Earlier this week - Wednesday, to be exact - we passed the 42nd anniversary of the Apollo 11 flight that resulted in the United States putting men on the moon. To celebrate this momentous achievement, here's a list of five spectacular (and fictional) astronauts.

NOTE: Those who think the moon landing was staged and shot on a sound stage in Arizona should still be able to enjoy the article.

Charles Farmer in The Astronaut Farmer

MEGATech Showcase: Five Fictional Astronauts to Celebrate Apollo 11

It's curious that they chose to make his name Farmer. This seems like it may change the meaning of the title, but it also may not, because he is, after all, an actual farmer. He's a farmer named Farmer. Billy Bob Thornton plays an ex-NASA astronaut who's forced to retire early to save his family farm. Having never gotten the chance to go up into space, Farmer never gives up, building a rocket in his own garage. Hilarity ensues, as does triumph.

Sam Bell in Moon

MEGATech Showcase: Five Fictional Astronauts to Celebrate Apollo 11

Sam Rockwell plays Sam Bell, an astronaut stationed on the moon with a robot companion. He's up there for a three-year stint, during which he sends back resources that help solve Earth's power problems. Things go from strange to stranger as he discovers just how diabolical the company he's working for is, and it all results in one of Sam Rockwell's best performances.

Rockhound in Armageddon

MEGATech Showcase: Five Fictional Astronauts to Celebrate Apollo 11

Hey, Billy Bob Thornton is in this movie, too! He's pretty great, as he usually is, but he's not the one I'm highlighting.

That distinction goes to driller-turned-astronaut Rockhound, played to usual perfection by Steve Buscemi. When his deep core drilling team is sent into space to blow up an asteroid, nobody's sure if they'll make it back. Rockhound has already decided they won't and, before they even left the planet, borrowed $100,000 from a loan shark and blew it at a strip club.

Once on the asteroid, he finds a cushy little spot from which to enjoy the end of the world.

Buzz Lightyear in Toy Story

MEGATech Showcase: Five Fictional Astronauts to Celebrate Apollo 11

When you're compiling a list of the greatest fictional astronauts, it's an actual crime to leave off Buzz Lightyear of Star Command. While most astronauts are struggling just to perfect space travel, Lightyear has already been to infinity and beyond and is now preoccupied with keeping the galaxy safe from Emperor Zurg and his minions. And he does it all with the voice of Tim "The Toolman" Taylor (Tim Allen). There's some talk somewhere about him just being a toy, but that's all hogwash.

Homer Simpson in The Simpsons: Deep Space Homer


In season five, episode fifteen of The Simpsons, Homer Simpson went where no idiot has gone before: into space. Buzz Aldrin guest stars as himself, accompanying Homer into space. Not only did the episode meet critical acclaim, but it gave birth to the line "I, for one, welcome our new insect overlords," a variation of which was last used when a robot decimated the competition on Jeopardy. The episode is available to watch on the International Space Station, presumably to show astronauts what not to do.

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