Space Travel, Then…and Now.

Carl Sagan would have fit right into the silent movie era!


Hanns-Walter Kornblum, a German, and American Dave Fleischer were making movies about Einstein’s theory of relativity in 1923. Sagan would have loved it.

Maybe they worked it out with Einstein himself during a dinner party at Pickfair – the scientist was a guest of Doug Fairbanks and Mary Pickford.

In any event, two years later, Kornblum got 15 special effects draftsmen, as well as 9 cameramen in special units, and spent two and a half years filming Wunder der Schöpfung or Wonder of Creation. Four university professors were consulted to make sure the facts were correct (as known in 1925).

Here it is in English as A Trip to the Planets:

The next one will be much shorter. That’s because it’s video from a real trip to the planets.


In August 2005, the Messenger spacecraft left Earth to go explore the planet Mercury. It passed Venus in June 2007 and approached Mercury in January 2008.

The Mercury-bound MESSENGER spacecraft captured several stunning images of Earth during a gravity assist swingby of its home planet on Aug. 2, 2005. Several hundred images, taken with the wide-angle camera in MESSENGER’s Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS), were sequenced into a movie documenting the view from MESSENGER as it departed Earth.

Comprising 358 frames taken over 24 hours, the movie follows Earth through one complete rotation. The spacecraft was 40,761 miles (65,598 kilometers) above South America when the camera started rolling on Aug. 2. It was 270,847 miles (435,885 kilometers) away from Earth – farther than the Moon’s orbit – when it snapped the last image on Aug. 3.

Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington

Then…and now.

Nothing first, if not the dream.

Categories: Saturday Silents

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