Destiny In Space

Synopsis: Travel up close astronauts as they repair the Hubble Space Telescope and soar above Venus and Mars whilst finding proof of new planets and the possibility of other life forming around distant stars.
40 min

In the Milky Way galaxy,

circling a star called the Sun ...

is a small planet inhabited

by intelligent life.

Earthlings have always been

curious creatures.

Even as we discovered our own world,

we dreamed of exploring others.

Perhaps other beings inhabit

planets around distant stars.

If they are sending signals ...

we could detect them with this

powerful radio telescope ...

and maybe send a signal

back across the cosmos.

But might we ourselves

leave our home on Earth ...

to explore new worlds?

We have already taken the first

small steps outside our planet.

We designed this shuttlecraft to

carry people and cargo up into orbit.

Here, far above the

Earth's atmosphere ...

we're learning how to

live and work in space.

You've got a go to

maneuver the orbiter.

It's doing nose sweep, going

towards the starboard side.

The exterior shows just a little

of the expected wear and tear ...

of many trips back and forth.

The shuttle is equipped

with a robotic arm ...

to move large payloads

ferried up from Earth.

Houston, do we have

a go for maneuver?

It has lifted from the cargo bay ...

a spacecraft which carries

a German telescope named ORFEUS ...

and a remotely operated

IMAX camera.

Through its lens, we are

seeing as never before ...

the exterior of the shuttle

as it orbits the Earth.

Discovery, Houston.

You have a go for release.

Copy that.

Now the ORFEUS telescope

has been released into orbit.

We are riding with it,

floating free in space.

Beneath us the shuttle pulls

away, its cargo bay empty.

ORFEUS will spend several days ...

observing the hottest and

coldest gases in our galaxy.

Then the shuttle will

take it back to Earth.

Over three decades, we've learned how

to travel back and forth to space ...

and live in low Earth orbit.

Now that we have taken these

first steps, are we ready ...

to cross the great black void to explore

the other worlds in our solar system?

The journey will be hundreds of times

farther than any we have ever undertaken.

First, we need to understand

how we adapt to weightlessness.

The nine hours of work

scheduled for the blue shift ...

one and a half hour for green.

Connected by tunnel to the crew cabin,

a laboratory known as Spacelab ...

is carried in the cargo bay

on certain flights.

Inside it, scientists are

performing experiments ...

developed by 13 different countries.

Two medical doctors, Norm Thagard

and Roberta Bondar, a Canadian ...

are studying how our

sensory systems behave ...

when introduced to microgravity.

More than half the astronauts

experience space motion sickness ...

the first day or two.

We're getting one

last calibration, Dave.

German payload specialist Ulf Merbold

is conducting an experiment ...

to find out more

about how it happens.

I've got vection.

The subject sees one thing,

but he feels another.

His brain is confused by

these conflicting messages ...

and he becomes disoriented.

Is the spacecraft rotating ...

or are we?

While Roberta spins, a tiny

camera inside her helmet ...

is recording the movements of her

eye as it reacts to the motion.

Data are collected at mid-flight,

then again near its end.

When the results are compared ...

it becomes clear that the more

time people spend in space ...

the more they rely on the visual

sense alone for orientation.

But these results tell us only about

how we adapt in the short term.

Spores three goes to centrifuge 204.

Make sure it says spore 31G.

Spores Which one?

To find out how we're

affected by longer stays ...

people must live continuously

in a space station.

There, we could learn how to maintain

a closed life-support system ...

for months or years at a time.

One more. Interesting.

Recycling is a must.

Future astronauts will be

accomplished gardeners.

They will tend

small farms in space ...

like this hydroponic garden

at the Kennedy Space Center ...

that uses recycled water

and oxygen to grow food.

The plants must be kept

free of contamination.

Halfway to another planet,

a crop failure would be a disaster.

A hundred and eighty reps left.

Keeping fit is another challenge.

With no body weight to support,

our muscles get weaker.

Bones become brittle.

The longer we stay,

the worse the problems become.

Hey, Bobby! Come on up here.

We're going by Canada.

People traveling to other planets ...

will spend years living

in a very confined space.

What kinds of emotional

stress will we face?

Will we get homesick, so far

from everything we know ...

isolated from family and friends

and the familiar comforts of home?

There she is, John.

Don't run into our home.

Our first journeys to another

world were to our nearby Moon.

Tranquility Base, Houston.

You are cleared for takeoff.

But those round trips

took barely a week.

Today, on the Mir station ...

Russian cosmonauts live

in space for many months.

From time to time, new crews arrive

from Earth in the Soyuz craft.

Now, after almost a year in orbit ...

the cosmonauts will

return home in Soyuz.

And even though they've spent up

to six hours exercising each day ...

when re-exposed to Earth's gravity,

they are temporarily unable to stand up.

Imagine arriving on an alien

planet in this condition.

But what if we could produce

an artificial gravity ...

as we travel to our destination?

In 1968, Stanley Kubrick's

classic film ...

Rate this script:5.0 / 3 votes

Toni Myers

Toni Myers is a Canadian film editor, writer, director and producer, best known for her 3D IMAX work.Her most recent film is the 2016 A Beautiful Planet. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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