Aldrin: 'After Earth' noisier than space really is (Update)May 30th, 2013 by John Carucci in Astronomy & Space / Space Exploration
This May 29, 2013 photo shows former astronaut Buzz Aldrin at the "After Earth" premiere at the Ziegfeld Theatre in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)
While astronaut Buzz Aldrin enjoys movies about space, he doesn't always think they get it right.
A day after attending the New York premiere of the post-apocalyptic thriller, "After Earth," he admits the film was a great family drama, but the space scenes were not realistic.
His main point of contention: "There was a lot of noise. In space, you don't get that much noise."
Aldrin, who followed Neil Armstrong onto the surface of the moon during the historic Apollo 11 landing in 1969, says that "noise doesn't propagate in a vacuum. We talked over headsets."
"Fortunately, we were free of static. We could communicate with each other pretty clearly, and mission control, though we were 50,000 miles away."
The 83-year old Apollo 11 crew member was the guest of honor at an event for a new luxury camera from Hasselblad. The Swedish company supplied the camera used to take pictures of the lunar landing more than 50 years ago.
And who does he think perfected the realistic telling of space stories?
"Arthur C. Clarke added a bit of reality to the genre with the (function) of the ship and people flying out in space on a mission," Aldrin said.
Clarke wrote the forward for Aldrin's 1996 sci-fi novel, "Encounter With Tiber." That book is being turned into a TV series.
As for "After Earth," Aldrin enjoyed the father-son dynamic between Will Smith and son Jaden, but thought there was a little too much "Shoot'em-up" for his taste.
"I hope the aliens are more peaceful than they are in this film, wherever they are," Aldrin joked.
But, he was impressed by the set design of earth 1,000 years into the future.
"The scenes of the cities were really remarkable," Aldrin said.
That differed significantly from his experience on the moon.
"The place was just totally lifeless, and that prompted me to use the words, 'magnificent desolation' in contrast to the magnificent experience that humanity could move itself ahead to get to the moon," Aldrin said.
"And as Neil says, that was sort of a small step for man, but to me the giant leap is establishing permanence on another planet."
Aldrin wants it to be Mars, but feels it won't happen in his lifetime, unless he's "really, really long-lived."
© 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
"Aldrin: 'After Earth' noisier than space really is (Update)." May 30th, 2013. http://phys.org/news/2013-05-aldrin-earth-noisier-space.html