• Short Summary

    Documentary detailing Gagarin's training and flight into space. c. 1961

  • Description

    See also "Gargarin to the Stars - version 1" for Russian commentary and some different footage.

    Reel 2. (Reels 1 and 3 are on *PM1349*.)
    C/U of two young boys looking at a large model spaceship. A model of Sputnik One is shown, then an animation showing how it would have moved through space. An animation of Sputnik Two is shown - image of the dog Laika is superimposed over the image of the spaceship - cute! An animated sequence shows Sputnik Three moving through space.

    Travelling shot of a large room of rocket designers working at their desks. Montage of industrial footage - foundry, factories, "machines capable of incredibly fast calculations" (computers) are shown. A woman operates a large keyboard which has a board with flashing buttons above it. People work in front of control panels. Various shots of rocket science equipment. Shielding from radiation - the Soviet Proton Cyclotron (?) is described and illustrated by an animated sequence. Science and engineering were working together for a new attack on space.

    Animated sequence showing multi-stage rockets. Various nice animation sequences showing space craft and planets. The map of the far side of the moon is discussed - an image of the moon has Russian writing superimposed showing various named aspects.

    Still photograph of Gagarin, various letters are placed on top of the photograph to illustrate the fact that Gagarin was asking to be trained as a space pilot. Selection processes are discussed with images of men undergoing health tests including being suspended upside down. C/U of a board covered with numbers. Man undergoes a concentration test. - confusing numbers are played through a loud speaker whilst he has to solve mathematical problems quickly. Torture! C/U of the man's ear. Good montage sequence showing how the astronaut has to keep calm and ignore the mind games.

    M/S of man strapped to a machine which swings him backwards and forwards for hours. Moving camera shows the disorientation which must result. Man on the swing seems to be in some kind of trance - he looks terrible and narrator states: "No, this man won't make a space pilot." C/U of his face, he wears a special helmet which records his reactions - he looks ill. His eyes are closed and his face is sweaty.

    Another man undergoes a vibration test. Man sits in a chair with lots of wires attached to him. Man in a white coat and hat watches his reactions to being subjected to relentless shaking. Another test is shown - man in a decompression chamber (?) Slightly sinister music accompanies this sequence of the man inside the special chamber whilst he is subjected to barometric (?) changes. C/U of woman monitoring the tests. C/U of changes being recorded on graph paper. C/U of the scientists. Rhythm of the heartbeat is illustrated. C/U of evil looking scientist looking through the window at his victim. C/U of man wearing large mask. Man being tested looks woozy, image of scientist becomes blurred. Man being tested closes his eyes and puts his head backwards. "Quick" says the scientist and the door is quickly opened. C/U of dials with pointers moving rapidly. The man is helped out of the chamber - he staggers.

    C/U of the lid of a film can being opened. (Russian words visible on the label of the can). We are shown an "actual film record" of the shortlisted candidates. Film of movie equipment being handed to the trainees which include Yuri Gagarin. M/S of two of the astronauts standing together, one looks through the cine camera. Sequence showing training of these men. Good sequence of them jogging through a wood wearing very small swimming trunks or underpants (!) They jump over trees, they play volleyball, swim, try to jump up and head a ball suspended in the air, dive into a swimming pool. C/U of Yuri climbing out of the pool.

    Montage sequence showing training exercises for the cosmonauts. Flying fox type jumps are undertaken, parachute jumps. Montage sequence showing the astronauts studying - astronomy, geophysics and rocketry. C/U of handle of barometric chamber being turned. Various footage of tests being performed. A space pilot is isolated and his reactions are recorded. After many weeks of isolation the space pilot emerges from the chamber. C/U of a man having electrodes attached to his scalp then a bandage wound around his head. C/U of another astronaut putting on a soft helmet with many wires attached. He is then subjected to enormous acceleration forces. We see a pilot being subjected to centrifugal forces. He is spun around at great speed. We then see weightlessness tests. Man bounces around an aircraft which is simulating weightlessness. Air pilot is subjected to other tests in a capsule. A meeting with Air Chief Marshal Vashidin (sp?) The space pilots including Gagarin sit around a conference table. The lid of the film can is replaced.

    M/S of scientists in 1960 working with delicate instruments which measure cosmic radiation. Many samples of flora and fauna of the earth are lined up to be taken on board. Mice are shown - they are placed in small cages to take on board. Cages are loaded into the space ship. Bekla and Strelka (sp?) space doggies. We see them being strapped into harnesses. Their automatic food dispensers are shown. C/U of the two dogs inside their capsule. Low angle of the capsule being lifted up to the space ship. When the container returns to earth, the dogs are fine. C/U of them in the capsule. The dogs are held up at a press conference for photographers and cameramen.

    C/U of Gagarin and his wife with their baby. Various shots of Gagarin at home. He drives away in his car. More images of training. Astronauts undergo more intensive training. Famous shots of centrifugal tests taking place.
    The "space race" is discussed. American scientists and engineers launch a small spaceship. M/S of three monkeys strapped into capsules for flight into space - they hold hands. Montage of footage of the chimps being tested, eating from tubes etc. C/U of one of the chimps, camera pans down. Doctors look into the eyes of one of the chimps. Another space craft is launched. Animated sequence of the capsule landing in the sea. C/U of the chimp who has returned to earth, his head is stroked. Cute. Various shots of a press conference for the American astronauts. NASA sign is seen behind them. Various shots of the men. Panning C/U of the men. American voiceover suggests that one of these men will soon be the first man in space. This was not to be.

    Russian astronauts descend steps from an aircraft. Footage of Gagarin addressing the State Commission. He stands and makes a speech (natural sound is slightly out of synch - may need to be adjusted if this item is required.) His speech is translated. He announces that he will live up to the trust of the Russian people.

    End of reel 2.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    Media URN:
    British Pathé
    Issue Date:
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Time in/Out:
    01:36:57:00 / 01:56:05:00

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