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Netflix documentary to feature SpaceX’s first all-civilian mission

Netflix has announced a documentary series that will follow events surrounding the first all-civilian space trip.

September’s Inspiration4 mission is being organized by SpaceX and will see four people spend three days in low Earth orbit.

The five-part documentary, called Countdown: Inspiration4 Mission to Space, is being billed as “the first Netflix documentary series to cover an event in near real-time,” and will air in the run-up to the mission with at least one part shot and aired after the crew return.

This September, four civilians will launch into space for a three-day trip orbiting Earth.

Countdown: Inspiration4 Mission To Space — the first Netflix documentary series to cover an event in near real-time — will premiere in five parts leading up to and following the mission.

— Netflix (@netflix) August 3, 2021

The commissioning of the documentary reflects the growing interest in so-called “space tourism” missions where private citizens pay big bucks for a once-in-a-lifetime trip to space. In the case of Inspiration4, mission commander and Shift4 Payments Jared Isaacman paid for all four seats in a private deal with SpaceX.

One of the aims of the upcoming mission is to raise awareness and funds for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. Indeed, proceeds from the Netflix documentary will be added to Inspiration4’s funding target of $200 million.

Joining Isaacman on the Inspiration4 space flight will be Hayley Arceneaux, a 29-year-old physician assistant who’s on course to set several records during her time in space. These include becoming the first bone cancer survivor to travel to space, the first person to head to orbit with a prosthetic body part (in Arceneaux’s case, prosthetic leg bones), and the youngest American to orbit our planet.

The two other crew members are trained pilot Dr. Sian Proctor who was selected for the mission through an online business competition, and Christopher Sembroski, a veteran of the U.S. Air Force who works for Lockheed Martin who acquired his seat through his support for St. Jude.

Filming for the documentary will almost certainly have started. Viewers can expect to see the crew experience a string of highs and lows during the intense training sessions, as well as the SpaceX team preparing the Falcon 9 rocket for launch. We should also get a proper first look at the specially designed Crew Dragon spacecraft featuring a glass dome and a bathroom with surely the best view ever. The launch, time in orbit, and ocean landing will of course also feature heavily in the documentary series. And no doubt SpaceX chief Elon Musk will show up somewhere.

All in all, it should be a real treat for SpaceX fans, or simply anyone who loves a rocket launch.

If you prefer fiction to fact when it comes to space movies, then do take a moment to check out Digital Trends’ pick of the best-ever movies set in space.

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Trevor Mogg
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