Scottish schoolboy has movie sent to space

Harry Campbell at Star City in Moscow where he filmed astronauts training

A SCOTTISH schoolboy’s first movie attempt has proved a massive hit – in space.

Harry Campbell, 13, made a 15-minute film about his dream holiday to Russia’s biggest rocket base.

He captured footage of US, Japanese and Russian astronauts preparing for blast-off.

And when NASA saw the footage they were so impressed they beamed it 220 miles above the earth to the International Space Station.

Harry, from Dundee, took his video camera with him on a family trip to Star City, the base for Russia’s space programme.

He captured footage of NASA astronaut Mike Fossum, Russian Cosmonaut Sergei Vokov and Japanese astronaut Satoshi Furukawa in preparation for their sixth-month journey.

His finished film, complete with music and a witty commentary, was shown at an event at Dundee’s Abertay University which happened to be attended by US astronauts.

They were so impressed they flagged the movie up to their bosses at NASA and earlier this week it was beamed to Fossum, Vokov and Furukawa as they orbited the earth at 7.7 kilometres per second.

Harry’s father, Cory Campbell, said he received an email from NASA this morning (Fri), saying: “The letter and DVD sent to [NASA flight director] Matt Abbott has been uplinked to the Space Station.”

Mr Campbell, 42, said:  “They watch a lot of movies up there as, although they have a lot of work, it can get boring.

“But it is great that they are watching Harry’s film.”

The opening credits to Harry's movie which will be watched in space

When Harry heard that astronauts will be watching his video from space he said: “It’s pretty good. I only found out this morning. I feel really proud of myself.”

The video took Harry around three days to make and has over 140 views on YouTube.

And he hopes that he will hear from the three astronauts once they have watched the movie to find out what they think about it.

But he said that instead of being an astronaut he hopes to be an engineer for NASA when he leaves school.

Harry picked some fitting theme tunes including Rocket Man by Elton John, Fly me to the Moon by Frank Sinatra and Spaceman by Babylon Zoo.

He has narrated the video and also added some helpful titles so that viewers know what they are watching.

And some witty comments he makes throughout the footage had former astronauts in stitches when they watched it at the Tayside Space School earlier this year.

When looking at a device which sends food and supplies to the International Space Station Harry comments: “Like Tesco delivery, this vehicle sends up to seven tonnes of supplies into space.”

And when looking at the “space toilet” he says “this is not my mum’s vacuum cleaner”. 

NASA astronaut Mike Fossum, Russian Cosmonaut Sergei Vokov and Japanese astronaut Satoshi Furukawa

 It is not yet known what the astronauts made of the movie but a former crew of space shuttle Discovery were wowed on their visit to Tayside Space School.

Mr Campbell said:  “They were cracking up watching it. People were trying to get them to sign autographs but they couldn’t stop watching the movie.”

Mr Campbell added that it was only his wife’s persistence that got them inside the walls of Star City, which is not normally open to the public.

When Harry decided that he wanted to go there on the family’s trip to Moscow in April this year, Jim Smith of the Tayside Space school even told the family “There’s no way the Russians will let you in there”.

It took Harry’s mother, Lisa, 41, several visits to the Russian Consulate in Edinburgh before the visit was granted.

Mr Campbell said: “I don’t know what she did. She maybe brought them some biscuits I don’t know.”

He added: “It’s a trip we’ll never forget.”

Harry’s film also documents how his love of space began, starting with his time at the Tayside Space School when he was 11.

Harry, who attends St Leonards school in St Andrews, was able to meet astronaut Alvin Drew and learn more about NASA.

It was then two years later when his family were planning a trip to Moscow that he decided that he wanted to visit Star City.

The film shows the training facilities that he saw there and also has some footage from NASA itself of the astronauts when they take off and eventually get to the International Space Station.