Instead of three to six highly trained astronauts circling the Earth in an orbiting laboratory as there are today, the Elysium space station serves as an oasis for those that can afford it. In the film, humanity has developed a large, rotating space station above a dystopic Earth by the year 2154. The station comes stocked with mansions, grass, trees, water and gravity.
Although that kind of brave new world might sound far-fetched, the space station's design — and the science behind it — isn't. [See photos from the movie "Elysium"]
"The premise is totally believable to me. I spent 28 years working on NASA's International Space Station and retired last summer as the director of ISS at NASA Headquarters," Mark Uhran, former director of the International Space Station Division in NASA's Office of Human Exploration and Operations, said. "When I took a look at the Elysium space station, I thought to myself, that's certainly achievable in this millennium."