“First Orbit” is a film that uses footage shot from the ISS to recreate the view from Yuri Gagarin’s (and humanity’s) first space flight, which occured on April 12th, 1961. The concept itself sounds pretty rad, but here’s the kicker — the film is going to be released for free on the web!
To mark the occasion, British filmmaker Chris Riley worked with Italian astronaut Paolo Nespoli to shoot a film from the ISS. They determined that the ISS takes roughly the same orbit as Gagarin’s flight every week or so. However, when one takes the time of day into account, it matches only once every six weeks.
The result is a 108 minute film that unfolds in real time. It traces Yuri’s flight as accurately as possible, including a 40 minute stretch of near darkness over the Pacific. NASA provided some additional footage, including a moonrise — something that Gagarin didn’t have the opportunity to witness on his own journey.
As he recounted afterwards, “”I could have gone on flying through space forever.” He never got the chance to experience weightlessness again, perishing in an aircraft accident at the age of 37.
The film will be available for free viewing on YouTube, starting on April 12th.
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This looks great, but I’m already afraid I’m going to experience Stendahl’s Syndrome when watching it. I grew up reading so much SF and following the space program that when I saw the 3D Imax movie "Magnificent Desolation: Walking on the Moon" at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, I kinda freaked out and started crying uncontrollably.
I can’t believe I just admitted that, but I got a little choked up watching these trailers…