In a unique collaboration with the European Space Agency, and the Expedition 26/27 crew of the International Space Station, documentary film maker Chris Riley (of "In the Shadow of the Moon" fame) has created a new film of what Gagarin first witnessed fifty years ago, especially for the 50th anniversary.

The film is 108 minutes long, the same as Gagarin’s historic journey. "First Orbit" intercuts newly filmed images of the Earth shot to mimic what Gagarin would have seen from the windows of Vostok 1, with a mesmerizing musical score from Philip Sheppard.

The soundtrack features Gagarin's actual recorded conversation with the ground in Russian (subtitled into English) and the Radio Moscow English language broadcasts from the time.

More information on the film can be found on the official First Orbit website or this article by the BBC.

Watch First Orbit Online via YouTube

Download a copy to your computer

KiwiSpace is hosting a New Zealand mirror of First Orbit, to allow speedy local downloads of the movie files. They will be available in the following formats.

640 x 360, 750kbps

530 MB


1280 x 720, 2500kbps

1.8 GB


1920 x 1080, 6700kbps

4.7 GB


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