How space was imagined before Yuri Gagarin’s escape

“And we will continue the space theme. Yes, some international organizations are deleting the Gagarin name from the history of human space exploration. But our memory will still be stronger. The exploration of Mars has already begun. According to space programs, the first manned flight to Mars is planned by 2035. We have already filmed the Martian dunes and recorded the noise of the Martian wind. Yes, the Andromeda nebula was already photographed using the Hubble Telescope. Yes, gravitational waves have already been recorded, the moment of the birth of the universe. They even managed to capture the first the photographs of a black hole with the most powerful telescopes.

But this great path for humanity into space began with Yuri Gagarin, who 61 years ago uttered the historic “Let’s Go.” That was a statement. But now we have to look for an answer to the question, where have we come from? And no matter how difficult the answer may be, we must find it. Otherwise, in the future, we will never again be able to make it to the peaks of progress that we climbed to then. Thanks to Tsiolkovsky, Gagarin, Korolev. Let us once again flip through these pages of a great story that is reflected in science, in film, in literature, in outer space itself. From the height of our modern reality. Anton Tsuman will continue with the theme. “

“First there were books about space, movies about space, now there is one of the most popular computer games in the world – also about space. That is, we have a real cultural phenomenon of cosmic proportions. But humanity has dreamed of space almost from the beginning of its history. And in each era, it represented it in its own way.

Man tried to imagine space outside the earth both in antiquity and in the Middle Ages. But the more scientific theory developed, the more complex and accurate the images became. As an example, these drawings are from the Space Travel Album by Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, who is rightly called the father of world cosmonautics. Judge for yourself: here is, for example, an astronaut’s exit from the airlock on a spacecraft. And sketches, visualizations of how different objects will behave in zero gravity.

And all this – a few decades before Leonov’s spacewalk, a quarter of a century before Gagarin’s flight. According to cosmonautical historian Alexander Zheleznyakov, Tsiolkovsky’s drawings are an illustration of the fact that humanity at that time came as close as possible to its old dream – to discover outer space.

“At the beginning of the film’s era, space immediately began to play one of the main roles. Yes, and the most advanced plans were reflected there: the launch of a rocket, the first steps of a person on the moon’s surface. And the most unusual thing about these images is that they were taken 26 years before Gagarin’s flight. “

The film “Space Flight” from 1935 was the first science fiction film where science was more than fiction. Director Vasily Zhuravlev personally consulted Tsiolkovsky on how to portray weightlessness and movement on the moon’s surface. Yes, after almost a century, technical shortcomings are striking, but at the time, these images seemed almost documentary.

And some scenes from world film work were then firmly rooted in modern astronautics. “Countdown” from the film Woman in the Moon from 1929, used as a film by the German director Fritz Lang. Now, less than a century later, the countdown follows the launch of rockets from all the world’s space ports. So the director’s idea became a tradition in astronautics.

Another example of accuracy in the director’s forecasts. The film Planet of Storms by Leningrad director Pavel Klushantsev, created even before Gagarin’s flight, was decades ahead of its time.

The idea of ​​a hovercraft was later repeated by George Lucas in Star Wars, the visual image of spacesuits will not only become a prototype for real, but will also be reflected in Ridley Scott’s Prometheus. The list is endless. But one thing is clear: without Klushantsev’s experiment, the image of space in cinemas would have been different.

When the film was released, it was kept in cinemas in Leningrad for almost six months. And now what? Will he be able, 60 years later, to inspire a younger generation that is already living in the age of gadgets? We introduced Planet of Storms to modern 8th graders, asked if they would go to the movies today and got very unusual reviews.

Yes, at that time all images of space were 100% fiction. Gagarin’s flight saw him on his own. Literally live.

“On April 12, 1961, not only did the first man visit space, but the first image of a man in space appeared on Earth. Filmed with the Seliger camera.

Image with delays, artifacts, signal loss, but the first. And two years later, the astronauts themselves noted, they say, the picture, like at home, on TV.

For astronautics, such an image is not for beauty. The most accurate docking and control systems are simply impossible without a host of cameras. These, for example, developed by St. Petersburg Research Institute of Television, equips our spacecraft. They will carefully target the ship and they will monitor the condition of the astronauts.

It is thanks to such technologies that space currents are becoming more and more popular. Everyone is interested in how our astronauts settle there.

Throughout the history of mankind, space has been more than just a goal, it has been a dream. Yes, Gagarin’s flight 61 years ago brought her closer to reality. But even today, for most of the planet’s inhabitants, space is still unattainable. So space movies, books and games remain the way to satisfy our curiosity. But exactly until the flight in the Earth-Earth orbit becomes as mundane as the Petersburg-Vyborg train.

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