Calls to Translate First Orbit
Celebrating the first fifty years of human spaceflight, a remarkable film, First Orbit, amassed a record breaking two million views on YouTube within 48 hours of it’s online premier. In fact, First Orbit is the most widely premiered independent film in history, when in April this year it managed to accumulate an astonishing 1600 premier screenings in 130 counties.
But what is First Orbit? Well in short it’s a film that’s free to view and free to download that retraces the path that the worlds first earth orbiteer Yuri Gagarin took in Vostok 1 back on 12th April 1961. Yuri was the first person in the history of humanity to see Earth from space and the goal of the First Orbit was to tie recordings of Yuri’s with images of this incredible journey.
Can you imagine the complete wonderment the cosmonaut must have felt as he looked at the Earth from afar, silently gliding over our world. What sights did he see? What was it like? What was it like to see those wide oceans and vast continents sailing by from such an amazing great height?
Well, you’ve no need to wonder and imagine now as First Orbit takes you there, on that orbit, witnessing the same views that Yuri himself saw. Plus weaving new views together with historic, recordings of Gagarin from the time, (subtitled in Englsih) and an original score by composer Philip Sheppard makes it compelling viewing.
There were many things to take into account when making a documentary style film of this nature, and could only have been created in collaboration with the European Space Agency and the Expedition 25 through 27 crews of the International Space Station.
The film ‘First Orbit’ was created by matching the orbital path of the International Space Station, as closely as possible, to that of Gagarin's Vostok 1 spaceship. Although the International Space Station orbits the Earth approximately every 90 minutes, it doesn't always follow the same route as Gagarin took. So to find out when filming opportunities might occur, the European Space Agency (ESA) teamed professor Chris Riley up with German orbital mechanics guru, Gerald Ziegler. Much work followed, exhaustive and exciting and in April this year, to mark the anniversary, they virally released First Orbit on YouTube and at the 1600 premiere screenings around the world.Continued on the next page