‘The Expanse’ sticks to space realities … mostly

Scene from 'The Expanse'
Spaceship pilot Alex Kamal (played by Cas Anvar) turns a zero-gravity somersault in a scene from “The Expanse.” (Alcon / Syfy via YouTube)

LOS ANGELES — The sci-fi saga known as “The Expanse” has attracted a huge fan following in part because it gets the details of life in space so right, from how to handle zero gravity to what happens when you open up your helmet visor in a hard vacuum.

But there’s one space reality that the producers have thrown out the air lock.

In space, no one can hear your spaceship scream, because there’s no medium to transmit the sound waves. But in “The Expanse,” as in “Star Wars” and other space operas, spaceships whoosh, crash and roar with regularity.

“We actually tried with Season 1 to do it realistically, to not have the ships make a sound,” showrunner Naren Shankar said last week in Los Angeles at the National Space Society’s International Space Development Conference.

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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributing editor at GeekWire, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Check out "About Alan Boyle" for more fun facts.

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