their new fate. 

As part of the collaboration between Sony and NASA, Pratt and Lawrence recorded a short video discussing the real-world search for habitable exoplanets located elsewhere in the universe.  

Other movies that have been sent to the station in the past include "Gravity" (2013), "Star Trek Beyond" (2016) and "The Martian" (2015). Station crewmembers can enjoy movies and TV shows as a group using the onboard 65-inch (165 centimeters) projection screen, which was installed in April, 2015. 

This composite image shows the Screen Innovations' ISS Viewscreen deployed onboard the space station. (Image credit: Screen Innovations/NASA)

NASA is participating in the film's release in other ways. Sony is hosting a panel discussion later this week featuring two scientists who will discuss some of the real-world science that the movie explores. The panelists are Tiffany Kataria, a NASA JPL scientist and expert on exoplanet exploration, and John Bradford, CEO of SpaceWorks, a company investigating human hibernation for spaceflight. 

"The movie is about the very real possibility of traveling to a new home around another star," Neal H. Moritz, a producer of "Passengers," said in the statement from Sony. "It's fascinating to discover the real science behind that — to see how astronomers are discovering exoplanets and finding ways that what we imagine could someday become a reality."

In addition, NASA astronauts Garrett Reisman, Michael Massimino, and Nicole Stott will walk the red carpet at the movie's premier. "Passengers" will be in theaters everywhere on Dec. 21. 

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Calla Cofield
Senior Writer

Calla Cofield joined's crew in October 2014. She enjoys writing about black holes, exploding stars, ripples in space-time, science in comic books, and all the mysteries of the cosmos. Prior to joining Calla worked as a freelance writer, with her work appearing in APS News, Symmetry magazine, Scientific American, Nature News, Physics World, and others. From 2010 to 2014 she was a producer for The Physics Central Podcast. Previously, Calla worked at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City (hands down the best office building ever) and SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory in California. Calla studied physics at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and is originally from Sandy, Utah. In 2018, Calla left to join NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory media team where she oversees astronomy, physics, exoplanets and the Cold Atom Lab mission. She has been underground at three of the largest particle accelerators in the world and would really like to know what the heck dark matter is. Contact Calla via: E-Mail – Twitter