JAN. 9, 2011 - Just as the crippled Russian satellite, Phobos-Grunt, threatens to fall from our sky, the world premiere of the film "Space Junk" will take place in the Saint Louis Science Center's OMNIMAX Theater, Jan. 14, 2012. This IMAX movie is the first to explore the exponentially expanding ring of manmade debris that threatens the safety of our planet's orbits.
"We are very excited to be the host of the world premiere of 'Space Junk,'" said Jackie Mollet, senior director of theater, retail and exhibitions at the science center. "Our ever-growing need for satellite communications has created a dangerous debris field that impacts all space travel. 'Space Junk's' in-depth look at these orbits and the potential consequences of a collision is fascinating. We hope the film will inspire young scientists to find an answer to this problem."
Harnessing the magical imagery of the giant screen, Director Melissa Butts takes viewers soaring in Space Junk -- from the stunning depths of Meteor Crater to an unprecedented view of our increasingly crowded orbits, 22,000 miles above earth.
On screen, Don Kessler, the retired head of NASA's Orbital Debris Office and the "Father of Space Junk," reaches back to the beginning of our solar system for understanding and guides us through the challenges we face in protecting our orbits for the future.
"It isn't a coincidence that media headlines of falling debris are growing just as we launch this film," explains Kessler. "As we started researching this story we found that most scientists agree we've reached this tipping point where orbital debris will continue to grow exponentially if we don't address the problem."
At risk are the future of space exploration and the safety of the extensive satellite network that powers our modern day communication systems. This visually explosive journey of discovery weighs the solutions aimed at restoring Earth's orbits. Fueling this story are stunning time lapse sequences and dynamic images that transport the viewer by wrapping us in star fields and allowing us to witness massive collisions in space-both natural and man-made.
"We set out to tell this story with scientific accuracy, utilizing mind-blowing immersive space visualizations," explains Butts. To accomplish this, her team worked with the National Center for Supercomputing Applications to create breathtaking, state-of-the-art, visualizations from scientific data.
Butts also consulted with NASA's Orbital Debris Program on content for the film, which will be shown in science centers around the world.
Tickets are $9 for adults, $8 for children, college students with an ID and seniors, and free for members with vouchers. Showtimes are available by calling 314-289-4424 or at slsc.org. Science center members can be the first to see the 2D film at the Member-only preview on the evening of Jan. 13.