Russian satellite destroyed: four films that predicted this Star Wars

Russia’s destruction of a Soviet-era satellite looks like a Hollywood blockbuster scenario. Back on these films which had been right.

A missile fired into space, a cloud of debris and the International Space Station in danger (ISS). On paper, all the ingredients for a successful film. This is however the reality. This Tuesday, November 16, Russia admitted to having fired on one of its old satellites dating from the Soviet era. A unilateral decision that pulverized thousands of space garbage over the planet, and endangered the ISS. The seven residents of the station even had to take refuge in their moored vessels to facilitate their evacuation in case of emergency. Star wars soon? Here is a selection of films to understand what is going on above our heads.

Gravity by Alfonso Cuarón (2013)

How not to think about Gravity in view of the news? Released in 2013, Alfonso Cuarón’s feature film sees George Clooney and Sandra Bullock as astronauts on their own in space. While in the middle of a telescope maintenance mission, the command post tells them that a missile has been fired into space and destroyed a Russian satellite. The explosion generates a cloud of debris that endangers American astronauts. A scenario that had marked at the time of its release and which has now become (almost) reality. In the film, they finally make it to the International Space Station, also damaged by debris. The scenario seemed unimaginable, it is today larger than life.

Moonraker by Lewis Gilbert (1979)

This eleventh installment of the James Bond saga is the one and only to take place both on earth and in space. Moonraker, it is the name of an American space shuttle stolen while it is moored to a Boeing 747 which is destroyed. The mission to find Moonraker is entrusted to 007, at the time played by Roger Moore. The secret agent’s investigation takes him from California to Rio de Janeiro via Venice, and ends in the cosmos.

Released in 1979, this feature film is in line with the first Star Wars, appeared on screens two years earlier. The film was very expensive at the time, but the realism of the scenes in space gives this episode of the adventures of 007 a special place in the saga. James bond. A superpower battle between earth and the cosmos that echoes the news.

Space Cowboys by Clint Eastwood (2000)

A decades-old Russian satellite poised to crash into Earth and machine specialists called in late to prevent the disaster. Here again, the scenario is not very far from the news at the end of 2021. Released in 2000, Space Cowboys follows vengeful astronauts. They were believed to be the first to travel to space in 1958, but were eventually replaced by a chimpanzee. Their knowledge of equipment dating from the 1950s will prove to be decisive in preventing the disaster.

The scenario is inspired by the story of Operation Cosmos 954. In January 1978, a Soviet spy satellite crashes in northern Canada, while the Americans had previously alerted their Russian counterparts to the state of the satellite. When it crashes in North America, the satellite dumps radioactive fuel into nature. Star wars have for the first time had very real consequences for life on earth.

The Spacewalkers by Dmitri Kessiliov (2017)

The history of the conquest of space is above all that of the Cold War, and current events remind us of this. If the United States has long won the battle for soft power thanks to the aforementioned films and the American-centric point of view they present, Russia has also produced films on its vision of space. Proof of this is with The Spacewalkers, which follows the space race between Americans and Soviets in the 1960s and Russian training to be the first to send a man into space.

Going unnoticed internationally, the film was a colossal success when it was released in Russia in 2017, praised by local critics for its deemed faithful representation of the Russian space conquest of the 1960s.


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