Orphans of Apollo is a documentary film directed and produced by Michael Potter, co-directed by Becky Neiman and edited by Todd Jones describes how a band of entrepreneurs tried to privatize the space station Mir and tells the story that led to the development of MirCorp. It features prominent NewSpace entrepreneurs and space advocates (Rick Tumlinson, Jeffrey Manber...), backed financially by Walter Anderson.
Orphans of Apollo is a documentary film that describes how a band of entrepreneurs tried to privatize the space station Mir and tells the story that led to the development of MirCorp. It features prominent NewSpace entrepreneurs and space advocates (Rick Tumlinson, Jeffrey Manber...), backed financially by Walter Anderson.
MirCorp founder Walt Andersonâ€™s highest-profile venture was an audacious plan to take over the Russian space station Mirâ€”which was being abandoned by the Russian space agency - and turn it into a commercial outpost in orbit. That effort ultimately failed. Some argue MirCorp was done in by a US government that wanted to squelch any potential competition to the ISS. The filmâ€™s title refers to those people who came of age during the early years of the Space Age and expected to see progress continue at the rate seen in those heady early days, only to be disappointedâ€”orphanedâ€”by events of the last few decades. If they were going to have the kind of bold future they once envisioned, they would have to build it themselves. And, with MirCorp, thatâ€™s what they tried to do. In honor of the 50th anniversary of the Smithsonian Institution, an exclusive screening of the filmâ€� Orphans of Apolloâ€� was shown in the National Air and Space Museumâ€™s Lockheed Martin IMAX Theater.
â€œOrphans of Apolloâ€� is a documentary film based on a group of entrepreneurs heading MirCorp, who negotiate a business deal with the Russian government to lease the Mir space station for commercial space station. The film covers the historical period from the time President Nixonâ€™s decision to end the NASA Apollo Moon program to post-Soviet Russia. More than solely a high-tech space story, the film includes themes of international negotiation, the power of entrepreneur vision, failed effort, and of course political power play. The film combines archival Russian film footage, archival NASA film footage, and IMAX footage, with interviews and original footage of the major players in the project including Walt Anderson, Richard Branson, Tom Clancy, Jeffrey Manber, Rick Tumlinson and others. The documentary has sufficient action to move it along quickly.
Michael Potter is currently a Senior Fellow at the International Institute of Space Commerce. Formerly, Potter worked as an international telecommunications analyst at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington D.C. Michael Potter was one of the founders of Esprit Telecom, a successful European telecommunications company, where he was president until leaving to establish Paradigm Ventures a high-technology venture capital firm. Potter also was a founding member of the European Competitive Telecommunications Association. The ECTA pushed for deregulation of telecommunications markets across Europe as a result of commercial practices by former monopolies to limit activities by resellers to access networks and obtain low pricing for the new operators.
Space and high-technology are Michael Potterâ€™s specialties; however, he is also devoted to helping the less fortunate people here on earth. He is on the advisory council of Manna Energy Foundation. a social enterprise committed to the eradication of poverty in the developing world. Through the implementation of sustainable, environmentally sound technologies Manna Energy aims to provide clean energy, clean water and self-sustainable economies that foster health and education. Another humanitarian project Potter works on is the TED forum (Technology, Entertainment & Design), an organization with strong interest in bringing creative solutions to help solve problems in the developing world. TED has partnered with the Clinton Global Initiative current effort to improve health care in rural Rwanda.
Winner of the Space Frontier Foundationâ€™s Vision of the Future 2008