Netflix TV Docuseries Recommendation: Challenger: The Final Flight (2020)

Time has a way of making things seem distant in some ways, but in other ways there isn’t that much change.  When the Challenger exploded in 1986, I had no idea I’d see a space shuttle much later in life when the Endeavour was retired at the California Science Center in Los Angeles.  I’m much older now and can see the explosion from a different viewpoint and even more tragic given it could have been successful.  The rest of the space shuttles are on display on the east coast in the U.S.  Discovery resides at Udvar-Hay Center in Chantilly, Virginia.  Enterprise resides at Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum in New York City (Manhattan), New York.  Atlantis resides at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Merritt Island, Florida. 

This documentary series covers a brief overview of NASA’s (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) Space Shuttle program from 1972 to 2011 with the main focus being the 1980s.  NASA had 133 successful flights and two failures where both orbiters were destroyed and everyone onboard were killed when the program ended.  The two failures include Challenger in 1986 shortly after liftoff and Columbia in 2003 on its return.  The four parts docuseries is directed by Daniel Junge and Steven Leckart and has a TV-14 rating.  It includes interviews of the surviving family members, archival footage, and coverage from the investigation. 

The Kennedy Space Center Visitor’s Center opened an exhibit of the debris from Challenger and Columbia flights.  It includes personal belongings of the 14 astronauts that were killed.  The astronauts on Challenger who lost their lives were Michael J. Smith, Dick Scobee, Judith Resnik, Ronald McNair, Ellison Onizuka, and Christa McAuliffe.  The astronauts on Columbia who lost their lives were Rick Husband, Willie McCool, Kalpana Chawla, Laurel Clark, Michael Anderson, David Brown, and Ilan Ramon.

I rate Challenger: The Final Flight FOUR FINGERS AND ONE THUMB at 100%.

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