Above and Beyond: NASA’s Journey to Tomorrow
Directed by Rory Kennedy
90 min | 2018 | USA | PG
Post-film presentation by Gordie Russel, Senior Program Manager at Orbital ATK, and colleagues who will portray what goes into aerospace work behind the scenes, both locally and internationally.
A film that examines the remarkable role NASA plays both in our country and for our planet. Covering the past sixty years and into the coming decades, the film celebrates past accomplishments, investigates current initiatives, and surveys future plans. This film follows NASA to the moon, to the surface of Mars, and to the outer reaches of our solar system, and brings those explorations home to their varied impacts on Earth.
In 1961, in announcing the moon shot, President Kennedy issued a great challenge: “We have given this program a high national priority,” he said. “Even though I realize that this is in some measure an act of faith and vision, for we do not now know what benefits await us.” Above and Beyond asks the question: what has become of President Kennedy’s faith in human ingenuity, his grand vision and aspiration?
Now, some six decades after Kennedy’s speech, when the merits and values of NASA are being hotly debated, Above and Beyond takes measure. We stand in awe and admiration, bearing witness not only to all that NASA has given humankind, but also to the vital and ongoing role NASA plays in ensuring humankind’s future.
We follow as NASA searches for other life in our solar system and discovers habitable worlds orbiting neighboring stars. As it peers into the night sky with the Hubble Space Telescope discovering tens of thousands of hidden galaxies. All the while, for more than half a century, the space administration never takes its eyes off our home planet. It monitors the Earth’s seas and skies, its snows and sands, in an unrelenting effort to amass the greatest store of knowledge in the history of humankind.
It is through these dual roles, exploring both space and Earth, that NASA seeks to truly understand our place in the Universe. So that we might see our planet for what it is: The only place in the universe known to harbor life, a little blue marble alone in a vast, silent void, as wonderful as it is fragile.
Science on Screen® is an initiative of the Coolidge Corner Theatre. With major support from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.