This documentary fiction (0h49) unveils the ultra-secret backstage of American and Soviet space agencies during the Cold War, when the conquest of space was a major stake for the United States and the USSR. Episode one.
Conquest of Space Race is a four-part television series produced by the BBC, which tells the story of the space race by highlighting the rivalry between scientists Wernher von Braun and Sergei Korolev. This series of docu-fiction introduces an element of suspense into a historical framework that respects the facts. Carefully concealed at the time, the failures of this conquest cost many astronauts and scientists their lives. This star wars, which made millions of people dream, also had an undisclosed goal: the development of nuclear missiles.
In September 1944, Hitler's soldiers launched their new secret weapon, the V2 missile, into London. Professor Wernher von Braun was the source of this devastating device. Fascinated by space travel, this brilliant scientist dreams of one day sending a device to the other side of the Moon. The United States and the Soviets may be allies on the battlefields, but secretly they are fighting each other hard. In 1945, the Americans and the Soviets, very interested in his secrets, went after him.
At the same time, Stalin brings a certain Sergei Korolev out of the gulag to propel him to head the Soviet rocket programme. Its mission is to discover German military techniques and develop a missile even more powerful than the V2.
Wernher von Braun, is a German engineer who played a major role in the development of rockets. A pioneer of astronautics in the 1930s, he began working for the Nazi regime to continue his research. He played a major role in the design and production of the V2, the first ballistic missile to be used towards the end of the Second World War.
Recovered after the German defeat with other leading German scientists by US forces as part of Operation Paperclip, he developed the main ballistic missiles of the US army. When the space race was launched, he became one of the chief executives of the American space agency, NASA, and, as such, he developed the Saturn V rocket, which launched the lunar missions of the Apollo3 program.
Sergei Pavlovich Korolev, is an engineer and father of Soviet astronautics, the Russian equivalent of Wernher von Braun.
On 22 June 1938, he was arrested during the great terror carried out by Stalin. Denounced by his colleague Valentin Glouchko who denounces him at random, he is tried and sentenced to ten years of work, and he is deported to the Gulag camp in Kolyma.
For reasons of secrecy and security, Korolev remains officially absent from the Soviet space conquest. His name does not appear in any official communiqué, even though he is the prime contractor of the Soviet space program. The KGB presents to the Western press Leonid I. Sedov, physicist member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, as "the father of Sputnik".
This series returns to the highlights of the space conquest through an ingenious intertwining of fiction and images from American and Soviet archives, recently lifted from defence secrecy.
Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator