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Chandrayaan-2: Five Times the Fascination Around Moon Landings Inspired Movies

Moon landing has always seemed like the stuff of movies, and filmmakers both in India and abroad have been inspired to spin their stories around the phenomena more than once.

News18.com

Updated:July 14, 2019, 12:51 PM IST
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Chandrayaan-2: Five Times the Fascination Around Moon Landings Inspired Movies
Posters of First Man and Antariksham 9000 KMPH.
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The countdown for the launch of Chandrayaan-2, India's most ambitious space mission that aims to place a rover on the moon, has begun. The Indian Space Research Organisation landed its first mission on the moon 10 years ago, and are aiming to make history again with Chandrayaan-2, to "foster a new age of discovery, increase our understanding of space, stimulate the advancement of technology, promote global alliances, and inspire a future generation of explorers and scientists," Isro explains on its website.

The first human-made object to reach the surface of the Moon was the Soviet Union's Luna 2 mission, on 13 September 1959. The United States' Apollo 11 was the first crewed mission to land on the Moon, on July 20, 1969. But Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey opened in theaters a year earlier, on April 3, 1968. The possibility of traveling to the moon had long invigorated the dreams of storytellers, but the realization of that vision, and the images it produced, had opened up entirely new horizons.

Moon landing has always seemed like the stuff of movies, and filmmakers both in India and abroad have been inspired to spin their stories around the phenomena more than once. Here are some moon landing inspired films that have greatly expanded the realm of science fiction.

A Trip to the Moon (1902): A French adventure film directed by Georges Méliès, inspired by a wide variety of sources, including Jules Verne's novels From the Earth to the Moon and Around the Moon. The silent film follows a group of astronomers who travel to the Moon in a cannon-propelled capsule, explore the Moon's surface, escape from an underground group of Selenites (lunar inhabitants), and return to Earth with a captive Selenite.

Apollo 13 (1995): This American space docudrama film was directed by Ron Howard and starred Tom Hanks, Kevin Bacon, Bill Paxton, Gary Sinise, and Ed Harris. The screenplay dramatizes the aborted 1970 Apollo 13 lunar mission and is an adaptation of the book Lost Moon: The Perilous Voyage of Apollo 13 by astronaut Jim Lovell and Jeffrey Kluger. Apollo 13 was nominated for nine Academy Awards, including Best Picture, but it won for Best Film Editing and Best Sound.

First Man (2018): This Neil Armstrong biopic was directed by Damien Chazelle and written by Josh Singer. Based on the book First Man: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong by James R. Hansen, the film stars Ryan Gosling as Armstrong, and follows the years leading up to the Apollo 11 mission to the Moon in 1969.

Chand Par Chadayee (1967): This Hindi science fiction film was produced and directed by TP Sundaram. The film stars Dara Singh, Anwar Hussain, Bhagwan, G. Ratna and Padma Khanna. The story tells us how, after landing on the Moon, the astronaut Anand and his associate Bhagu battle many warriors and monsters from another planet.

Antariksham 9000 KMPH (2018): This film was regarded as the first space-based Telugu science fiction film. Written and directed by Sankalp Reddy, it starred Varun Tej, Aditi Rao Hydari and Lavanya Tripathi. The plot revolves around a retired engineer, who is brought back by the Indian Space Agency when a satellite moving into the darker side of moon loses connection with the space station and is losing speed. This would lead to a collision with another Chinese satellite and would lead to chain reaction resulting in a communication blackout across the world.

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