Only a handful of astronauts have ever seen the unique perspective of Earth from outer space, and the way it affects them is known as the overview effect. Now, purpose-built theaters and a new movie will bring the same experience to the masses.
“Experiencing the awe and wonder of our home planet from the extraordinary vantage point of a spacecraft is life-changing,” said astronaut Nicole Stott, who spent nearly 30 years at NASA, including two spaceflights and 104 days on the International Space Station. “On a human level, of all the complexities of spaceflight, the simple lessons we learn from spaceflight stand out to me the most – we live on one planet, we are all Earthlings, and the only boundary that matters is that thin blue line of atmosphere that covers and protects us all.”
Stott is one of the narrators of a new film called Orbit, which is currently being produced by filmmakers Planetary Collective and Cosm, a media company that specializes in unique places that immerse audiences in multisensory content.
Cosme said the film aims to provide a “meditative experience that takes viewers on a journey into space to experience Earth’s deep beauty, inner workings and mysteries, and inspire a greater appreciation for our common, living planet”. It will do this through stunning visuals, including never-before-seen footage from previous Apollo missions, and never-before-seen interviews with 38 different astronauts and astronauts.
But even more ambitious than the film’s lofty goals are the theaters in which it’s shown.
Cosm is building 65,000-square-foot (6,039-square-meter) theaters in Los Angeles and Dallas, each with an 87-foot (26.6-m) diameter dome. According to Cosm, the dome is capable of 8K resolution, the world’s first software-defined display.The system consists of the company’s CX display technologya digital display software program that can also be used with unreal enginean open source 3D graphics creation tool.
Unlike other theaters where all audience members are seated in chairs, in the Cosm space the audience is also free to move around, enjoying food and drinks while watching the performances around them. The Los Angeles venue will be able to accommodate 500 seated patrons and another 700 standing patrons.
Cosm has already brought some impressive spaces to the world, including installations at the Shanghai Astronomical Museum and Granger Sky Theater at the Jennifer Charles Ti Planetarium in Chicago, so there’s a good chance that its two new dome theaters will be wow-worthy as well.
Planetary Collective has been equally impressive, having released two critically acclaimed films: “Overview” – a short film that first touches the space philosopher frank whiteand the SXSW version “Planetary“another film that aims to change perspective by looking back at Earth from space. A trailer for the film can be found at youtube Get a better idea of what you can expect from this new movie.
The release of Orbital and the corresponding opening of the two Cosm venues are expected to take place in 2024, with the Los Angeles venue opening first in the local spring. Los Angeles and Dallas have already broken ground.