This September, SpaceX will send its first all-civilian crew into low Earth orbit for three days. It’s a proof of concept for space tourism, and as such, it will receive a lot of press coverage. But unlike Jeff Bezos’ space adventure, this upcoming Inspiration4 mission will get its own Netflix docuseries called Countdown, with episodes airing in near real-time.
Viewers will watch footage of the Inspiration4 crew training for their mission, boarding their Crew Dragon spacecraft, orbiting around Earth, and returning home. We’ll also get some behind-the-scenes footage of engineers and scientists preparing all of their hardware for the mission and managing last-minute hurdles, like a rainy launch day.
Netflix hopes to air episodes of key events, such as liftoff, shortly after they occur in real life. To accomplish this, the company probably has a lot of pre-recorded material on hand (interviews, dramatic shots, etc) to help build a narrative around fresh footage. Of course, this is just speculation, and Netflix could have something different in mind.
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. pic.twitter.com/8fLnxHCQNN
— Netflix (@netflix) August 3, 2021
As its name implies, the Inspiration4 mission includes four crew members. There’s Dr. Sian Proctor, a geoscientist and four-time simulated space mission participant, Chris Sembroski, a Lockheed Martin employee and Air Force veteran, and Jared Isaacman, the guy who founded Shift4 Payments, and Hayley Arceneaux, a young bone cancer survivor who works at St. Jude and will be the first person to enter space with a prosthetic body part (leg bones).
Speaking of St. Jude, SpaceX and Netflix hope to raise $200 million for the Children’s Research Hospital through the Inspiration4 mission. Proceeds from the Netflix documentary will go toward the $200 million goal, along with contributions from philanthropists and fans of SpaceX.