The Hilary Swank-helmed drama 'Away' premieres globally on Netflix September 4.
Did you ever have dreams of becoming an astronaut? Well, Netflix NFLX has a new drama premiering globally September 4 that will allow you to vicariously join an international mission to Mars. The 10-episode series Away will keep you hooked from start to finish. Its an emotional and exciting ride!
Hilary Swank shines as Commander Emma Green, an American astronaut leading an international crew on a first-of-its kind mission. Josh Charles plays her husband Matt, who stays home to take care of their teenage daughter, Alexis (Talitha Bateman). Rounding out the international crew are Ato Essandoh as Kwesi, Mark Ivanir as Misha, Vivian Wu as Lu and Ray Panthaki as Ram. From different corners of the globe, the team must work together under extreme stress to save themselves and the mission at hand.
As fascinating as the plots main storyline, a three-year first-of-its-kind mission to Mars, are some behind-the-scenes facts, as well as things that happen to the human body during space travel.
L-R: Vivian Wu, MarkIvanir, Hilary Swank, Ray Panthaki and Ato Essandoh.
1.Like other hit Netflix series, such as last years Unbelievable, the new 10-episode drama Away was inspired by an article. In this case, the Swank-helmed series about an international three-year mission to Mars was loosely based on a magazine article of the same name written by journalist Chris Jones for Esquire. Jones then joined the shows production team as a member of the writing staff.
2.One question many fans will be apt to ask is how they filmed the no-gravity scenes. There is gravity in the lower living quarters of the spaceship but not in the upper areas, nor outside the spacecraft. The answer is in whats called wire work. Mark Ivanir, who plays Russian astronaut Misha Popov, had a bit of an advantage here or, as he says, a secret weapon. When he initially arrived for the casts astronaut training bootcamp, his background as a circus performer gave him a leg up. He admits that by the second day, as the rest of the cast was adjusting to the wires, he was doing backflips.
3.As if the physicality of the wire work wasnt enough, it also led to one of the most challenging aspects of filming for Swank, which was how to talk in space. She says that one of the most trying parts of these scenes for the cast was learning to slow body movements down while not altering the speed of their words. Swank described that when your body is moving slowly, the inclination is to also slow your words down in a way similar to speaking in slow motion. This is not how astronauts speak in space and she compared it to tapping your head with one hand while simultaneously rubbing your stomach with the other.
4.The food in space has improved over the years and can now actually be considered cuisine. Over the course of a three-year mission to Mars, the astronauts would require an incredible 24,000 pounds of food. Its been reported that famous chef Rachael Ray prepared Swedish meatballs, Thai chicken and vegetable curry for the crew of space shuttle Discovery in December 2006. The shows production designer, David Sandefur, said he took the volume of food storage into account when designing the ship and he used moveable racks that could be reconfigured depending on the need for space. Sandefur and his team also completed extensive research of recent and upcoming designs of command modules from the Orion mission to Space X to ensure every detail was just right when designing the shows spaceship.
5.The Obamas played a role in Away, whether they knew it or not. When thinking about the relationship dynamic between Emma and Matt, the writers drew inspiration from a very famous couple. Showrunner Jessica Goldberg says the powerful relationship between President Obama and Michelle Obama was top of mind in the writers room.
6.Space travel does some very odd things to the human body. For instance, in one scene a character is extremely concerned when a large chunk of his foot falls off. This is a brutal reality that real-life astronauts really do have to be concerned about. After just one month of being in orbit, astronauts begin shedding large quantities of skin from their soles, mainly consisting of the calluses that have built-up over time. One astronaut was reported to have called Mission Control when a sizable wedge of his heel floated away.
7.Another interesting fact about the human body and space travel is that some astronauts actually grow taller in space. According to NASA, astronauts have been known to grow up to two inches taller in space due to the lack of gravity compressing the vertebrae.
8. Designing the space suits for the show was a very detail-oriented job. Costume Designer Kimberly Adams says that one of the most time-consuming elements for the costume department and the production design team was designing the astronaut patches because in the world of NASA, the mission patches are a huge deal and are extremely intricate in design. Each crew that goes up on various missions has a say in the design of their patches. Adams, who previously designed spacesuits when working on Stranger Things, as well as the Brendan Fraser and Alicia Silverstone 1999 movie Blast From the Past, adds that shes never created suits like the ones worn in Away. With these, the challenge was coming up with the practicality of what could be real in a near-future reality.
9.Real-life astronauts also came into play for the show. Former NASA astronaut and consultant Mike Massimino has a cameo playing himself in the series. He appears in the first episode in a scene where hes being interviewed about the mission. And, astronaut Peggy Whitson provided loose inspiration for Swanks character. Whitson commanded nine missions to space and when Swank called her to discuss her experiences, Swank learned Whitson is from the same town as her parents. Swank also admits that at five-years-old, long before she had dreams of becoming an actor, she had dreams of becoming an astronaut.
10. Two members of the cast knew as much as their characters. Charles plays Matt, who is much more than the husband of an astronaut and stay-at-home-dad. Hes also a NASA engineer and a composer and musician. Charles plays guitar in real life but he learned to also play the piano for the role. He had no prior experience but learned enough to make a scene work in the first episode. He initially aimed to learn to play well enough to fake it but he actually ended up playing the piano in the scene. Essandoh, who plays the missions botanist Dr. Kwesi Weisberg-Abban, also did double-duty in Away. Hes not only a brilliant actor but also has a bachelors degree in chemical engineering from Cornell University.
Hilary Swank stars as Commander Emma Green in the Netflix drama 'Away'.
Rounding out the cast are Adam Irigoyen, Monique Gabriela Curnen, Fiona Fu and Felicia Patti. The series was created by Andrew Hinderaker, who also executive produces alongside Goldberg and Swank, Jason Katims, Matt Reeves, Edward Zwick, Adam Kassan and Jeni Mulein.
- 'Away' on Netflix: How close it gets to real Mars space travel - Los Angeles Times - September 8th, 2020
- The 'Mighty Mice' That Went To Space Could Help Protect Astronauts' Muscles And Bones - CBS Sacramento - September 8th, 2020
- Top 10 books about space travel - The Guardian - September 8th, 2020
- Space travel on the far horizon - Tennis World USA - September 8th, 2020
- Netflix's Away perfectly captures the boring reality of space travel - Wired.co.uk - September 8th, 2020
- Who is this moron, flying around?: A short history of our disillusionment with space travel - Prospect - September 8th, 2020
- The 'mighty mice' that went to space could help protect astronauts' muscles and bones - FOX10 News - September 8th, 2020
- Cosmonaut Brain Scans Show Space Does Weird Things to Motor Skills And Vision - ScienceAlert - September 8th, 2020
- Mission Gaganyaan: Training Indias Astronauts for Space Travel - The Quint - September 8th, 2020
- 'Away': Hilary Swank series should be much better than it is - Newsday - September 8th, 2020
- What Is It Like to Actually Parent From Space? - Yahoo Lifestyle - September 8th, 2020
- German rocket start-up inaugurates production site in Bavaria - The Star Online - September 8th, 2020
- A NASA Warp Drive Could Be a Reality in the Distant Future - Interesting Engineering - September 8th, 2020
- UK's big advantage that will spark European dominance in post-Brexit space tourism - Daily Express - September 8th, 2020
- Nashville eyes sidewalk dining as a tool to keep restaurants afloat. Could the idea outlast COVID-19? - Tennessean - September 8th, 2020
- How will language change if humans travel the stars? - Slate - September 6th, 2020
- Looking ahead to Mars base, Elon Musk says theres a good chance astronauts could die there - SYFY WIRE - September 6th, 2020
- Netflix's 'Away' Imagines a Future in Which Going to Mars Is Possible - Thrillist - September 6th, 2020
- When It Comes to Virgin Galactic Stock, There Is Absolutely No Rush to Jump In - InvestorPlace - September 6th, 2020
- The Wiggles Address Modes of Travel, Togetherness - GeekDad - September 6th, 2020
- 2020 is the year of the SPAC yet traditional IPOs offer better returns, report finds - MarketWatch - September 6th, 2020
- Making Space: The Female Frontier spotlights the women who shaped space exploration - CNET - September 2nd, 2020
- The NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts Is Funding Some Out of This World Ideas - Interesting Engineering - September 2nd, 2020
- Here are 9 great Netflix short documentaries to watch for inspiration - Yahoo! Voices - September 2nd, 2020
- WATCH | What happens to time when you travel at the speed of light? - Health24 - September 2nd, 2020
- There's a Theory Beyond Relativity That Would Allow You to Fly Through a Wormhole - ScienceAlert - September 2nd, 2020
- Northcoast Veterans Museum looking to expand in Gibonburg - The News-Messenger - September 2nd, 2020
- What CMOs Need To Know About Space Marketing - Forbes - August 25th, 2020
- Could carbon-foam probes bring interstellar flight within reach? - Space.com - August 25th, 2020
- Germs from space could cause havoc in human bodies - Health24 - August 25th, 2020
- Travel: South Side of the Space Coast - Orlando Magazine - August 25th, 2020
- #SpaceWatchGL Opinion: German space policy: the need for a strategy and a corresponding legislation - SpaceWatch.Global - August 25th, 2020
- Neil deGrasse Tyson Reveals the Wonders of Space, and His Personal Space at Home - Mansion Global - August 25th, 2020
- This NASA Animation Shows What It's Really Like to Travel Close to The Speed of Light - ScienceAlert - August 25th, 2020
- Virgin Galactic Just Got $460 Million Reasons to Stay the Course - InvestorPlace - August 25th, 2020
- What you need to buy if you have to get on a plane right now - CNN - August 25th, 2020
- Spider-Woman is Heading To Space With Captain Marvel - Screen Rant - August 25th, 2020
- There's No Logic in Buying Virgin Galactic Stock - InvestorPlace - August 25th, 2020
- 'Go home and hug and kiss your loved ones,' lake tragedy mother tells funeral - Independent.ie - August 25th, 2020
- Friday essay: vizards, face gloves and window hoods a history of masks in western fashion - The Conversation AU - August 25th, 2020
- The Final Frontier: Space Stocks To Watch - Trefis - August 10th, 2020
- As The Agents Of SHIELD Finale Looms, Remembering Its Impressive Achievement - Forbes - August 10th, 2020
- Places That May Make You Feel Like You're Traveling in Space - Peter Greenberg.com Travel News - August 10th, 2020
- In space, bacteria is even more deadly and resilient to antibiotics - The Next Web - August 10th, 2020
- The Martian' movie's toilet tuber could happen: NASA testing machine that turns poop into veggie fertilizer - SYFY WIRE - August 10th, 2020
- Virgin Galactic's Supersonic Jet Is a Commercial Failure in the Making - The Motley Fool - August 10th, 2020
- What leaders can learn from astronauts to build more connected remote teams - Business Insider - Business Insider - August 10th, 2020
- Mission to the Red Planet from NASA in Alabama - AL.com - August 10th, 2020
- Deflated Croissant Uncovering the True Shape of Our Solar System - SciTechDaily - August 10th, 2020
- With Her Restaurant Forced to Close, Sat Kampars Chef Pivots to Pop-Ups - Eater Philly - August 10th, 2020
- Sims 4 new game pack theories and hints: Underwater? Star Wars? Space? - Extra Time Media - August 10th, 2020
- 24 Classic Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books To Read Based On Your Favorite Star Trek Character - Star Trek - August 10th, 2020
- The Science of It: Space Travel - WESH 2 Orlando - August 10th, 2020
- The Science Books We're Reading in Fall 2020 - Discover Magazine - August 10th, 2020
- Star Trek: Where Kirk Is During Discovery Season 1 & 2 Revealed - Screen Rant - August 10th, 2020
- Virgin Galactic partners with Rolls-Royce as it looks to build an aircraft for supersonic air travel - CNBC - August 9th, 2020
- Forget SpaceX: Invest in This Instead - Wealth Daily - August 9th, 2020
- Wawa Puts Kids Meals on the Menu Across Its Network - CSNews Online - August 9th, 2020
- Is Interstellar Travel Really Possible? | Space - August 9th, 2020
- Interstellar travel - Wikipedia - August 9th, 2020
- Space Tourism: 5 Space Companies That Will Make You An ... - August 9th, 2020
- The 12 Greatest Challenges for Space Exploration | WIRED - August 9th, 2020
- SpaceX return: How Nasa astronauts' splashdown has changed the future of space travel - The Independent - August 9th, 2020
- Virgin Galactic reveals new supersonic jet design that would fly three times speed of sound - CNN - August 9th, 2020
- 56 Countries Gather Online In Their Quest To Fix Climate Change - CleanTechnica - August 9th, 2020
- Don't you wish you could fly free like this beautiful space butterfly? - Mashable - August 9th, 2020
- Wawa Soars to New Heights with Kids Meals Landing in All Stores this August - GlobeNewswire - August 9th, 2020
- Rocket center launches mission to save space camp - Theredstonerocket - August 8th, 2020
- Uncovering the shape of the Solar System - Space Daily - August 8th, 2020
- Space and Rocket Centers world record rocket launch is official - WHNT News 19 - August 7th, 2020
- Welcome back to Planet Earth and thank you for flying SpaceX - Central Coast Community News - August 7th, 2020
- Don't You Wish You Could Fly Free Like This Beautiful Space Butterfly? - Mashable India - August 7th, 2020
- ATLANTIC SKIES: Young astronomers and the Perseid meteors - SaltWire Network - August 7th, 2020
- What Indias Space Activities Bill must address - Asia Times - August 7th, 2020
- Chinas Space Silk Road reaches Mars and beyond - Asia Times - August 7th, 2020
- Wawa launches new Kids Meals that come with an entree, side and trading cards - pennlive.com - August 7th, 2020
- Review: 'Lovecraft Country' HBO vs. 100 years of racist sci-fi - Los Angeles Times - August 7th, 2020
- Can We Outrun Dark Energy In The Race To See The Universe? - Forbes - August 5th, 2020
- Inside The Virgin Galactic Spacecraft That Aims To Take You To Space - Tatler Philippines - August 5th, 2020
- What the airplane cabin of the future might look like - CNN - August 5th, 2020