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Netflix announces documentary series on Inspiration4 space mission

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The first stage of SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket in February 2021 in California./AFP
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Aug 20, 2021 - 08:46 AM

WASHINGTON — Netflix will soon premiere a documentary series chronicling Inspiration4, the world’s first all-civilian space mission, the streaming service said Thursday.

The five-episode show will air in September and will depict how the four-member crew is preparing and then launching into space aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, in near real time.

The mission, scheduled for September 15, is financed and run by Jared Isaacman, the 38-year-old founder of payment processing company Shift4 Payments and the latest wealthy businessman to take advantage of the growing space tourism industry.

Isaacman has invited three “everyday” people along with him for the ride: a medical worker, a college professor and an engineer.

The show, titled “Countdown: Inspiration4 Mission To Space” 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,” Netflix said in a statement.

The final episode will air after the mission is completed and 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.”

The show is produced by Connor Schell and directed by Jason Hehir.

The crew is meant to reflect the main pillars of the mission: leadership, hope, generosity and prosperity.

The “hope” seat went to Hayley Arceneaux, 29, a physician assistant, who survived cancer as a child and will become the first person to go into space with a prosthesis.

Arceneaux works at the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, where she was treated as a child. Isacmaan is using Inspiration4 to raise $200 million for the hospital.

Representing “generosity” is Chris Semborski, 41, a US air force veteran who now works in the aerospace industry. Sian Proctor, a 51-year-old entrepreneur, professor of geosciences and two-time NASA astronaut candidate, symbolizes “prosperity.”

“If they can go, we can all go,” said a promotional video for the show, released Thursday.

Tourists have already gone into space in the years 2001-2009 aboard Russian spacecraft, but unlike the Inspiration4 mission, they were accmpanied by professional astraanuts.

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