‘Lunar’ short film an ode to the Space Race
Utilizing a mix of various photography and animation techniques, Austrian artist Christian Stangl created a short film called Lunar, which tells the story of humanity’s first voyages to another world.
Lunar opens with views of the Earth as it details how the Cold War expanded into space in 1957 with the launch of Sputnik – the world’s first artificial satellite – into orbit by the Soviet Union. The Space Race saw its first victor.
Just four years later, in 1961, the Soviets sent the first human into orbit: Yuri Gagarin. This was followed shortly by the United States launching Alan Shepard into space, albeit on a suborbital trajectory.
A few weeks later, in a bid to leapfrog the Soviets, U.S. President John F. Kennedy committed the United States on a mission to send the first humans to the surface of the Moon – and to return them safely to Earth. Project Apollo was born. Within eight years, Apollo 11 would land the first two people on the Moon. Just three years and five landings later, the journeys to the Moon came to an end.
In total, 24 representatives of the human race ventured to the vicinity of the Moon, with twelve of them setting foot upon its surface. Since 1972, however, no person has traveled further than low-Earth orbit (roughly an altitude between 99 miles or 160 kilometers, and 1,200 miles 2,000 kilometers).
Stangl took thousands of Apollo-era imagery and audio and animated them using an array of techniques to bring the stills to life. Additionally, the music in Lunar was provided by his brother, Wolfgang. The two worked on the film for 18 months.
Video courtesy of Christian Stangl
Derek Richardson has a degree in mass media, with an emphasis in contemporary journalism, from Washburn University in Topeka, Kansas. While at Washburn, he was the managing editor of the student run newspaper, the Washburn Review. He also has a blog about the International Space Station, called Orbital Velocity. He met with members of the SpaceFlight Insider team during the flight of a United Launch Alliance Atlas V 551 rocket with the MUOS-4 satellite. Richardson joined our team shortly thereafter. His passion for space ignited when he watched Space Shuttle Discovery launch into space Oct. 29, 1998. Today, this fervor has accelerated toward orbit and shows no signs of slowing down. After dabbling in math and engineering courses in college, he soon realized his true calling was communicating to others about space. Since joining SpaceFlight Insider in 2015, Richardson has worked to increase the quality of our content, eventually becoming our managing editor.