Andy Weir, the author of the bestselling science fiction novel “The Martian” which became a 2015 hit movie starring Matt Damon, announced on his Facebook page that he had sold a pilot to CBS for a proposed TV series entitled “Mission Control.” The series will feature astronauts on board the International Space Station and the flight controllers and scientists at the Mission Control Center in Houston who supports them.

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The show will evidently be set in contemporary times. The project is currently in pre-production with casting pending.

Weir, since his overnight success since his tale of a NASA astronaut trapped on the Martian surface, has been very busy. He is busily writing a crime novel set on a future lunar colony. He has sold a movie project with a so far undisclosed plot with the same producers who created the film version of “The Martian.” Now, he is seeking to conquer the small screen with “Mission Control.”

The sudden popularity of contemporary or near-contemporary space media projects, with “Gravity” and “Interstellar,” is eyebrow-raising considering the low point the actual space program has suffered in recent years.

The Martian Promises to Science the S**t Out of a Movie | 33rd Square - 33rdsquare.com
The Martian Promises to Science the S**t Out of a Movie | 33rd Square - 33rdsquare.com

The exploration of the high frontier of space has provided plenty of source material for drama when well done, with the success of 1995’s “Apollo 13” and the current smash hit “Hidden Figures” would attest to.

Of course, no guarantees exist that “Mission Control” will be picked up as a series. Weir will be producing and writing for the series and has stated that he will insist on scientific accuracy. That suggests that the stories will be based in the real world and will avoid such themes as aliens or outlandish technology.

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The series, if it is picked up, will be aired against the backdrop of significant changes that are planned for the United States space program with the new presidential administration.

The last TV series of this type was the 1990s syndicated series called “The Cape” which was centered around the Kennedy Space Center and featured space shuttle astronauts. The series only lasted only a season, however, having never found a broad audience.

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