This week, was among a select group of journalists who were invited to a special press junket with Matt Damon and Ridley Scott for ‘The Martian.’ After being shown the first 50 minutes of the film, the two were then joined on stage by astronaut Drew Feustel, NASA Director of Planetary Sciences Jim Green and author of the novel Andy Weir who spoke of their love for science fiction, the scientific accuracy of the film and how ‘The Martian’ will be an important film to the genre.

Unlike most sci-fi films, ‘The Martian’ really worked hard to get aspects of the science right, so much so that NASA has been intimately involved in the production of this project. For example, when asked if Scott took into consideration of shooting the film as though Damon was really on Mars (i.e. having Damon act as though the gravitational pull on Mars affected the movements of his character), Scott impressively displayed his knowledge and indicated that after working out the mathematics of the weight of the suit and the pull of gravity, the effect was close enough to Earth’s gravity that this was really not an issue. Science nerds and sci-fi geeks alike should be impressed with the detail both Scott and screenwriter Drew Goddard took to make the film as accurate as they could. So much so, that Damon stated that Goddard had expressed that he wanted ‘The Martian’ to be a “love letter to science.” As Director Green stated, “What I really enjoyed about the book and the movie is how close to reality it can be. It’s just around the corner for us.”

We’ll be revealing more of the press junket as well as our thoughts about what was screened soon, but in the meantime, you can watch highlights of the Q&A session as well as peruse some images from the event below!

During a manned mission to Mars, Astronaut Mark Watney (Matt Damon) is presumed dead after a fierce storm and left behind by his crew. But Watney has survived and finds himself stranded and alone on the hostile planet. With only meager supplies, he must draw upon his ingenuity, wit and spirit to subsist and find a way to signal to Earth that he is alive. Millions of miles away, NASA and a team of international scientists work tirelessly to bring “the Martian” home, while his crewmates concurrently plot a daring, if not impossible rescue mission. As these stories of incredible bravery unfold, the world comes together to root for Watney’s safe return.

Directed by Ridley Scott, ‘The Martian’ stars Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Michael Pena, Sebastian Stan, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Kate Mara and opens in theaters on October 2.