Netflix Docuseries to chronicle first fully civilian space orbit mission

The team behind Michael Jordan’s successful docuseries “The Last Dance” is now launching into space. Netflix has covered “Countdown: Inspiration4 Mission To Space” from producer Connor Schell and director Jason Hehir, which will chronicle September’s SpaceX Dragon Inspiration4 mission, in which four civilians will travel to space on a trip to three days.

Unlike recent suborbital flights led by billionaires Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos, Inspiration4 will soar above the International Space Station and go down in history as the first fully civilian mission to orbit. “Countdown: Inspiration4 Mission to Space” will have exclusive access to the mission, and will be produced and uploaded to Netflix in five parts before and after the mission. It is the first Netflix documentary series to cover an event in near real time.

Schell (through his Words & Pictures shingle), Hehir and their team “The Last Dance” are behind “Countdown: Inspiration4 Mission to Space”, along with Time Studios and marketing company Known. The series begins with the selection of the four crew members, followed by the training of the commercial astronauts and, finally, take off. The final episode will air shortly after the mission ends and will feature footage inside the spaceship of their journey and return to Earth.

The first two episodes of “Countdown: Inspiration4 Mission To Space” will air on September 6, followed by episodes 3 and 4 on September 13. Inspiration4 is slated to launch on September 15; the last episode will air at the end of the month.

Connor Schell and Hehir are executive producers with Libby Geist and Aaron Cohen for Words & Pictures; Ian Orefice, Alexa Conway and Rebecca Gitlitz for Time Studios; Ross Martin, Brad Roth and Mark Feldstein for Known.

Shift4 Payments Founder / CEO Jared Isaacman, 38, is leading the mission, which will also include medical assistant Hayley Arceneaux, 29, as chief medical officer; professor of geosciences Dr. Sian Proctor, 51, as a mission pilot; and Lockheed Martin engineer Chris Sembroski, 41, as a mission specialist. The flight is intended to raise funds and raise awareness of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Airing next month, “” Countdown: Inspiration4 Mission To Space “will also succeed where many other unscripted shows about civilian space travel have failed: Really Happening. There have been many failed attempts. over the years to chronicle civilian spaceflight, starting with Mark Burnett’s “Destination Mir” show in 2000.

At the time, NBC agreed to pay Burnett between $ 35 million and $ 40 million for “Destination Mir,” which included the nearly $ 20 million that Burnett agreed to pay to MirCorp, the company that held the lease of. Mir. “Destination Mir” was slated for the 2001-02 television season, and would have followed a group of Americans as they underwent cosmonaut training in the Russian compound of Star City and competed, like the Survivors, for a chance to be sent in a rocket to the old Russian space station. The finale would culminate with the live broadcast of the winner’s launch in a Soyuz capsule in Mir.

Burnett tried again a few years later with “Destination: Space,” partnering with the Russian Space Agency and a Russian television network on a show that allegedly put someone on a Soyuz mission to the International Space Station. But after the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster in 2003, US networks cooled off at the idea.

In addition, in 2002, Lance Bass, a member of Nsync, underwent flight training to board a Russian rocket bound for the International Space Station. Bass and Destiny Productions were hoping to raise $ 20 million in fees through sponsors and a network deal to recount his journey on a reality show. But Bass and Destiny couldn’t find the money, and the theft didn’t happen. Producer Phil Gurin also acquired a Swedish TV format to send someone into space with “The Big Mission,” but that didn’t happen either.

Most recently, in 2013, Burnett put on a space show again to the Networks, this time to send a winner on one of Virgin Galactic’s first suborbital space flights. The show was supposed to pit competitors against each other for a chance to get on the second flight of Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo from Spaceport America in New Mexico – after Branson and his family took the first flight. But those flights never happened – and in 2014, Virgin Galactic’s first SpaceShipTwo space plane crashed. It wasn’t until this summer that Branson finally reached the edge of the atmosphere.

Meanwhile, in addition to “Countdown: Inspiration4 Mission To Space”, Netflix will also mark the journey with “A StoryBots Space Adventure”, a hybrid live action / animation special that launches on September 14, the day before the targeted launch.

The Inspiration4 team will participate by answering some of children’s most pressing questions, like how a rocket works, how do they train, and how they eat and sleep in space. “StoryBots” writer Erik Weiner will write the special, which will also include a new original song performed by Big Freedia.

Evan and Gregg Spiridellis are the creators of “Storybots”, and the special comes from Mindshow.

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Travis Durham

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