So far, space travel has been restricted to only a few select people who are lucky enough to convince a space agency that they can do research in orbit. But you shouldn’t let that stop you from dreaming about the stars. Thanks to the streamable space documentaries on Netflix, you can travel into orbit without leaving your couch.
And the documentaries cover all the bases. Whether you’re interested in conspiracy theories, the first flights to the moon, or how we’re getting to Mars, there’s a space flight documentary for you.
6. Conspiracy Theory: Did We Land on the Moon?
This wacky documentary isn’t what you can call science. It doesn’t stay in the realm of facts as much as present skepticism and conjecture. So, when you watch it, keep in mind that it presents conspiracy theory as if it was actual fact. However, if you want to enter the world of people who believe that the moon landing was faked, and exactly why, this is your portal into their world.
5. The New Frontier
A documentary in series of ten 20 minute episodes broken up by topic based on new possible frontiers for space exploration. The trip starts at the moon and expands to the edge of the universe, stopping at the asteroid belt, the sun, Mars, the Gas giants and their moons, and exoplanets outside our solar system. There is also a feature on upcoming technology to make these future space missions possible.
4. Knocking on Heaven’s Door
This BBC documentary examines the history of Yuri Gagarin, the first human to go into outer space in 1961. A mystic who believed that science would eventually grant people immortality, Gagarin died only seven years after his landmark flight. The director follows Gagarin’s mystic ideas into the modern day, where they have become part of modern science. It’s a story that is both strange and striking.
The documentary about the Russian side of the space race is staying on Netflix, and its still one of the most worth watching. The documentary takes an in-depth look at the rocket technology Russia developed while trying to beat the United States to the moon. It highlights a part of history that isn’t talked about as much as the efforts of the United States, and makes for an interesting watch.
2. The Last Man on the Moon
This is a powerful, moving story about Eugene Cernan, who was the last man to step on the surface of the moon. Although the standard elements of space exploration feature, the documentary focuses on the emotional toll on astronauts as they tried to prove they were worthy of going into space. Cernan wrote his daughter’s initials on the surface of the moon alongside his final footprints, and talks about being an absentee dad. Although Cernan died in January of 2017, the documentary memorializes his journey into the space program, and all the things he gained and lost along the way.
1. The Mars Generation
This documentary drops on Netflix on May 5, and follows a group of 15 to 18 year-old space trainees at the US Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama. Interspersed in their exploration of human spaceflight, experts like Elon Musk, Neil deGrasse Tyson, and Bill Nye talk about the future of space exploration. The trailer promises high drama in the testing scenarios for the trainees, as well as a big dose of the inspirational feelings, as you watching teenagers turn their eyes towards being the first person to put a boot-print on the Martian surface.