‘Space Cadet’ Movie Spoilers & Summary Explained: Did Rex Successfully Do The Spacewalk?

Most space-related films tend to be serious dramas. There are very few films that present a story set in the stars in the world beyond our planet in a satirical and humorous manner. Don’t Look Up was an apocalyptic comedy-drama, while Netflix’s Space Force tried to produce another satirical comedy, but the show fell flat. Space Cadet is the story of a young woman who had yearned to head to space since childhood but could not do so because of unforeseen circumstances she faced growing up.


Spoilers Ahead

Who was Tiffany “Rex” Simpson?

Tiffany “Rex” Simpson was a young Florida-based woman who was a well-known bartender in town. Rex, at the same time, had a vast knowledge of the stars, moon, and everything related to astrophysics and space. She lived with her father and had come up with several inventions that she’d placed all over the backyard of her home. She had an invention placed on the riverbed near her place to save endangered fishes. Rex was close to her mother, who unfortunately died of a terminal illness. Rex and her mother had made plans for her to become an astronaut; unfortunately, all of that was put on hold after her mother’s passing.


Why did Rex plan to join the NASA Space Program?

Rex and her best friend, Nadine Cai, were invited to their high school reunion, and they ran into many of their old friends. They were upset to know Rex never attended Georgia Tech, as she was one of the smartest girls in the class. Her family emergency took precedence, and Rex had to focus on being with her family in Florida with her father after her mother’s passing. Rex happened to be a fan of her classmate Toddrick Spencer, who had created a low-space orbiter which made space travel affordable. 

Rex met Toddrick at the reunion, and he was keen to find out what she had done with her life so far. Toddrick claimed to have worked hard in school only because he wanted to be as good as Rex, who was at that point a smart student. Toddrick asked her to contact him if she had any mind-blowing ideas, and this made her question the life she had led in the last decade. Since her mother’s passing, all Rex had done was spend most of her time with her father, who hadn’t coped well with the tragedy. Seeing Toddrick succeed in life made her want to fix things, as she had put her life on hold, including her education, for the past ten years. This encouraged her to apply for the NASA astronaut program, for which she wasn’t eligible as she was only a high school graduate. 


How did Rex get into the NASA astronaut program?

Rex and her best friend Nadine were breaking their heads over how to make her candidacy for the astronaut program appealing. Rex hoped she would write a long, heartfelt email about her dream to become an astronaut, along with the knowledge she had gained since her school days, even though she had no college degree. Nadine proofread the email and made some tweaks before sending it to the space center. Rex was under the impression the email made an impact on the NASA astronaut program directors, and she ended up meeting many aspirants from various backgrounds. There were ex-military personnel, a physicist, and a doctorate, among others, that made the cut, and Rex was excited for the training. It was during the detailed interview with the program team that she learned that Nadine had added plenty of false information about Rex and her qualifications to make her look like an ideal candidate. Her profile had her listed as a test pilot with experience in marine biology and a degree in mechanical engineering from MIT. Rex was petrified to find such blatant lies written about her, as she could be disqualified if the people running the program were to find out. 

Did Rex’s roommate reveal her secret?

Rex’s roommate was Violet Marie Vislawski, a physicist from Stanford who also authored romance books about characters falling in love in space. To Rex’s horror, Violet overheard the conversation between her and Nadine and learned the woman had lied her way into the program. Violet asked Rex to help her become physically fit for the program. In return, she would help Rex catch up with all the studies she had missed in the past ten years. Since Rex was always a smart student, learning everything about space and physics was not a difficult task.


Who was Rex’s nemesis?

Rex’s nemesis in the program was Dr. Stacy Kellogg, who was suspicious about her qualifications right from day one. Rex never let anyone know about her life before joining the program. She was catching up in the classes, which made her one of the favorite candidates for the space program. However, Violet was removed from the program as she could not meet the requirements. Her removal upset Rex the most, as she wanted Violet to fulfill her dreams of going to space. Violet remained an honest friend and promised to never reveal her secret to the program runners. 

Why was Logan contacting Nadine?

Logan O’Leary was the program director, whose job it was to contact all the references mentioned on the candidate’s profile to make sure all of them were legitimate and qualified. As he was contacting every reference mentioned in Rex’s profile, all the calls were directed to Nadine’s phone. Nadine, being a good friend, spoke in a different accent every single time and used various kinds of background noises to make the entire setup appear to be a genuine one. Logan has so far been impressed with Rex’s profile, and Nadine was the reason behind it.

What was the training given to them?

The trainees were going through rigorous workouts and mock emergencies. They were isolated in tents to make them familiar with all kinds of situations space would throw at them. The training also included trainees having to fly planes. Since Rex had lied about her having pilot experience, she chose to be the co-pilot on every flight to avoid being exposed.

Was Logan attracted to Rex?

Logan, Rex, and the other trainees ended up getting drunk, and on the same night, they spent hours in the planetarium. Logan was impressed with the ideas and theories shared by Rex, and he genuinely felt an attraction towards her. However, he had to remind all the trainees to remain sober for the next task. Logan and Rex were not sure if they could be together as it could be considered a conflict of interest, but thankfully, he never helped her with any of the tasks assigned, which means he put the integrity of the job before his feelings.


How did Logan learn Rex was not a pilot?

Logan was still cross-checking all the references provided by Rex, and unknowingly, he was still speaking to Nadine. Nadine, however, was overwhelmed by her actual job, which caused a major faux pas. This confusion led Logan to find out that all the men and women he spoke to all the while were Nadine. Around this time, Rex was asked to pilot a flight with her instructor as a co-pilot. Nervously, Rex took off, and she slowly got a grip on the flight she was flying. Logan freaked out after learning everything mentioned by Rex was a lie, and he had to force her to land the flight. Rex was apologetic to the whole crew, but nobody was willing to have it, as they felt she mocked the whole program by joining just to have some fun. Logan may have liked her, but he chose everyone’s safety over hers. Rex was asked to leave the program effective immediately, as NASA had a code of conduct to adhere to. She never fought the organization as she knew she was in the wrong, but her father was happy for her as she’d chosen to follow her passion. 

Why was Rex willing to help her friends stuck at ISS?

A few months after her removal from the program, Rex was happy to see her team lift off from Johnson Center, Florida, towards the International Space Station. Despite how things ended between her and her friends, she was only happy for them, as she knew the rest of the gang was passionate about space travel and had been working towards it for years. Watching them successfully lift off only made her feel content, even though her dreams to be an astronaut were over.


Only a while after the team reached the ISS, there was news of the debris of a meteorite hitting the station, and it blocked the exit of the capsule that had the astronauts. If not rescued on time, the team would freeze to death. Rex initially was not sure how she could contribute to helping her friends come back safely. She wanted to find an out-of-the-box method to bring back the astronauts. Rex came up with the idea of using one of her inventions to remove the block, but she was unsure if the Johnsson Center would take her seriously because of the way she’d been unceremoniously ejected.

Did Rex successfully do the spacewalk?

Rex found her way into the Johnson Center and shared her plans on how to rescue the team from ISS. Initially, Logan and his team were not keen on entertaining her as she had no qualifications to back these experiments, and there was no time to test if this method would work as the astronauts needed to be rescued at the earliest. Nobody except Nadine, Rex, and the billionaire Toddrick were aware of the love Rex had for astrophysics. Rex insisted on them utilizing her method, as she just wanted her friends to be alive, and it would help them see her in a different light. NASA was unwilling to send her into space, but she had Toddrick’s low-cost spaceship help her, and she chose to bring Violet with her on the trip. Rex was aware Violet was probably more deserving of a candidate to be in space than she was, which was why it was essential for her to give her an opportunity.


Rex and Violet docked at the ISS and began the repair work using her method. With a lot of courage, grit, and patience, Rex was able to do the spacewalk and save the team by removing the debris that blocked the exit. The team initially was not happy to watch Rex being sent to make the fixes. Since she completed the job in no time, everyone back at the Johnson Center and in the capsule was happy to witness her genius as an inventor who used her presence of mind to help the astronauts. Rex was proud of herself for having pulled off this mission with tremendous success and zero casualties. She was glad she pushed herself to do this and thanked her mother for instilling her with the love for space travel, which led to her resilience to make one just with the help of her knowledge and not her qualifications. This would probably not work in real life, but it was endearing to watch someone who had no educational qualifications complete a daring high-risk mission. Logan and Rex’s father were happy for her, and she proved everyone wrong. 

Space Cadet ended with Rex and Violet joining as astronauts with Toddrick’s space company and being designated directors of the multiple inventions meant for use in outer space. This was a dream come true for both women. Since NASA worked on qualifications, Toddrick’s company was a breath of fresh air and was willing to give chances to the women who did the unthinkable. Violet, Rex, and Nadine also started a space camp for young girls, a facility that was not available to them growing up. This was just their way of making children consider space travel an accessible and fun subject. These women were the happiest they’d ever been, as there was nobody who would question them or their interests. 


Smriti Kannan
Smriti Kannan
Smriti Kannan is a cinema enthusiast, and a part time film blogger. An ex public relations executive, films has been a major part of her life since the day she watched The Godfather – Part 1. If you ask her, cinema is reality. Cinema is an escape route. Cinema is time traveling. Cinema is entertainment. Smriti enjoys reading about cinema, she loves to know about cinema and finding out trivia of films and television shows, and from time to time indulges in fan theories.

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