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Noordung in Vienna, ORF 3

My new film Noordungs Wien  (engl., 20 min., 2018) is broadcast on Austrian TV ORF 3 on Sept. 9th!
Humans have thought about future life in outer space for over a century. One of the first detailed plans for an actual space station has been designed in Vienna in the 1920s, a period perhaps unsettling close to today’s political and social situation.

Using the pseudonym Hermann Noordung, World War I veteran and engineer Hermann Potočnik published his influential book The Problem of Space Travel in 1929. Noordung describes not only everyday life in microgravity, but invents the literally revolutionary design of rotating wheel-shaped space station, the so- called Wohnrad (living wheel).
While Noordung died in Vienna in 1929 and we know virtually nothing about his life, his design is taken up in the 1950s by Wernher von Braun (without crediting Noordung), and popularized in Stanley Kubrick’s 2001 A Space Odyssey.
In collaboration with Australian space archaeologist Alice Gorman, I speculate about the social, cultural and political context of Noordung’s work in 1920s Vienna, and possible contemporary inspirations and influences on his extraordinary book and ideas.

Realization: Ralo Mayer
Interview: Alice Gorman
Camera: Ralo Mayer, Victor Jaschke, Philipp Haupt
Sound: Sadie Siegel

wohnrad_web rrad_web

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