WOODS HOLE — When Sunita Williams was growing up in Needham, NASA’s space shuttle program, construction of an orbital lab and trips to the moon figured large in the future astronaut’s imagination.
It’s different for young people now, she says. For them, the shuttle program is old school, the International Space Station (ISS) is an orbital fixture zooming around the earth 16 times a day, and dreams of moon trips have been replaced by imagining trips to — and even colonization of — a more distant frontier: Mars.
This idea of an attainable Mars is at the center of the Netflix documentary “The Mars Generation,” which is among the films scheduled for screening at the 26th Annual Woods Hole Film Festival starting this weekend.
After the screening, Williams, who appears in the film, will talk about the documentary and the dream of Mars. Franklin resident Joshua Rich, 18, a recent Franklin High School graduate who is himself a prominent figure in the film, will also be present and available to answer questions. “The Mars Generation” screening starts at 5 p.m. on Sunday during the festival’s 10th annual kids day, at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute’s Redfield Auditorium, 57 Water St., Woods Hole.
“The Mars Generation” is a documentary by New Hampshire native Michael Barnett about several aspiring teenage astronauts at Space Camp imagining what it would take to reach the Red Planet.
“It’s such a contrast from when I was growing up,” Williams said, speaking from Woods Hole on Friday.
“Shuttle missions are really what we were into as far as space,” she explained, adding that was not even put forth as much as the Mars idea is now. The Mars dream – science fiction even when she was a kid — has some real substance to it. “Now you can feel it,” she said.
As a guest speaker at “The Mars Generation” screening, Williams said, “what I would like to talk about is, the time is right.”
“It’s a pretty cool movie…