Last week, we heard about Apogee of Fear”, the short film NASA didn’t want you to see. Or, at least, that they wouldn’t give the approval for Richard Garriott to release it to the public. Garriott made the film in 2008, when he undertook his self-financed trip to the International Space Station. Apogee of Fear is officially the first science fiction film both set and actually filmed in space, which makes it kind of a big deal. Even the Smithsonian was reported to have wanted to house the film because of its historical signficance. However, for reasons that were not made very clear, NASA discouraged its release. It seems that the agency has now changed its mind, and you may soon get the chance to see Garriott’s movie.
Wired got in contact with NASA to get some clarification on the space agency’s stance and received the following statement from Bob Jacobs, NASA’s deputy for communications:
NASA is working with Richard Garriott to facilitate the video’s release. While the project was not part of his original Space Act agreement with NASA, everyone involved had the best of intentions. We hope to resolve the remaining issues expeditiously, and we appreciate Richard’s cooperation and his ongoing efforts to get people excited about the future of space exploration.
There’s still no real explanation of why the agency disapproves of Garriott’s film in its current form or when exactly it might be hitting the internet/the Smithsonian, but it’s nice to hear that they are working with Garriott to get the film out to the public. Judging by descriptions from those who have seen it, Apogee of Fear may end up being pretty silly. But even silly things can represent a step forward.