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Irish Talent Emer Reynolds Writes & Directs ‘The Farthest’ Documentary on NASA Voyager Mission
16 Jan 2017 : Katie McNeice
The two-hour project is set to examine the mission which celebrates its 40th anniversary, with the ‘Patrick’s Day’ editor writing and directing. ‘The Farthest’ is a Crossing The Line film presented by HHMI Tangled Bank Studios in association with The Irish Film Board, ZDF/ARTE and the BBC. It is also funded by RTÉ.

It is one in a recent slate of factual projects announced by PBS engaging with the topic of space.

John Murray (Here Was Cuba) and Clare Stronge (Spider House) are the Producers. Editor is Tony Cranstoun (A Date for Mad Mary), Composer is Ray Harman (The Young Offenders) and Cinematographer is Kate McCullough (It’s Not Yet Dark).

Executive Producers of the ‘The Farthest’ are Sean B. Carroll, Dennis Liu and John Rubin of HHMI Tangled Bank Studios, and Keith Potter of the Irish Film Board.

Emer Reynolds is one of the leading editors working in the Irish industry today, having edited landmark Irish titles such as ‘One Million Dubliners’ (Aoife Kelleher), and ‘Patrick’s Day’ (Terry McMahon) and won five of her eight  IFTA  nominations across both film and television.

The documentary examines the four-decade work of nuclear-powered Voyager 1 and Voyager 2, which have travelled over 22M miles combined since leaving earth. Over twenty of the original scientists alongside those currently working on the mission, with engineers and other team members are participating in the project.

Though both spacecraft have less computing power than a mobile phone and were originally approved to travel only to Saturn and Jupiter, they took advantage of a once-in-176-year planetary alignment and used gravity-assisted slingshot trajectories to extend the missions, with Voyager 2 also visiting Uranus and Neptune.

Each of them have sent back images and data from outer planets and moons and have also advanced our knowledge of other planets and moons. Having turned back towards earth, Voyager took one of the most infamous images of Earth ever created at the request of Astronomer Carl Sagan.

Carl Sagan, Astronomer:
“[In this image of Earth] everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives…on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.”

John Murray, Producer, Crossing The Line Films:
“Voyager was a game-changer.  A group of enterprising scientists and engineers sent these two tiny probes on a mission of discovery, but they couldn’t have imagined how successful the mission would be. Voyager laid the groundwork for so much of what we know about the outer planets and their many, incredibly varied moons, and both spacecraft are now breaking new ground with the information they’re sending back about the edges of our solar system and the nature of interstellar space.”

Beth Hoppe, PBS Chief Programming Executive and General Manager:
“Voyager was—and continues to be—a trailblazer and a beacon of success for space exploration. And who knows—billions of years from now, human beings may all be gone and it could be carrying the very last evidence of our existence out into the universe.”

Sean B. Carroll, E.P, HHMI Tangled Bank Studios:
“This is one of the boldest and most spectacular space missions of all time. As we approach the 40th anniversary of the mission’s launch, with both spacecraft still going strong and farther from Earth than any other object humans have created, we felt it was important to tell the story of how Voyager came to be and what important discoveries it made possible.”

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