This Short Documentary Explores the Science Behind 2001: A Space Odyssey

Anna Green

Making 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) took nearly as much brainpower as building an actual spaceship. Based on a story by Arthur C. Clarke and directed by Stanley Kubrick, the science fiction epic was an imaginative work of fiction, grounded in the real-life mechanics of space travel as well as prominent 1960s theories of outer space physics. 

The short making-of documentary 2001: A Space Odyssey: A Look Behind The Future, filmed in the 1960s, introduces the scientists, engineers, artists, and designers behind the movie. Featuring brief interviews with the two former NASA scientists who served as Kubrick’s astronautics advisors, as well as scenery and costume designers, the documentary provides a fascinating glimpse into the years of work that went into bringing 2001 to the screen. 

“The coming century will reveal a new and startling universe, more complex, more diverse, richer, than even today’s physicists and astronomers envision. The things which seem almost lost to our present—strangeness, wonder, mystery, adventure—come again in space,” says the narrator. “This is the promise of 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Banner Image Credit: Retro ROCKET, Vimeo