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Subanchor: Sci-fi concepts emerge in real world science

Reporter: Yang Zhao 丨 CCTV.com

09-15-2016 21:33 BJT

Full coverage: China Tiangong-2 Space Lab Launch

Outer space is one of the most famous themes of countless science fiction movies. But just how close are these fantasy flicks to reality? 

Space has always fascinated humans. Scientists have worked to take us there... and for artists, it's a giant canvas.

Gravity was the first film to put the Tiangong space lab into Hollywood's orbit. And the made-in-China Shenzhou spaceship saves Sandra Bullock at the last minute.

But that was the movie. What does the Tiangong really look like?

There are two compartments: the "experiment cabin" is for science tests, and serves as the crew’s quarters. And the "resource cabin" houses solar panels, engines and equipment.

In the movie Interstellar, the space station spins to simulate the effects of gravity. In reality, however, that rotating speed would likely be fatal.

Other theoretical solutions require a huge radius or a very heavy craft... neither possible with today's technology.

In the film The Martian, a stranded Matt Damon grows potatoes on the Red Planet.

In the very real International Space Station, there's a food production system called "Veggie". Last year, astronauts grew lettuce.

On Tiangong-2, they want to grow rice - we're China after all...though space limitations won't allow a Hollywood-size harvest.

China’s latest space lab also boasts a robotic arm, similar to the one used on the ISS.
It’s designed to move equipment and assist astronauts with experiments.

Science... or science fiction? In the space race between imagination and reality, it's getting harder to tell the difference.

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