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Since Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong’s historic moon landing on their Apollo 11 mission 50 years ago on July 20, 1969, countless movies set in space have been made in attempts to recreate the same groundbreaking spirit. With their first steps on the moon, the famed astronauts not only made a giant leap forward for mankind, but they also inspired a whole new realm of out-of-this-world storytelling and made space a common setting in film.
Some pics that take to space have even become household names — earning praise for their depictions of adventurous expeditions and explorations into new frontiers. Movies like Interstellar, The Martian and First Man highlight everything from the adrenaline of rocket launches to the risks of space travel while classics like Apollo 13, 2001: A Space Odyssey and The Right Stuff manage to visually capture the excitement of journeys into the final frontier, a trailblazing triumph for the sci-fi genre.
In honor of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing on Saturday, take a look back at some of the most memorable space-exploration movies — films that popularized all the elements of sci-fi that audiences now love, including nail-biting space missions, extraterrestrial phenomena and astronaut feats.
Check out 11 of Hollywood's fictional forays into the solar system, presented in alphabetical order, below.