Source Pravda.Ru

Space Tourists Became the History of Doc

Christian Frei reflected on the mood and experience of space tourists in his new movie.

The elite band of super-rich tourists willing to pay millions of dollars to voyage into outer space are spotlighted in a documentary vying for honors at the Sundance Film Festival.

Swiss director Christian Frei's latest film, "Space Tourists," explores the phenomenon of wealthy individuals who have capitalized on the fading glory of the former Soviet Union's space program to fulfill the journey of a lifetime.

Frei says he was drawn to the subject after reading a newspaper article about a Japanese billionaire willing to pay 20 million dollars to journey into space wearing a spacesuit based on his favorite cartoon character.

"I thought, 'There is something crazy, there,'" said Frei, who has already earned an Oscars documentary nomination for his 2001 film "War Photographer."

"I was also curious to what was left of the Russian side of the Space Race."

While following the preparations of the eccentric Japanese tycoon who inspired the film, Daisuke Enomoto, Frei discovered the Baikonur Cosmodrome, the former hub of the Soviet space program situated in the desert wilderness of the Kazakhstan steppes.

Frei's film also shines a light on the Kazakh scrap merchants who make a living scouring the vast expanse of the steppes searching for debris from rocket launches which is then sold to China.

"When the Soviet Union collapsed, actually the whole steppe was kind of covered with rockets and other debris," Frei told AFP.

Russia, which leases the Baikonur facility from Kazakhstan, barred Frei from filming the scrap merchants, disparaging them as "alcoholic scavengers."

However with the help of Google Earth, Frei and his production team were able to capture the work of the merchants.

"With Google Earth, we zoomed-in and my assistant made a huge map so we could see the tiny little tracks of the collectors' trucks. I realized that I could actually approach them from the south," Frei said.

The ingenuity of Frei's approach reaped rewards. The images of the merchants waiting in the middle of nowhere to pounce on debris are among the film's best moments. "I'm pretty sure no-one has ever filmed that," Frei said.

Frei's project was almost derailed when Enomoto withdrew from his space odyssey for health reasons to be replaced by Anousheh Ansari, an American-Iranian who had held a lifelong dream of journeying into space.

"I knew, in my heart, that I would find the way," Ansari told reporters. "When I got married, I told my husband that if I die and I did't make it to space, I wanted him to make sure that he would find a way to send my ashes to space."

For Frei, who was able to benefit from using the footage shot by Ansari during her eight days on board the ISS, space travel holds little appeal.

"If I had 20 million dollars I wouldn't go to space because I have other dreams," Frei said.

AFP has contributed to the report.

About 95% of Putin's Address to the Federal Assembly was devoted to social issues, but he also spoke about Russia's military power, her state-of-the-art weapons, and did not miss a chance to intimidate the United States.

Putin addresses social issues, threatens USA with Russia's new missiles in his 15th Federal Assembly speech

About 95% of Putin's Address to the Federal Assembly was devoted to social issues, but he also spoke about Russia's military power, her state-of-the-art weapons, and did not miss a chance to intimidate the United States.

Putin addresses social issues, threatens USA with Russia's new missiles in his 15th Federal Assembly speech
Comments
Putin addresses social issues, threatens USA with Russia's new missiles in his 15th Federal Assembly speech
Smartphones and social networks not allowed in the Russian Army
Three types of weapons that were stolen from Russia
Three types of weapons that were stolen from Russia
The Documented Ancient Construction Method of The Great Pyramid
Shamans burn five camels in sacrifice ritual to make Russia stronger
The Documented Ancient Construction Method of The Great Pyramid
Homosexuality and the Decline in American Values
Venezuela's Supreme Court v. US Attempted Coup
Putin addresses social issues, threatens USA with Russia's new missiles in his 15th Federal Assembly speech
Putin addresses social issues, threatens USA with Russia's new missiles in his 15th Federal Assembly speech
Venezuela's Supreme Court v. US Attempted Coup
Trump Reportedly to Declare a National Emergency for Border Wall Funding
Shamans burn five camels in sacrifice ritual to make Russia stronger
Shamans burn five camels in sacrifice ritual to make Russia stronger
Russia's S-400 missiles lost in storm during transportation to China
Idlib Province Syria: Infested with US-Supported Terrorists
Shamans burn five camels in sacrifice ritual to make Russia stronger
Shamans burn five camels in sacrifice ritual to make Russia stronger
Russia's S-400 missiles lost in storm during transportation to China
Putin addresses social issues, threatens USA with Russia's new missiles in his 15th Federal Assembly speech