Beginning on the 12 April, – and carrying on over the next two months, the British Interplanetary Society in Vauxhall, London, is showing “First Orbit”, the hit Internet film which re-creates the story of the Major Yuri Gagarin’s revolutionary spaceflight of 12 April1961. The quirk is that the film is being shown in 30 different languages after the film’s fans around the world translated the Russian into subtitles for free.
This “installation art” documentary, which was directed and produced by Christopher Riley, tells the story of the very first orbit by mimicking the orbit in near real time by using footage shot mainly by Italian astronaut Paulo Nespoli while he was on the International Space Station (iSS) with the cooperation of NASA, ESA and Roscosmos.
Interspersed in the subtitled footage is English commentary from contemporary Radio Moscow and BBC broadcasts complete with their strangely old fashioned accents. The film was originally released on the internet to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the flight last year. It became a viral internet sensation taking the record, at over 3.5 million, for the largest number of hits on YouTube for a long film.
While the space station’s orbital elements ...