'The Expanse' Season 4 Trailer Echoes JFK's Moonshot as Cast Talks Spaceflight

NEW YORK — Imagine all the sociopolitical conflicts you can come across when opening up a newspaper, and now project that into space. 

''The Expanse'' is a science fiction series that first aired in November 2015 on the SyFy channel network and it has found a new home on Amazon Prime. All episodes are available for streaming on this subscription platform and its much-anticipated fourth season premieres to the general public on Dec. 13th. But guests packed into the Jacob Javitz Center's Main Stage at New York Comic Con got an early look at the next chapter of this solar system story, including a brand new trailer

"The Expanse" follows the crewmembers of the spaceship Rocinante some 200 years in the future, when humans have settled onto Mars and formed colonies on the asteroids of the main belt between the Red Planet and Jupiter. 

The new season premiere packs explosive action sequences and dramatic new shooting locations, and the trailer makes a nod to the historic moonshot speech of President John F. Kennedy's , whose dedication to the American spaceflight program achieved the first Apollo moon landing 50 years ago this past summer. 

Related: New York Comic Con 2019: Amazing Space Cosplay Photos!

Actors Cas Anvar (left), Shohreh Aghdashloo (center) and Cara Gee at ''The Expanse'' panel at New York Comic Con on Oct. 5, 2019. (Image credit: Diana Whitcroft/Space.com)

Ahead of the premiere, Space.com spoke with the cast of ''The Expanse" to find out if they would go into space themselves, after embodying their characters now for four seasons. 

Emmy-winning actor Shohreh Aghdashloo (Chrisjen Avasarala) shared that she would love to leave Earth to visit our nearest celestial neighbor. 

"I truly want to see the moon in person," she said.

A scene from "The Expanse" Season 4 teaser trailer unveiled at New York Comic Con on Oct. 5, 2019. (Image credit: Amazon Prime Video)

Actor Wes Chatham (Amos Burton) said having a family complicates the decision. 

"That's an interesting question because I've actually thought about that. I remember I loved 'Close Encounters of the Third Kind', the [Steven] Spielberg movie, when I was younger and Richard Dreyfuss makes the decision to go with the aliens. And I always thought, 'Yes,' I would definitely make the choice to go up to space and be with aliens. But now I have kids. I have a four-year old and a three-year old." In this imaginary scenario, he would forsake the risky trip. 

Chatham got a realistic look at how hard it is to survive in space by playing the role, he said, and both he and fellow cast-member Steven Strait echoed the lessons they got from astronauts in preparing for the role. A healthy psychology is important for any space traveller, and that doesn't always come easy when imagining the isolation and physics of spaceflight.

Actor Cara Gee (Drummer) recently trained to scuba dive, and when asked about launching into space, she remarked on the similar difficulty a real person would encounter to move around an environment that could kill a person. 

Gee commented on what the fictitious asteroid belt population goes through in the series. "For Belters, in our show, the idea of an atmosphere on Earth and of the absurdity that the only thing that's keeping this atmosphere breathable is gravity and [to someone] who's always lived in an enclosed space, that's just a completely different way of interacting with your environment.''

For much of the cast, embodying characters living far away from Earth has given them a protective awareness about the bounty of liveable conditions our planet provides humanity. 

''If 'The Expanse' has taught me anything is that space is harsh and dirty and difficult," actor Dominique Tipper (Naomi Nagata) told Space.com. 

"I love Earth. I want to save Earth," she added, referring to the movements currently in motion to halt the harmful and potentially runaway effects that climate change could have on the only planet currently hosting human life in the solar system. 

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Doris Elin Urrutia
Contributing Writer

Doris is a science journalist and Space.com contributor. She received a B.A. in Sociology and Communications at Fordham University in New York City. Her first work was published in collaboration with London Mining Network, where her love of science writing was born. Her passion for astronomy started as a kid when she helped her sister build a model solar system in the Bronx. She got her first shot at astronomy writing as a Space.com editorial intern and continues to write about all things cosmic for the website. Doris has also written about microscopic plant life for Scientific American’s website and about whale calls for their print magazine. She has also written about ancient humans for Inverse, with stories ranging from how to recreate Pompeii’s cuisine to how to map the Polynesian expansion through genomics. She currently shares her home with two rabbits. Follow her on twitter at @salazar_elin.