I saw a movie on TV a long time ago that I can't seem to find. Plot is basically this:

Earth is going to be destroyed (known or maybe unknown) and a crew is on a spaceship flying somewhere. During their trip they receive notice that Earth has been destroyed and the plot centers around how they handle it.

The twist is, after some of them die, the survivor's 'wake up' and find out they were in a simulation that was trying to discover what people would do when confronted with that information.

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    The title screamed Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, but that last bit put me off. – Gallifreyan Mar 9 '17 at 17:53

Terminal Voyage from 1994

In 2035, global warming rendered the Earth barely inhabitable and its human population is on the verge of extinction. The Earth Federation sends a space ship on a century-long trip to a distant planet Trion which could be suitable for colonization. The eight crew-members come from Russia, United States, China, United Kingdom, France, and Saudi Arabia.

As the ship approaches Trion, the crew wakes from hibernation. They immediately find a decomposed corpse of the Captain in his capsule. The ship's XO, Commander Hollis, assumes command. When he reads a secure transmission from Earth received while they were sleeping, he commits suicide, leaving a note that he "joins his loved ones". The new CO, Lieutenant Jammad, reveals the content of the message: the Earth has been devastated in a nuclear holocaust.


When questioned, Becker denies any guilt then sets off the self-destruction sequence. Granier and Han are too devastated to continue and commit suicide with a morphine overdose, and Reese and Zinovitz make it to the escape capsule. As the countdown reaches zero, they find themselves in an underground simulation facility stationed on Earth. There was no space flight - it is their final test, an "extreme stress simulation" scenario which involved the death of the commanding officer and multiple system failures. The crew have only been in hibernation for 6 months, and Hollis, Jammad and Becker apparently knew about the test.

The kicker is:

However the nuclear war on Earth was indeed real, and the facility is empty and abandoned. The film ends with a view of a destroyed city, as Reese and Zinovitz look on to uncertain future.

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    Found it by searching for film spaceship earth destroyed actually simulation and checking out space.com/31457-space-movies-to-watch-in-2016.html, which mentions the 2014 film, 400 Days, the Wikipedia article for which linked to Terminal Voyage, presumably as another example of an ambiguously simulated destruction of Earth. – FuzzyBoots Mar 9 '17 at 18:21
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    When this question gets closed (I flagged it), you should mark it as a duplicate of this (granted OP accepts) – Gallifreyan Mar 9 '17 at 18:46
  • I may have misunderstood you. I used my gold badge powers to close the one you linked, but to the other one. Of course, I think we can state more than one duplicate target now? – FuzzyBoots Mar 9 '17 at 19:04
  • Doesn't matter to me, as long as all 4 are somehow connected. – Gallifreyan Mar 9 '17 at 19:06
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    @easycheese: :) Well, as I noted in my comment, it took a bit of a weblink walk before I came upon the answer. – FuzzyBoots Mar 9 '17 at 22:54

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