Last week marked 50 years since the Soviet Union shocked the western world by becoming the first nation to launch a human into space. In honor of Yuri Gagarin’s historic journey, a production company called Attic Room created this film, “First Orbit.”
The 99-minute film — available in its entirety in YouTube and reconfigured as Android and Apple apps — combines archival video and audio with footage shot from the International Space Station to re-create Gagarin’s flight in real time. The space station closely followed the orbital path of Vostok 1, giving us an idea of what Gagarin saw out of his window on 12 April, 1961.
Today, as the United States puts its space shuttle program in mothballs, framed by a world largely bored and disinterested by space exploration, it’s fascinating to hear and read Gargarin’s first impressions (“The feeling of weightlessness … the effect is pleasurable” and “Now through the window I can see Earth… I’m flying over the sea. The direction of movement over the sea is easy to determine”).
The film’s website has background about Gargarin’s flight (it remains jaw-dropping to think he ejected from the capsule and floated the remaining seven kilometres to earth under his own parachute), along with information about the film’s original score.
Have a nice flight!