BBC Space Race (2005): Perlombaan Menakhlukkan Luar Angkasa

Saya mungkin sudah lebih dari sepuluh kali nonton film dokumenter ini. Film dokumenter dari BBC yang menceritakan perlombaan antara Uni Soviet dan Amerika dalam menakhlukkan luar angkasa. Perlombaan untuk menunjukkan kepada dunia siapa yang paling berkuasa atau siapa yang paling adi daya. Saat itulah kemudian disebut perang dingin antara kedua negara tersebut, karena sebenarnya mereka bukan musuhan. Hanya saja diam-diam ingin lebih unggul dan tidak terasa saling mencurigai satu sama lain.

Yang membuat saya menonton berkali-kali film ini adalah karena kegigihan tokoh yang diceritakan dalam film ini, ikut memberikan semangat dan inspirasi untuk terus maju dan gigih dalam mengejar cita-cita atau mimpi. Ada dua tokoh utama yang sangat menonjol disorot dalam film ini, yaitu Wernher Von Braun dan Sergei Korolev. Beliau berdua mewakili masing-masing negara adi kuasa tersebut.

Beberapa hari ini saya kembali nonton karena Von Braun tidak sengaja disebut dalam buku “Habibie dan Ainun” yang saya baca. Dalam buku itu Pak Habibie bercerita pernah kerja bareng dengan Engineer yang dulu pernah bekerja dengan Von Braun membangun roket V2 di Penemunde saat Perang Dunia II. Saya akhirnya mencari di Youtube dan menemukan full film dengan total empat episode.

Sebenarnya film ini sudah menjadi salah satu diantara koleksi dokumenter saya di harddisk, tapi entah kenapa dulu kok tiba-tiba hilang. Tapi gak apa-apa, yang penting sudah ketemu penggantinya.


Episode one: Race For Rockets (1944–1949)

We see the results of Wernher von Braun’s work on the V-2 for the Nazis at Mittelwerk and Peenemünde, and his final activities within Germany during the last years of the Second World War, as both American and Soviet forces race to capture German rocket technology. When the Americans gain the upper hand by recovering von Braun and most of his senior staff, along with all their technical documents and much other materiel, we see Sergei Korolev’s release from the Gulag to act as the Soviets’ rocketry expert alongside former colleague Valentin Glushko, and how he is set to work bringing Soviet rocket technology up to date with that of von Braun, working with what material and personnel are left after von Braun’s escape to the US. (wikipedia.org)

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Episode two: Race For Satellites (1953–1958)

As the Cold War intensifies, Korolev is asked to build a rocket capable of carrying a five-ton warhead to America – he designs and constructs the R-7 Semyorka, the first ICBM, and is later allowed to use it to launch the first satellite, Sputnik 1, quickly following up with the rushed Sputnik 2. Meanwhile, von Braun struggles to persuade the US government to allow him to launch his own satellite – after Sputnik’s launch and the failure of the US Navy to launch a Vanguard satellite, he is finally allowed to launch the first American satellite, Explorer 1. Korolev announces that the Americans have evened the score and that they are in a space race which they intend to win. At the end of the episode we see the silhouettes of two men walking down a corridor, one appears to be in a space-suit. This could be Yuri Gagarin. (wikipedia.org)

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Episode three: Race For Survival (1959–1961)

Both the Americans and Soviets are planning manned space flight, and we see both sides preparing to do so with the development of the Vostok programme (USSR) and Project Mercury (USA). As well as basic details about the capsules and their delivery vehicles, we also see some of the selection and training of the Russian cosmonauts, and rather less of that of their counterparts in the US. After difficulties and failures on both sides, including a side story about a catastrophic failure of one of the first Russian ballistic missiles, the Soviets succeed in putting Yuri Gagarin into space first, with the Americans putting Alan Shepard up shortly afterwards.(wikipedia.org)

Episode four: Race For The Moon (1964–1969)

Both sides now plan to put a man on the Moon – the Americans pull ahead in the space race with Project Gemini, but then suffer a disaster with the Apollo 1 fire. Meanwhile, despite a few notable successes such as the first space walk by Alexei Leonov, the Soviet space programme struggles to keep up amid internal strife. Glushko and Korolev permanently fall out in an argument about fuel; Korolev turns to Nikolai Kuznetsov to develop engines instead. Kuznetsov delivers the NK-33, very efficient but much less powerful than the Americans’ F-1. The Soviet program suffers further blows when Korolev dies during surgery, Gagarin dies in a jet crash, Soyuz 1 crashes and kills Vladimir Komarov, and the prototype booster for the moon shot, the N-1 rocket, fails to successfully launch. In America, von Braun has continuing difficulties with the Saturn V, especially combustion instability in the large F-1 engine, but these are ultimately overcome almost by brute force at great expense, and the rocket successfully launches the first manned lunar mission, Apollo 8, and the first manned lunar landing, Apollo 11. The final episode finishes with brief textual summaries of the remaining careers of the various people involved.(wikipedia.org)

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Wernher Von Braun, Sergei Korolev, dan Pak Habibie adalah beberapa dari orang-orang yang menjadi idola saya. Semoga hasil karya-karya beliau menjadi inspirasi bagi generasi selanjutnya dan menjadi alat untuk mengenal dan menjaga alam di sekitar kita serta untuk kedamaian tentunya.

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