'Passengers' Stars Pratt, Lawrence Grill Real NASA Researcher (Video)

Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt star in the new science fiction movie "Passengers." During a press interview, the stars got to ask a real NASA scientist their most pressing questions about space.

The stars of the science-fiction movie "Passengers" got to talk to a real NASA scientist and ask some big questions about space. 

Chris Pratt, Jennifer Lawrence and Michael Sheen talked with Tiffany Kataria, a planetary scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory who studies the atmospheres of planets around other stars, during a press junket for the new flick. You can watch the full video in the window below.

"What's going to be the next groundbreaking discovery in space travel and in propulsion in space?" Pratt asked Kataria. 

"I think getting close to the speed of light … getting the technology in order to do that is going to be the next breakthrough," Kataria said. "But I think we're a bit of a ways away from that."

Sheen asked Kataria about some big-concept ideas, including time travel and which cosmic event is likely to destroy the human race first: the death of the sun or a singularity (like a black hole). Lawrence asked about the accuracy of the phrase "a wrinkle in time."

Kataria — who also discussed the real-world science that inspired the movie at a recent event —did sneak in one question at the end of the interview, asking the stars what drew them to the new movie, which gave Lawrence a chance to work in some spacey wordplay — check out the video to see what she said. 

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Calla Cofield
Senior Writer

Calla Cofield joined Space.com'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 Space.com 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 Space.com 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