Richard Garriott, a video game developer and space tourist, released a documentary film -- "Man on a Mission" -- this past weekend of his $30 million out-of-pocket trip to the International Space Station, but it's not the only movie Garriott made that has people talking.
"Apogee of Fear," a second film that is considered the first sci-fi movie actually shot in space, is ready to go public Garriott says, but NASA is holding it up, according to Space.com. Space.com reports that the film has "underground status" and has not been given the necessary "go-ahead" by NASA. Several sources are reporting off Space.com's story about the film and not including any footage but a quick Google search reveals a version of it was filmed at a screening at Dragon Con 2011, a fantasy/sci-fi convention.
Watch the video that was uploaded to YouTube in September 2011:
Why doesn't NASA want it to go public? Garriott can only speculate:
"It's too playful," he told SPACE.com. "It's just not their message."
He doesn't think the space agency actively dislikes "Apogee of Fear" or wishes to suppress it. Rather, he believes NASA simply sees no reason to support it.
"It's just that the default answer is no," Garriott said.
Space.com reports that "Apogee of Fear," an eight minute film, shows the more light-hearted side of astronauts and life on the ISS. The film begins, according to Space.com, with astronauts Mike Fincke and Greg Chamitoff looking out the window as Garriott makes his journey back toward Earth, much to their relief. After a few days, the astronauts begin to miss Garriott, who broke up everyday life on the space station, until a mystery ensues: higher than normal oxygen use. Clearly, they decide, it's an alien on board. The astronauts begin to search for the alien with a couple unexpected twists.
Garriott told Space.com that he sees "Apogee of Fear" as an educational tool and that the Smithsonian has expressed interested in having a copy for historical record. Garriott says that since the film features NASA astronauts on the ISS that the agency has control of if and when to allow release of the footage.
Here's the trailer for "Man on a Mission":