In A Girl and an Astronaut, the space orbiter carrying Niko disappears into space under mysterious circumstances. 30 years later, the orbiter returns to Earth with Niko, who is just as young as the day he left. Niko is played by Jędrzej Hycnar.
In 2052, space orbiter Niko-One, which disappeared in space in 2022, suddenly reappears. The orbiter returns to Earth, and to everyone’s surprise, Niko is still alive. Furthermore, Niko has not aged a single day in the past 30 years.
The orbiter was sent to space by SkyCom, a Russian space corporation, to test a stealth technology. This technology provides complete radar invisibility to objects in space, like Niko-One.
When Niko disappeared, SkyCom claimed that there was an explosion and Niko died in it. It is only when Niko returns that SkyCom’s lies are exposed. SkyCom chose to send a Polish pilot instead of one of their own astronauts to space for a reason.
The secret experiment
Sergey is the man who is behind this space mission. He claims that the purpose of the mission is to test the stealth technology, but there is another man, who is the father of this mission, and another purpose — a secret experiment.
Davidov, a scientist, wants to test sub-hibernation on the human body. He has been experimenting on rats, and his experiments led to the conclusion that sub-hibernation alters the stem cells of the body. The mutated cells can act as a medicinal cure.
He wishes to use the mutated stem cells of a human to cure his granddaughter, Nadia, who is suffering from ALS. He lost his daughter to the same disease, and he does not want to lose his granddaughter as well.
The Polish authorities are informed about this experiment, and they choose to allow it because Poland is promised a part of the profits that will be generated from this very efficient technology; it will be able to cure several diseases, including cancer.
Niko is also told about the same, and since he does not want to miss the opportunity of a lifetime, he agrees to be a subject of the experiment.
What goes wrong?
After sending Niko to space, SkyCom is able to test the stealth technology successfully. Then comes the time to conduct the experiment. Niko was supposed to set the sub-hibernation time to 24 hours, but while setting the time, Niko suddenly starts hallucinating.
He thinks that water is flooding in, and he is drowning in it. He tries to swim out of the water. Niko panics and unintentionally ends up pressing random timer buttons, setting the sub-hibernation time to 30 years.
Furthermore, he accidentally activates the stealth feature, which makes the orbiter undetectable on all radars. SkyCom is unable to reach out to Niko, who has gone off the radar and is now hibernating.
To hide the truth about their experiment, SkyCom lies about Niko’s death. Bogdan knows the truth, but he does not tell Marta anything. Niko’s friends and family, including Marta, move on in life, believing that an explosion killed him.
30 years later, the sub-hibernation ends, and Niko’s orbiter becomes visible again. Due to the hibernation, Niko does not age at all, but it still takes time for Nadia at SkyCom to get him to wake up, and Niko wakes up to an unfamiliar world.