When SpaceX launches its first fully civilian crew into space later this fall and makes a multi-day journey around Earth, humanity could follow it online thanks to an exclusive Netflix documentary deal with Elon Musk’s private space company.
The first two parts of the five-part mini-series, Countdown: Inspiration4 Mission to Space, will debut on the streaming platform on September 6 and will be the closest to when Netflix has yet to come up with “near real-time” coverage, the company said Tuesday. Throughout September, a team of videographers will be monitoring civilian astronauts, including billionaire Jared Isaacman, who will pilot the spacecraft as they prepare to travel and ultimately travel into space. If all goes according to plan, Netflix will release two more episodes on September 13; it will film the actual launch on September 15 and then broadcast it as a “feature finale” at the end of the month.
Netflix is making it clear that it wants us to think that the mission, which will also raise money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, is for everyone. One poster for the show reads, “We’re all going into space in September.” The streaming platform even produces a live / animated show to explain the mission to kids and their families.
In September of this year, four civilians will go into space for a three-day journey in Earth’s orbit.
Countdown: Inspiration4 Mission To Space, the first Netflix documentary series to cover the event in near real-time, will air in five parts, leading up to and after the mission. pic.twitter.com/8fLnxHCQNN
– Netflix (@netflix) August 3, 2021
But SpaceX and Netflix are far from the only companies hoping to capitalize on the historic shift to commercial space travel. Mission Inspiration4 and its dedicated streaming service herald a new era of live streaming from space. The rise of space tourism also seems ripe for the streaming era, a time when people can watch these events almost anywhere, and the entertainment industry has already begun to transform zero-gravity billionaire pleasure trips into mass media events.
“Shooting in space is what will attract subscribers around the world,” Julia Alexander, senior strategy analyst at Parrot Analytics, told Recode. Alexander added that the growing demand and “the fact that they are relatively cheap to produce compared to high-profile, prestigious dramas with a lot of Hollywood talent,” means we will see many more reality shows in space in the future.
Space Science Series New star was the eighth most watched documentary series in the United States from June 2020 to July 2021; Last year, in Space: possible worlds Featuring Neil de Grasse-Tyson, Alexander said there is 18 times the average demand for science and nature documentary content. And let’s not forget that the data-driven nature of platforms can guide viewers to certain types of shows.
“Netflix and other streaming platforms can create similar niche content because they can use their customers ‘data to match the content to their consumers’ interests,” Michael Smith, professor of information and marketing at Carnegie Mellon University, told Recode. in an email.
Blue Origin and Virgin Galactic are also keenly aware that their launches can serve as an advertisement for their brands, subsidiaries and commercial space tourism in general. Accordingly, they have invested heavily in expert commentators, live updates and live streaming of launches. Virgin Galactic even hired influencer on TikTok for the upcoming flight.
Millions of people have watched the Blue Origin YouTube channel in conjunction with the July 20 launch of Jeff Bezos on a suborbital flight alongside the oldest and youngest person ever to be in space, pilot Wally Funk and Dutch teenager Oliver Daemen.
“We also wanted to show that this is a real rocket ride. Fewer than 600 people have ever traveled to space, ”said Linda Mills, Blue Origin’s vice president of communications. told PR Week developments. “To demonstrate that the specialness and uniqueness of the flight is what we tried to convey to future customers.”
Bezos’ flight was also the first – and so far the only – rocket launch that Amazon customers could watch live on Prime Video.
In the near future, new reality shows are planned, filmed from space. US production company Space Hero is working on a competition-based show in which ordinary people train and compete for the chance to win a very expensive trip to the International Space Station. Like Netflix, the company says it focuses on “opening up space for all,” while offering the first ever truly extraterrestrial experience. ” Space Hero even signed work agreement with NASA in April.
Of course, blockbuster rocket launches predate the streaming era. From the earliest days of the space program, NASA missions have been living demonstrations of national achievement, and humanity’s journey to the final frontier has been the main topic of national news broadcasts. An about 600 million people watched Neil Armstrong land on the moon during the Apollo 11 mission. While enthusiasm for broadcasting real-time space events has subsided since the 1986 Challenger explosion, private space companies are again trying to sell launches so everyone on Earth can watch them live.
Messaging like this conveniently distracts viewers from the fact that commercial space tourism, at least for the time being, is an ecologically questionable hobby for the ultra-wealthy that won’t do much overnight in advancing our scientific understanding of space. But while criticism of the space dreams of billionaires has intensified since the launch of Bezos, the same narrative may not appear in SpaceX’s latest Netflix show, says Parrot Analytics’ Alexander.
“I believe SpaceX has some form of voice in what is happening,” she told Recode. “Netflix just wants to do it and make the best show possible.”