Comemorações dos 50 anos do histórico voo de Yuri Gagarin – estreia do filme First Orbit

Comemoram-se hoje os 50 anos da épica viagem de Yuri Gagarin ao espaço. O que terá visto o primeiro ser humano na órbita da Terra? Durante os cerca de 108 minutos de voo, Gagarin descreveu como pôde o que observou a partir da sua cápsula espacial, mas não registou qualquer vídeo da sua jornada no espaço.
Numa colaboração única entre o produtor de documentários Christopher Riley e a ESA, pelas mãos do astronauta italiano Paolo Nespoli, estreia hoje First Orbit, um filme inteiramente gravado na órbita terrestre que reproduz a trajectória seguida por Gagarin a 12 de Abril de 1961. O filme combina imagens captadas a partir da Estação Espacial Internacional com as gravações audio originais da missão e música inédita produzida pelo compositor Philip Sheppard.
Vejam aqui, na integra, o novo filme.

2 comentários

    • Dinis Ribeiro on 17/10/2015 at 02:43
    • Responder

    Para aprofundar este tema, sugiro um artigo que acabo de encontrar:

    Declassified documents offer a new perspective on Yuri Gagarin’s flight

    Ouvi hoje na TV a expressão “andar no fio da navalha”….
    De acordo com registos antigos agora “desenterrados”, os riscos que ele correu foram ainda maiores do que se pensava:

    With Russian openness, a huge market opened up in the US and Europe for writers (mostly amateur historians or journalists) to step in and produce an unending stream of books on arcane aspects of the program. This strand has been further enriched by academics—mostly professional historians of modern Russia—who have looked at the rich cultural detritus of the Soviet space program. There’s a lot of this stuff out there, and some of it is very good, shedding light on the cultural importance of the Soviet space program as well as mapping how Russian culture has cultivate an interest in space exploration for well over a hundred years.

    Despite all this quite impressive work, the principal challenge of doing Soviet space history has always been the problem of archival research.

    It was in this context that I was in Moscow this past summer and spent a month digging through archives on a non-space related book project (actually on the history of scientists and engineers who worked in the Stalinist Gulag).

    I had a few days left at the end and went digging for space-related documents. At the Russian State Archive of the Economy (RGAE), one can find thousands of fat binders containing records of the grim-sounding Military-Industrial Commission, the body that managed Soviet military R&D and production during much of the Cold War.

    These folders are heavy, dusty, and for the most part, no one has looked at them since they were originally put away by archivists. The richness of materials is quite astonishing.

    In this catalog of riches, in June of this year, I ran across a document on the historic flight of famed cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin, who on April 12, 1961, became the first human being in space. The document sheds new light on that historical flight, revealing the enormous risks involved in that mission.

    Gagarin’s Vostok flight, of course, has been quite amply documented, in print and online (with quite a nice recent biography in English by Andrew Jenks). I myself published a lengthy account, based largely on official mission documents (released in 1991), in one my earlier books, Challenge to Apollo: The Soviet Union and the Space Race, 1945–1974.

    However, documents have continued to trickle out on the flight in the past decade, and while nothing that has been declassified fundamentally shifts our perception of the mission, the Russian declassifications from 2011 have clarified much about the flight.

    The document that I found also provides confirmation of certain aspects of the flight, which is all the more important given the proliferation of Gagarin conspiracy websites (especially in Russian) which are easy to find with a Google search.

    Saliento: “proliferation of Gagarin conspiracy websites”…. Um problema que afecta todos os países….

    Many websites will tell you that Gagarin was not the first human in space, that there were earlier “lost cosmonauts,” and, most sensationally, that his untimely death in 1968 was part of some nefarious Communist Party plan.

    The text of my document was remarkably somber in tone, very much in line with Soviet bureaucratic norms.

    The document underscores what has often been overlooked by casual historians—that the flight of Gagarin’s Vostok was fundamentally embedded in a military environment. His spaceship was actually an offshoot variant of a new spy satellite (“Zenit”), not, as many often claim, that the spy satellite was the offshoot of the human variant. Engineers basically took out the cameras from the spy satellite, added life support, an ejection seat, and redundancies, and rigged the spacecraft for a human being.

    Besides the document’s comment about a “program of observation,” we get an explicit confirmation of the military importance of Gagarin’s flight in the next sentence, when the authors note that the flight has “opened up new prospects in the mastery of cosmic space and the use of these objects for the interests of defense.”

    We find from the document that during the preparation of two precursor missions with dogs in March 1961, and then in manufacturing Gagarin’s actual vehicle, at least 70 anomalies were detected in instruments on the vehicle.

    Yet, still, the flight went ahead!

    We also know that there were a few other “anomalies” (in NASA parlance) that marred the mission, including one that potentially could have killed Gagarin.

    During launch into orbit, the upper stage engine worked longer (the faulty valve!) than it should have, putting Gagarin in a much higher orbit than planned—the apogee of the orbit was 327 kilometers instead of 230 kilometers. This meant that in case the retrorocket system failed, Gagarin’s ship would not naturally decay after a week or so, or even after ten days—the absolute limit of resources in the ship.

    It would instead reenter after 30 days, by which time Gagarin would certainly be dead, having exhausted all the air inside.

    In other words, either the retrorocket worked, or Gagarin was a dead man.

  1. We did it!!!!

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