Conquest of Space

Conquest of Space

On September 29, 1962, Canada joined the space race with the launch of Alouette 1, a satellite designed and built entirely in this country. This Canadian first made us only the fourth country to operate a satellite, after the USSR, the United States and the United Kingdom.
Discover more about this and other extra-planetary events in our playlist of films on space and space exploration.

This playlist is included in our special online programming for Canada 150 - What We Seek.
Find out more at: nfb.ca/Canada150
Photo: Martin Leclerc

Albert Ohayon

Having viewed over 8,000 films, Albert Ohayon is our resident collections expert. He studied film production and journalism at Concordia University in Montreal and has been working at the National Film Board since 1984.

  • Satellites of the Sun
    1974|12 min

    Film animation and a knowledge of outer space bring to the screen this spectacular, awe-inspiring view of our solar system. Staggering distances are eliminated through the art of film: before our eyes is displayed the wonder of the universe. Moon, Mercury, Mars, Saturn, Venus, Earth and all the other satellites and lesser matter in space are seen in amazing detail and perspective in their eternal orbits around the sun.

    For more background info on this film, visit the NFB.ca blog.

  • Mirrors of Time
    1991|23 min

    This short animated film delves into the mysteries of time: how calendars came to be; why the seasons change; why the year is divided into days, etc. From Babylon to 16th-century Europe, this film presents the history of the measurement of time.

  • Universe
    1960|27 min

    A triumph of film art, creating on the screen a vast, awe-inspiring picture of the universe as it would appear to a voyager through space, this film was among the sources used by Stanley Kubrick in his 2001: A Space Odyssey. Realistic animation takes you into far regions of space, beyond the reach of the strongest telescope, past Moon, Sun, and Milky Way into galaxies yet unfathomed.

  • Moon Man
    2004|3 min

    Moon Man is an animated short inspired by the song “Moon Man Newfie,” composed and sung by Canadian music legend Stompin' Tom Connors. It tells the story of folk hero Codfish Dan, who made Newfoundland history after a lucky fishing trip on the Milky Way.

    Moon Man is the NFB’s second animated film using the revolutionary IMAX SANDDE digital system, which enables animators to draw and animate 3D images in space with a moving wand. It is presented here in its 2D version.

  • Shadow Chasers

    This feature-length documentary is a portrait of eclipse chasers, people for whom solar eclipses - among nature's more spectacular phenomena – are a veritable obsession. The film follows 4 of them as they travel incredible distances to witness the last total eclipse of the millennium as it sweeps eastward across Europe to India. At various points along the way enthusiasts Alain Cirou in France, Paul Houde in Austria, Olivier Staiger in Germany and Debasis Sarkar in India offer their impressions of the historic event.

  • Cosmic Zoom
    1968|8 min

    This short animation transports us from the farthest conceivable point of the universe to the tiniest particle of existence, an atom of a living human cell. The art of animation and animation camera achieve this exhilarating journey with a freshness and clarity. Without words.

  • The Death of Kao-Kuk
    2015|5 min

    The famous Canadian astronaut Kao-Kuk is just coming back from a dangerous deep space mission in a transdimensional rift. But back home at the astro station, a deeper, even more deadly mystery awaits, threatening his impending doom.

  • Hubert Reeves: Star Teller

    Hubert Reeves is an astrophysicist whose honours from the scientific community include the Albert Einstein award. But Reeves is known to the public as a wonderful popularizer of scientific ideas, possessed of an exceptional talent at combining science and humanism.

    As a child growing up near Lac St-Louis in Quebec, Reeves was fascinated by nature and its relationship to the rest of the universe. This fascination led him to Cornell University, where he studied with some of the great scientific minds of the 20th century. A raconteur, Reeves tells stories about his remarkable professors, men like Hans Bethe, Philip Morrrison and Bob Wilson, whose research led to the atom bomb. Reeves also offers revealing anecdotes about Einstein, Niels Bohr, Oppenheimer and Teller.

    With his usual enthusiasm, Reeves highlights milestones in astrophysics, showing us a view of the moon as seen by Galileo in 1609, and remarkable photos of galaxies colliding billions of light-years away. Along with stunning visuals, we listen as Reeves explains history and theory in a highly accessible way.

    A committed ecologist, Reeves warns about the deterioration of our planet. In the face of explosive economic globalization, Reeves believes that the globalization of ecological movements offers hope.

  • Scientifiq Piqniq
    2013|1 min

    An adventure through the cosmic unveiling of the beautiful and strange macro/micro structures that unite us with the Universe.

    This film was made as part of the 9th edition of the NFB's Hothouse apprenticeship.