Review: The Role Of Asteroids In 'Space: 1999'

  1. Introduction
  2. The Asteroid Belt
    1. Theoretical location and characteristics of the asteroid belt
    2. 'Space: 1999' portrayal of the asteroid belt
    3. The scientific reality of the asteroid belt
  3. Influence on 'Space: 1999'
    1. The impact of asteroids on the Moon
    2. 'Space: 1999' asteroid-based episodes
    3. Real-life implications of asteroid impacts
  4. Conclusion
  5. Frequently Asked Questions
  6. Additional Resources


Asteroids have long been a popular topic in science fiction, and one example of this is the British television series 'Space: 1999'. Created by Gerry and Sylvia Anderson, the show premiered in 1975 and ran for two seasons. It followed the journey of Moonbase Alpha, a scientific research station on the Moon that was launched into space after a nuclear explosion caused the Moon to break away from Earth's orbit. Throughout the series, the Alpha team encountered many asteroids and comets, which played a significant role in the show's plotlines.

The Asteroid Belt

A photorealistic image captures the vast and mysterious asteroid belt, with asteroids twisted into a realistic pattern

Theoretical location and characteristics of the asteroid belt

The asteroid belt is a region of space located between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter, where a large number of asteroids are located. These asteroids vary in size from small pebbles to large objects measuring hundreds of kilometers across. According to the popular theory, the asteroid belt consists of leftover material from the formation of the solar system over four billion years ago. While this belt is often portrayed as a dangerous place filled with flying rocks that can damage spacecraft, the reality is that the distance between individual asteroids is usually immense, making collisions unlikely.

'Space: 1999' portrayal of the asteroid belt

In 'Space: 1999', the asteroid belt is shown as a densely populated area, with asteroids clustered close together and constantly colliding with one another. This depiction is inaccurate but allowed for visually interesting set pieces and action sequences. In the show, the Alpha team must use their wits to navigate through the belt, avoiding incoming asteroids while maneuvering their spacecraft closer to their destination. This dramatic portrayal of the asteroid belt has influenced popular culture's perception of the area and helps to create a tense atmosphere in the show.

The scientific reality of the asteroid belt

While the asteroid belt is a fascinating place, it is not as dangerous as it is often portrayed in fiction. The average distance between asteroids is over one million kilometers, making the likelihood of a spacecraft colliding with one relatively small. Additionally, most asteroids move slowly or uniformly, so travel through the belt is not as perilous as fiction suggests. Nevertheless, the asteroid belt remains a popular location in science fiction media and continues to capture our imaginations.

Influence on 'Space: 1999'

Dash: -A stunning photorealistic image captures the majesty of a colossal asteroid, hovering high above

The impact of asteroids on the Moon

In 'Space: 1999', the nuclear explosion that sends the Moon hurtling towards space has the side effect of destabilizing the asteroid belt. Because of this, many asteroids are thrown out of their usual orbits and collide with the Moon. These impacts create many of the problems faced by the crew of Moonbase Alpha throughout the series. From the earliest episodes of the show, it's clear that asteroids are not only visually striking but also critical to the plot.

'Space: 1999' asteroid-based episodes

Several episodes of 'Space: 1999' center around asteroids, highlighting their importance in the show's storylines. In "Collision Course," the Moon approaches an asteroid that is on a collision course with Earth. The Alpha team must prevent the asteroid from crashing into Earth while also dealing with the strain put on the Moon's already-fragile structure. In "The Metamorph," a giant asteroid collides with the Moon, causing a disturbance that leads to a transformation of one of the key characters. In "Dragon's Domain," an asteroid is found to be inhabited by a dangerous alien species, which the Alpha team must defeat to survive.

Real-life implications of asteroid impacts

While the asteroid belt's fictional portrayal in 'Space: 1999' isn't accurate, the show's use of asteroids and comets as plot devices highlights their potential importance for scientific exploration and discovery. NASA and other space agencies are actively studying asteroids to learn more about the formation of our solar system and to better understand the threat they may pose to Earth if a collision were to occur. Several space missions have been launched to study asteroids up close, including NASA's OSIRIS-REx mission, which recently collected samples from the asteroid Bennu. The possibility of mining asteroids for valuable resources is also being explored, making them an important area of interest for both science and industry.


'Space: 1999' may have aired over 45 years ago, but its portrayal of asteroids remains influential on popular culture today. Though the show takes some liberties with how asteroids and the asteroid belt work, it nevertheless presents an exciting vision of the possibilities of space exploration. While asteroids are just one aspect of space that we have yet to fully understand, they continue to capture the imagination of people worldwide and will undoubtedly inspire us for years to come.

Frequently Asked Questions

A stunning 8k ultradetailed image of Kossiplov 1397, the mysterious asteroid from 'Space: 1999'
  • What is the asteroid belt?

    The asteroid belt is a region between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter where many asteroids are located.

  • Is the asteroid belt dangerous?

    Despite what is often portrayed in fiction, the asteroid belt is not dangerous; the average distance between asteroids is over one million kilometers.

  • What is the impact of asteroids on 'Space: 1999'?

    Asteroids play a significant role in many episodes of 'Space: 1999', with collisions with the Moon often creating drama and danger for the Alpha team.

  • What are scientists studying regarding asteroids?

    Scientists are studying asteroids to learn more about the formation of the solar system and to prepare for the possibility of an asteroid impact on Earth. They are also exploring the potential for mining valuable resources from asteroids.

  • Why are asteroids important?

    Asteroids are important because they provide scientific insights into the history of our solar system and have the potential to be mined for valuable resources in the future.

Additional Resources

A photorealistic depiction of a spaceship flying through a field of asteroids

For further reading on asteroids, interested readers can check out the following:

If you want to discover more articles similar to Review: The Role Of Asteroids In 'Space: 1999', you can visit the Asteroids in Fiction category.

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