Space Cadet summary and ending explained

In Space Cadet, Rex, a fun-loving girl from Florida, gets selected for the NASA Astronaut Training Program after lying on her resume. The film is now streaming on Prime Video.

Warning: This article contains heavy spoilers

Plot summary

Tiffany “Rex” Simpson is a party girl, but she is also very smart, coming up with innovative ideas to solve problems and make life easier. 

When Rex was young, she shared a dream with her mother—to become an astronaut, a dream she could not turn into reality. 

Despite earning a scholarship, Rex could not attend college due to her mother’s death, so she abandoned her dream and became a bartender.

At her high school reunion, she meets Toddrick, her ex-classmate who started a space airline. Toddrick tells her how she has always inspired him to excel because of her ability to think outside the box.

After the reunion, Rex realizes that she gave up on her dreams when she should have fought to achieve them. 

She then decides to pursue her dreams again and applies for the NASA Astronaut Training Program, despite not being qualified.

Rex’s best friend, Nadine, tweaks her resume before sending in the application, lying about Rex’s degrees and work experience without informing her. 

The embellished resume makes Rex stand out among the applicants, leading to her selection, which Nadine had not expected when she changed it.

Nadine does not tell Rex about the lies, leading Rex to believe that her superiors at NASA, Dr. Logan and Dr. Pam, selected her despite knowing that she is just a high school graduate. 

Out of all the astronaut candidates, known as AsCans, only four will be chosen for an expedition to the International Space Station.

Although Rex struggles to keep up with the other AsCans in class, it becomes evident to everyone that she would make a great astronaut due to her spirited nature. 

Rex’s lies remain undiscovered because whenever Logan calls to verify her references, Nadine convinces him that everything on the resume is true.

Eventually, during a personal interview, Rex learns about Nadine’s intervention but decides to continue with the lies to fulfill her and her mother’s dream. 

Rex’s roommate, Violet, also discovers her lies but helps Rex with academics instead of exposing her. In return, Rex helps Violet improve her fitness.

As the course progresses, Rex continues to grow and improve, keeping up with the other AsCans with Violet’s help. 

While Rex makes the cut each week, Violet does not. Before leaving, Violet warns Rex that her lies will eventually be exposed.

At the same time, Logan and Rex develop feelings for each other. Rex impresses him with her ideas and makes him more easygoing. 

She also impresses Pam with her ability to stay calm under pressure and work well with a team, ultimately making it to the top five.

Ending explained:

The truth comes out

Rex finally faces a challenge she cannot overcome easily. She is asked to fly a plane, as Nadine had lied on her resume about that as well. 

Meanwhile, Nadine speaks to Logan as another one of Rex’s fake references. A slip of the tongue leads Logan to figure out that none of the references are real. 

He discovers that he has been speaking to Rex’s friend all along and that Rex is a bartender who never went to college.

By the time Logan reaches the airfield to stop Rex from taking off, she is already flying the plane after somehow managing to get it up in the air safely. 

However, as soon as she lands, security escorts her out, leaving her superiors and all the friends she made during the program disappointed in her.

Seizing the opportunity

Rex returns home and goes back to bartending. Eight months later, the four AsCans who made it to the end are sent on an expedition to the International Space Station. 

After reaching the space station, they encounter a cloud of micrometeorites. Due to the resulting complications, the space station is damaged, trapping the astronauts inside. 

The space station will lose power in the next 72 hours. If the astronauts, all of whom are Rex’s friends from her time in the training program, are not rescued in time, they will die.

When they show images of the space station on TV, Rex has an idea. She goes to NASA, meets Logan and Pam, and asks them to send her on the rescue mission. 

Pam likes her innovative solution enough to agree to send Rex, and Rex decides to get help from Toddrick and Violet.

Rex to the rescue

With Violet as her copilot, Rex takes the Toddrick Rocket to space. Her dream of becoming an astronaut and going to space finally comes true. 

Rex executes her plan, and much to everyone’s relief, it works. She successfully gets the space station to function again and rescues her friends.

Rex’s friends go on to achieve great things after returning home. The rescue mission changes Rex’s life as well. 

Rex, along with Violet, becomes an astronaut for Toddrick’s spacecraft company. Together, they also create new inventions for space. 

Additionally, Rex starts dating Logan and runs a space camp with Violet, while Nadine works with them as their head of publicity.

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