Press Release

NASA Movie on Ocean Circulation Gets Visitors in the “LOOP”

By SpaceRef Editor
October 4, 2011
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NASA Movie on Ocean Circulation Gets Visitors in the “LOOP”

When balance teeters, movement results. This simple idea is the fuel for a new movie from NASA called LOOP. Opening Oct. 6 around the country in spectacular Science On a Sphere theaters, LOOP explores natural forces that propel circulation patterns on Earth.

In addition to the water cycle and churning atmosphere, LOOP features Earth’s enigmatic yet powerful oceanic circulation system, the so-called thermohaline conveyor belt. It also features sequences built from runs of simulated data generated by world-class supercomputing facilities at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.

The movie will be available to more than 70 Science On a Sphere theaters located in prominent science museums, educational facilities, and government agencies around the world. A complete listing appears here: What’s more, NASA is launching this movie with a set of corresponding educational materials designed to help turn the movie experience into a teachable moment for students and the science-interested general public.

In creating the movie, producer and director Michael Starobin utilized images that rely on detailed, yet highly stylized visualizations of actual data gathered by NASA’s orbiting fleet of Earth-observing spacecraft. Designed to reveal specific, germane details, these visualizations show the Earth as a living, breathing entity, a body in space with circulation flows and natural rhythms affected by multiple forces.

“I wanted LOOP to showcase NASA science in an artful frame,” said Starobin. “By using striking footage of natural processes and mixing that with close-up imagery that was captured on a miniature soundstage, it really helps bring the story to life. To me, LOOP flows with rich information about a wide range of scientific exploration. It will captivate viewers with compelling visuals, an exciting original score, and a resonant metaphor about finding equilibrium in life.”

LOOP also introduces the world to a new speaking voice. The movie is narrated by Claude Mumbere, an 18 years old high school senior in Burlington, Vt. with a striking personal story. Born in The Congo’s capital city, Kinshasa, Claude moved to the United States just six years ago. After competing at the national level of the Poetry Out Loud competition, he came to the attention of the production team, who arranged an audition. He ultimately narrated the film as a 17-year-old.

Starobin adds, “Claude really becomes a NASA ambassador for students and adults all over the country. His youthful, powerful presentation adds vigor and vitality to an energetic movie about movement itself.”

Science On a Sphere is an exciting new projection technology developed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. LOOP is the latest in a series of films for The Sphere created by Goddard Television and Goddard’s Scientific Visualization Studio using new techniques and technology of their own design, specifically crafted for making spherical movies. In fact, LOOP pushed the team to develop several new presentation techniques, demonstrated throughout the film. Goddard released the world’s first major spherical film in 2006 called “FOOTPRINTS.”

To learn more about the science and the art of LOOP, visit the project’s website at:

To find the nearest Science On a Sphere theater, visit:

SpaceRef staff editor.