According to news site Blastr.com, Richard Garriot, a computer game developer and filmmaker who spent $300 million (!!!) to board the International Space Station as a “space tourist” and film 8 minute sci-fi horror vignette, has been barred from showing the film by NASA. The space agency’s rationale for doing so was cited as having to do with NASA facilities being used as sets and backdrops for Garriot’s movie, which is titled Apogee of Fear. Additionally, active members of the space program posed as actors in the film, which involves an unexplained oxygen increase on board the space station which is believed to indicate an exotic life form.
It seems a bit strange that NASA would react so strongly for a number of reasons. For one, anything released by NASA or as a product of a NASA operation typically enters the public domain, since it is regarded as a work of the U.S. Federal Government or an adjoining agency. Also, since a majority of the footage was actually taken in space, would similar conventions to those that apply to international waters hold true to an act that took place above the Earth (in other words, isn’t space also an “international territory)?
The video above is a trailer for Man on a Mission, a documentary which details Garriot’s space flight. With any hope NASA’s “default” response to the showing of Apogee of Fear will not squelch plans to show what may soon be known as the first theatrical release to actually be filmed in outer space.