PICAYUNE, MS (WLOX) - Workers at Stennis Space Center celebrated the debut of the movie 'The Martian' with a special viewing Saturday morning.
The Hancock County rocket motor testing facility reserved Acadiana Cinemas in Picayune for a private showing. The movie is an action packed drama Stennis leaders say plays well with NASA's ambitious mission to send man to Mars
Leaders say 158 tickets for a special viewing of the movie 'The Martian' were purchased in advance.
"This movie is a wonderful opportunity to share our excitement and engage the public in the types of new technology to help us progress into the next chapter of deeper space exploration namely to go to Mars," said Ramona Travis, NASA Chief Technologist at Stennis Space Center.
In the fictional movie, something goes wrong when Astronaut Mark Watney, played by actor Matt Damon, is separated from his crew during a manned mission to Mars. Watney is presumed dead as he fights to get back home.
"It looked like a good movie and it turned out to be a really good movie," said Pearl River County Resident Dale Roach.
Roach's wife Mary agreed.
"One of the things they brought out and I think is fabulous is something the military says 'you never leave a man behind.' And that was really brought out the United States; went after their man no matter what the cost."
Stennis leaders say a lot can be learned from the movie about space and what NASA hopes to do in about 15 years on the Red Planet. That's why educational stations from Stennis were set-up out-side of the movie theater for children.
"It seemed like a perfect opportunity for us to come out with some NASA displays to explain some of NASA's technology. In hopes of inspiring the younger generations to peak an interest in science, engineering or perhaps math. They are the future of NASA, " explained Valerie Buckingham, NASA News Chief at Stennis.
Stennis leaders say several current and former NASA employees served as consultants on the movie to keep each scene as realistic and authentic as possible.