Salyut 7 is a Russian space exploration film released in 2017. The movie is based on real events that took place in 1985 during the Soviet Union's space program.
It was directed by Klim Shipenko and co-written by Shipenko and Aleksey Chupov.
But what is the movie all about, and is it worth watching?
What is Salyut 7 About?
The year is 1985 and the Soviet Union is engaged in a race with America to see which nation will conquer space first.
The pride of the Russian space programme is the Salyut Station, but on the 11th of February 1985, the station suffered a major system failure and communication blackout, leaving it drifting in space.
The Soviet Union faces a critical situation as they risk losing the station, which is a symbol of their space program's success.
In response to the crisis, the Soviet space agency sends a two-man crew, Viktor Alyokhin (Pavel Derevyanko) and Vladimir Fyodorov (Vladimir Vdovichenkov), on a daring mission to rescue the Salyut 7.
The crew must dock their Soyuz spacecraft with the unmanned station and restore its systems. However, they face numerous challenges and risks, including the fear that the station might collide with Earth or burn up in the atmosphere.
If the Russians cannot regain control of Salyut-7, they risk it crashing into a densely populated part of the planet. Or worse, being captured by the U.S. Space Shuttle during its fall back to Earth.
Is Salyut 7 Worth Watching?
It's worth pointing out that the movie is subtitled. However, don't let that put you off! The dialogue in the film isn't overly clunky.
You won't have to worry about keeping up with the subtitles and simultaneously watching the action. In fact, with its great cast, the Russian language adds a layer of authenticity to the movie.
Along with the main feature, you can also watch a short Russian documentary on making the film. I highly recommend this but don't watch it until you've seen the movie.
Overall, Salyut 7 is a great story that combines elements of drama, action, and historical fiction. It aims to capture the tension and excitement of the real-life events that unfolded during the Salyut 7 mission.
It is an engaging and thrilling film that provides a glimpse into the challenges faced by the Soviet space program during a critical moment in history.
Salyut 7 showcases the human spirit's ability to overcome obstacles and achieve extraordinary feats in the pursuit of scientific advancement.
Is Salyut 7 Based On A True Story?
Yes, Salyut 7 is a space movie based on a true story. The actual events depicted in the movie are inspired by the real-life mission that took place in 1985 involving the Soviet space station Salyut 7.
In June 1985, the Salyut 7 space station experienced a technical malfunction and stopped responding to ground control. If the Soviet Union lost the station it would have been a significant setback for their space program.
Sent on a mission, Cosmonauts Vladimir Dzhanibekov and Viktor Savinykh dock their Soyuz spacecraft at the unmanned station, reactivate its systems, and bring it back under control.
The cosmonauts successfully carried out the mission, demonstrating exceptional skill, courage, and resourcefulness. They managed to dock with the station, repair its systems, and restore its functionality. The mission was considered a major achievement in space exploration.
How Was Zero Gravity Achieved?
One interesting fact about Salyut 7 is that the production team recreated the zero-gravity environment of space in a unique and innovative way.
Creators didn't rely solely on CGI or wires to simulate weightlessness. Instead, the filmmakers utilised a special aircraft called the Ilyushin Il-76MDK. Fun fact, it's also known as the “Vomit Comet.”
The Ilyushin Il-76MDK is a modified cargo plane that is capable of creating short periods of weightlessness during flight.
The filmmakers collaborated with the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Russia to use this aircraft for filming. By performing parabolic maneuvers, the plane would enter a state of freefall, creating a few moments of true weightlessness for the actors and the film crew.
This unconventional approach added authenticity to the zero-gravity scenes in the movie.
The cast and crew experienced firsthand what it feels like to float in space. This enabled them to deliver more convincing performances and capture the realism of the cosmonauts' movements and interactions in a weightless environment.
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