At a time when humans can avail themselves of permanently manned orbiting devices and space technology is part of our everyday life, very few people know what scientific principles and methods were actually used to make all that possible. This educational film by the Directorate of Human Spaceflight of the European Space Agency (ESA) aims to explain these concepts.
One of the latest ESA missions - Jules Verne’s “journey”, the first Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV), which remained attached to the International Space Station (ISS) for 6 months - is used as an excuse to show the complex physics principles behind current space applications and to illustrate future research trends in human exploration.
Basic concepts like gravitational attraction, orbital mechanics, satellite propulsion and navigation technologies are illustrated within the framework of a well-structured sequential narration that makes the film suitable for high-school students (16-18 years of age).
The examples described are meant to be easily understandable and intuitive, so as to elicit a desire for a deeper knowledge in the young viewers they were designed for.
The talent of host Ronald Top makes the presentation of these highly technological and scientific topics energized and informal, while at the same time providing in-depth and accurate descriptions.