For millennia humans have looked up and admired the Moon. Between
1968 and 1972, the Apollo program brought twenty-four American
astronauts into lunar orbit – twelve of whom walked its surface. While
they aimed for the moon, some of their most moving experiences occurred
when they gazed back at earth. In the end, the Apollo missions not only
brought man to the Moon, but also provided humanity with the first true
overview of our mother earth. The images produced during the Apollo era,
such as astronaut Bill Anders’s Earthrise, have been profoundly influential over the last half century.
Despite the international fame of the Apollo program, Iceland’s role in preparing men for the moon is less commonly known. During the summers of 1965 and 1967, 32 astronauts partook in geologic training missions to study the basaltic outcrops of Iceland – one of NASA’s terrestrial analogs for the lunar surface. The astronauts’ time in the calderas and lava fields helped prepare them for the complexities of collecting rock samples on the moon.
Cosmic Birth, a new Icelandic documentary, follows some of these Apollo astronauts back into the Icelandic highlands where they reflect on their epic missions to another world. The film looks at how going to the moon changed the astronauts, but also how they in turn helped us, back on Earth, better understand our own place in the universe.
Orly Orlyson is the co-director of Cosmic Birth. He is an entrepreneur and the found of The Exploration Museum in Húsavík, Iceland – a museum dedicated to the history of human exploration.
Date: Friday, November 15
Time: 6:00 pm Reception, 7:00 pm Screening
Location: Club Headquarters, 46 E 70th Street, New York, NY, 10021
Member Ticket Price: $15
Guest Ticket Price: $30
Click here to purchase tickets online
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