Academy Award®-nominated director Orlando von Einsiedel, Executive Producer J.J. Abrams, Bad Robot and Epic Digital have joined forces with Google and XPRIZE to create a documentary web series about the people competing for the Google Lunar XPRIZE. The Google Lunar XPRIZE is the largest prize competition of all time with a reward of \$30 million and aims to incentivize entrepreneurs to create a new era of affordable access to the Moon and beyond, while inspiring the next generation of scientists, engineers, and explorers.\ This character-driven, emotional, awe-inspiring series of 9 short films will follow a selection of the teams currently racing to complete their missions. It will explore the lives of their charismatic, quirky members, the sacrifices they have made to get to where they are today, and crucially, what drives them on this incredible journey.
Runtime: 7 minutes
Moon Shot - Lost Cosmonauts - Netflix
The Lost Cosmonauts or Phantom Cosmonauts are subjects of a conspiracy theory alleging that Soviet cosmonauts went to outer space before Yuri Gagarin, but their existence has never been publicly acknowledged by either the Soviet or Russian space authorities. Proponents of the Lost Cosmonauts theory argue that the Soviet Union attempted to launch two or more manned space flights prior to Gagarin's, and that at least two cosmonauts died in those attempts. Another cosmonaut, Vladimir Ilyushin, is believed to have landed off-course and been held by the Chinese government. The Government of the Soviet Union supposedly suppressed this information, to prevent bad publicity during the height of the Cold War. The evidence cited to support Lost Cosmonaut theories is generally regarded as inconclusive, and several cases have been confirmed as hoaxes. In the 1980s, American journalist James Oberg researched space-related disasters in the Soviet Union, but found no evidence of these Lost Cosmonauts. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s, much previously restricted information is now available, including on Valentin Bondarenko, a would-be cosmonaut whose death during training on Earth was covered up by the Soviet government. Even with the availability of published Soviet archival material and memoirs of Russian space pioneers, no evidence has emerged to support the Lost Cosmonaut theories.
Moon Shot - In popular culture - Netflix
The May 1987 issue #122 (page 74-79) of Dragon Magazine features “Operation: Zenith”, an article by Merle M. Rasmussen, creator of the Top Secret role-playing game, which includes the scenario “Code Name: Cancer”, wherein a space shuttle crew is sent to rendezvous with a Soviet Cosmos satellite launched in 1963, they discover that the satellite was in fact a modified Vostok designed to deliver a nuclear payload; the cosmonaut aboard died when his life support system was exhausted following a launch into a higher than planned orbit. The July 1987 issue #123 (page 82-6) of Dragon Magazine features the article “Operation: Zondraker, Part 2”, also by Rasmussen, which includes the scenario “Code Name: Starfall”, wherein a team of agents explores the site of the failed Luna 15 lander, discovering that it was a manned mission, with two cosmonauts; one died instantly in the crash (identified as Nikolai L. Kuzmin), while the other, unidentified, cosmonaut died later as his oxygen supply ran out. A 1989 installment of Philip Bond's “Wired World”, published in the UK comics anthology Deadline magazine, features a cosmonaut who crash-lands in a London park where the main characters are picnicking. Victor Pelevin's anti-Soviet 1992 novel Omon Ra is based on depictions of Soviet space flights as a planned homicide. Some of these “flights” are also not really flights, but fakes for the sake of Soviet propaganda. The 1996-97 U.S. TV series The Cape included an episode titled “Buried in Peace”, in which a space shuttle mission discovers a derelict Soviet space craft with the remains of two cosmonauts, which turned out to be a failed attempt to beat the United States to the moon. The 2004 video game Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater has a boss known as The Fury who was a cosmonaut sent into space before Gagarin, and whose shuttle was engulfed in flames upon re-entry. He survived with severe burns and a newly-found sense of pyromania; his boss fight consequently involves the use of fire. The 2005 mockumentary First on the Moon describes the preparations and training for a Soviet moonshot in 1938, as well as the following cover-up. The 2007 Jed Mercurio novel Ascent features a cosmonaut who makes a successful - albeit suicidal - moon landing ahead of the Apollo landings. In 2010 the Canadian band Wolf Parade released a song titled “Yulia”, which lead singer Dan Boeckner confirmed in an interview as recounting a lost cosmonaut. The 2011 science fiction / horror film Apollo 18, which depicts a secret lunar mission by NASA in 1974, depicts astronauts discovering a Soviet cosmonaut who was killed by spider-like aliens hidden on the Moon along with a LK landing module. The 2013 Spanish science fiction feature film The Cosmonaut is inspired by accounts of lost cosmonauts. A 2013 Doctor Who comic book by IDW Publishing features the story “Space Oddity”, which depicts a secret two-man mission in 1965. The Vashta Nerada kill one of the cosmonauts, but the Eleventh Doctor rescues the other, Alexey Leonov, who then blackmails Soviet authorities into ending off-the-books space missions. In 2013 the synthwave artist Simulakrum Lab released a vinyl and CD album containing two songs inspired by lost cosmonauts, titled: “Lost Cosmonauts” (a radio transmission fiction) and “Far Worlds” sung by Liz Enthusiasm. The 2014 science fiction / horror novel The Burning Dark by Adam Christopher, set in a distant space station in the 30th century, is inspired in part by accounts of the lost cosmonauts. Michael Cassutt's book Red Moon features a cosmonaut named Shiborin who flew on two space flights; one of the early Lost Cosmonaut stories was of an ill-fated suborbital mission in 1958 prior to Gagarin's flight supposedly crewed by a Serenti Shiborin. The 2018 Hungarian film satire Lajkó – cigány az űrben is set in a fictional secret Baikonur training camp where four expendable candidates, who are considered as unwanted elements by the Soviet state, are competing to be the first human cosmonaut. The winner would be used as a live crash test dummy to see if they can survive before letting Gagarin safely go out into space. Gagarin and Brezhnev, who appear as important supporting characters, are both portrayed satirically in the film.