Netflix has released a trailer for their upcoming docuseries Challenger: The Final Flight. The 4-part series explores the 1986 Space Shuttle Challenger tragedy, while detailing the events leading up to the incident. In addition, the series, which is executive produced by J.J. Abrams, celebrates the lives of the crew with interviews with surviving family members, instead of dwelling on the tragedy. The docuseries is all set to premiere September 16th, exclusively on Netflix.
Along with J.J. Abrams, Glen Zipper is also an executive producer on Challenger: The Final Flight. The four-part docuseries that examines the 1986 Challenger space shuttle, which tragically broke apart 73 seconds after launch as millions of Americans watched live on television. Incorporating never-before-seen interviews and rare archival material, this series offers an in-depth look at one of the most diverse crews NASA assembled, including high school teacher Christa McAuliffe, who was selected to be the first private citizen in space.
In addition to Christa McAuliffe, the rest of the Space Shuttle Challenger crew included astronauts Gregory Jarvis, Judith Resnik, Mission Commander Dick Scobee, Ronald McNair, pilot Mike Smith, and Ellison Onizuka. Glen Zipper recently spoke about the ultimate goal of the Netflix docuseries. He had this to say.
"The images of the Challenger accident have stayed with the collective consciousness of our nation and the world, but it's hugely important we remember it for more than just the pain it caused so many. Our series wants audiences to better know the seven heroes who lost their lives and left behind a legacy to educate and inspire, and more clearly understand the failures that contributed to the tragedy so they won't be repeated as we push further into space and the next frontier of exploration through the efforts of Space X, Blue Origin, NASA, and others."
The Space Shuttle Challenger disaster was broadcast on live television with many young children watching, and as Greg Zipper points out, the images have stayed with the nation ever since it happened. The spacecraft disintegrated over the Atlantic Ocean, off the coast of Cape Canaveral, Florida, at 11:39am EST on January 28th, 1986. The shuttle started to disintegrate after a joint in its right solid rocket booster failed right from liftoff. Extensive research notes that it was caused by the failure of O-ring seals used within the joint, which were not designed to properly handle the unusually cold conditions at the time of the launch. The seal failure began to allow pressurized burning gas from within the solid rocket motor to reach the outside of the shuttle, which eventually made it to the external fuel tank.
NASA was able to recover a lot of the Space Shuttle Challenger debris from the Atlantic Ocean after a lengthy and exhaustive search. The crew compartment was located, along with many other fragments, which helped figure out what caused the explosion. At the time, NASA was criticized for their lack of openness to the press. Hopefully Challenger: The Final Flight docuseries will offer some more insight. You can check out the trailer above, thanks to the Netflix YouTube channel.