Last updated September 4, 2017 at 2:55 pm
Selected for SCINEMA 2017
On March 17th 1958, Vanguard, the first solar-powered satellite, was launched into space. At that time, space junk did not exist. Now, over one hundred million pieces of human-made space junk orbit the Earth. They include dead satellites, rocket parts, fuel tanks, paint flecks, nose cones, collision debris and more. Adrift, a short documentary, follows the story of astronaut Piers Sellers who accidentally dropped his spatula in space in 2006. His spatula became a deadly piece of space junk, travelling at 17,000 miles per second. The film then journeys across the remote deserts of Chile with astronomer women reflecting on this hidden world, shifts to the current threatening skies inhabited by the International Space Station and tracks the crash of a rocket part back to Earth. The film includes narration by Vanguard, voiced by Sally Potter (Actress and Director of “Orlando”). The amount of space junk has now reached a critical level, threatening Earth (more pieces are dangerously landing on Earth) as well as our future communications (one more collision in space could create a cascade of collisions, wiping out existing satellites that we rely on). Adrift engages with the mysteries and contradictions of space junk: a sometimes beautiful, but potentially destructive museum of space exploration hurtling above our heads.