This September, four civilians will launch into space for a three-day trip orbiting Earth and reaching an altitude higher than that of the International Space Station (ISS). The SpaceX Dragon mission, dubbed Inspiration4, is the most ambitious step to date in the rapidly-developing age of civilian space exploration, making history as the first all-civilian mission to orbit.
Netflix members around the world can follow these civilian astronauts and their historic journey throughout the month.
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. You can watch the teaser trailer for the series using the player below.
In this ambitious, quick-turnaround series with exclusive access to the groundbreaking mission, TIME Studios, Known, and producer Connor Schell, along with director Jason Hehir and the team behind The Last Dance, will take viewers behind the scenes with the four crew members — from their unconventional selection and intensive months-long commercial astronaut training, through the intimate and emotional moments leading up to liftoff.
The final episode, which premieres just days after the mission is completed, will feature unprecedented access inside the spacecraft capturing the launch and the crew’s journey to space, as well as their return home to Earth.
Jason Hehir (The Last Dance) directs and executive produces with Connor Schell (30 for 30, The Last Dance), Libby Geist (O.J.: Made in America, The Last Dance), and Aaron Cohen for Words & Pictures; Ian Orefice, Alexa Conway, and Rebecca Gitlitz for TIME Studios; and Ross Martin, Brad Roth, and Mark Feldstein for Known. The producers are Jonathan D. Woods (A Year in Space) and Jake Rogal (The Last Dance).
Also coming is A StoryBots Space Adventure, a hybrid live-action animation special for kids and families to watch together before the mission. The civilian space travelers from Inspiration4 will help the StoryBots answer some of kids’ most pressing questions — like how does a rocket work, how do they train, and how do they eat and sleep in space.
The special is scripted by veteran StoryBots writer Erik Weiner and features a new original song performed by Big Freedia. StoryBots is the children’s learning and entertainment brand behind the hit Emmy Award-winning series Ask The StoryBots, created by Evan and Gregg Spiridellis.
The show, from production company Mindshow, follows a team of colorful characters who live in the world inside our devices and help answer kids’ biggest questions.
Led and commanded by Jared Isaacman, the 38-year-old founder and CEO of Shift4 Payments, the Inspiration4 mission is also intended to raise funds and awareness for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. The crew was selected to represent the four pillars of the mission: Leadership, Hope, Prosperity, and Generosity.
Joining Isaacman aboard Inspiration4 are: Hayley Arceneaux, 29, a physician assistant at St. Jude and pediatric cancer survivor. As the mission’s Chief Medical Officer, she will be the first person to travel to space with a prosthesis — an artificial left femur that replaced the bone she lost to her disease at age 10.
Hayley, who spent a year at St. Jude receiving life-saving treatment including several surgeries and many rounds of chemotherapy, will also be the youngest American and the first pediatric cancer survivor to go into space.
Dr. Sian Proctor, 51, a professor of geosciences and two-time NASA astronaut candidate who long dreamed of going to space. As she now realizes her dream, she will bring a picture of her father, who worked for NASA during the Apollo era, along with her. Proctor will serve as the Mission Pilot, backing up the Commander and supporting related needs throughout the mission.
Chris Sembroski, 41, a former member of the U.S. Air Force who served in Iraq and now works as a Lockheed Martin engineer. He made a donation to St. Jude and was gifted the seat to join the mission. Sembroski will serve as the Mission Specialist, helping to manage payload, science experiments, communications to mission control, and more.
INSPIRATION4 MISSION DATES
September 6: Countdown: Inspiration4 Mission To Space episodes 1-2 premiere
September 13: Countdown: Inspiration4 Mission To Space episodes 3-4 premiere
September 14: A StoryBots Space Adventure special premieres
September 15: Targeted launch of the Inspiration4 mission
End of September: Countdown: Inspiration4 Mission To Space feature-length finale premieres