Serendipitously, at the same time we are waiting to see when and where the Russian Phobos-Grunt satellite will crash back to Earth, a new IMAX movie called “Space Junk 3-D” will open in giant screen and dome theaters. “The timing is uncanny, but we hope it will underscore the film’s intention: to raise awareness of the orbital debris issue to ensure the future of space exploration and satellite communications,” said the makers of the film.
While the animated film “Wall-E” intimated that space junk could doom our planet, this is the first movie to explore the exponentially expanding ring of debris that threatens the safety of Earth orbit. As only the magical imagery of a giant 3-D screen can do, the movie will take you soaring—from the stunning depths of Meteor Crater on Earth, to an unprecedented view of our increasingly crowded orbits, 35,400 km (22,000 miles) above Earth.
In the movie, which makes its debut this weekend in several locations, Don Kessler, the retired head of NASA’s Orbital Debris Office (who is known as the “Father of Space Junk,”) discusses the challenges we face in protecting Earth’s orbital environment for the future. At risk here is the future of space exploration and the safety of the extensive satellite network that powers our modern day communications, GPS and more.
The movie also weighs the possible solutions aimed at fixing the problem. But most impressive are the stunning 3-D images that transport the viewer above Earth, to star fields and beyond, providing a view of massive collision in space – both man-made and natural.
“We set out to recreate the most spectacular orbital debris events with scientific accuracy and mind-blowing visualization,” said Director and Producer Melissa Butts.