A blade of grass is a commonplace on Earth; it would be a miracle on Mars. Our descendants on Mars will know the value of a patch of green. And if a blade of grass is priceless, what is the value of a human being? ―
To celebrate World Space Week, we have put together a very special free online Space Film Festival. This specially selected collection of documentaries cover everything from early attempts at space exploration and the moon landings to stories about the remote probes and the mysteries of deep space cosmology. And if you want to take your exploration of space to another level, we’ve included a 24-episode course entitled Introduction to Astrophysics, as well as links to several online resources. Enjoy!
Sepideh – Reaching for the Stars
Length: 88 minutes
Director: Berit Madsen
“Sepideh wants to become an astronaut. She spends her nights exploring the secrets of the universe, while her family will do anything to keep her on the ground. The expectations for a young Iranian woman are very different from Sepideh’s ambitions, and her plans to go to university are in danger. But Sepideh holds on to her dreams, teaming up with the world’s first female space tourist, Anousheh Ansari, to fight to make them come true.”
Fight for Space
Length: 92 minutes
Director: Paul Hildebrandt
“In 1962, spurred by the Cold War, President John F. Kennedy famously made the bold proclamation that NASA would send astronauts to the moon by the end of the decade. The Space Race inspired a generation to pursue careers in science and technology, but as the balance of world power shifted, interest in space exploration declined.
FIGHT FOR SPACE serves as an urgent call to re-awaken our sense of wonder and discovery and features commentary by Bill Nye and Neil deGrasse Tyson.”
First to the Moon
Length: 121 minutes
Director: Paul Hildebrandt
“In 1968, NASA sent three men farther and faster than anyone had gone before. This is the story of how Astronauts Frank Borman, Jim Lovell, and Bill Anders changed history on the flight of Apollo 8.”
Director: Paul Devlin
“This film explores both the heartbreak and the glory of trying to unravel the secrets of outer space. Mark Devlin, PhD (the filmmaker’s brother) launches revolutionary telescopes on NASA high-altitude balloons. Dangerous, but necessary if he wants to look back in time and reveal a hidden Universe of never-before-seen galaxies.
BLAST! follows Mark and his team on their grueling journey across 5 continents, from Arctic Sweden to Antarctica, as they search the sky for clues to the Evolution of Everything. Along the way, the rarely-seen true life of scientists is exposed – the failures, the triumphs and the sacrifices. It’s an adventure like no other, one that will that take you around the world and across the Universe.”
Length: 75 minutes
Director: Jonny Leahan, Miguel Drake-McLaughlin
“In 1979, Arthur C. Clarke wrote a novel about an elevator that goes to outer space. SKYLINE is the story of the people who intend to build it. From scientific gatherings to NASA’s high-stakes Space Elevator Games, the film follows the major players working to make the concept a reality. For all of them, the space elevator is more than just science fiction: it’s an achievable goal.”
Introduction to Astrophysics
Length: 791 mins
Features: Joshua N. Winn
“Plunge into the exciting quest to investigate everything beyond Earth through the laws of physics. Introduction to Astrophysics takes you step by step through the calculations that show how planets, stars, and galaxies work. In 24 episodes by noted astrophysicist Professor Joshua Winn, you’ll tour a universe of exploding stars, colliding black holes, dark matter, and other wonders.”
Length: 116 minutes
Director: Emer Reynolds
“It is one of humankind’s greatest achievements. More than twelve billion miles away a tiny spaceship is leaving our Solar System and entering the void of deep space – the first human-made object ever to do so.
Slowly dying within its heart is a nuclear generator that will beat for perhaps another decade before the lights on Voyager finally go out. But this little craft will travel on for millions of years, carrying a Golden Record bearing recordings and images of life on Earth. In all likelihood Voyager will outlive humanity. THE FARTHEST celebrates these magnificent machines, the men and women who built them and the vision that propelled them farther than anyone could ever have hoped.”
A Space Program: Artist Tom Sachs’ Homemade Space Station
Length: 70 minutes
Directors: Tom Sachs, Van Neistat
“Internationally acclaimed artist Tom Sachs takes us on an intricately handmade journey to the red planet, providing audiences with an intimate, first person look into his studio and methods.
A SPACE PROGRAM is both a piece of art in its own right and a recording of Sachs’ historic piece, Space Program 2.0: MARS, which opened at New York’s Park Avenue Armory in 2012.”
Interactive: Science (Gale): An online interactive database that covers science subjects. Access and manipulate interactive 3D models related to key scientific concepts.
Science in Context (Gale): Contextual information on many significant science topics and showcases scientific disciplines that relate to real-world issues.