Space Time

Why ‘Contact’ Is the Most Important Space Movie Ever Made

The film inspired a generation of scientists

Jodie Foster as Ellie Arroway in ‘Contact.’ Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty

IImagine for a moment that you’re a radio wave traveling at the speed of light. You leave Earth, passing the moon, Mars, the asteroid belt, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. You’re going so fast — 299 million meters per second — but it still takes…