Challenger Disaster: The Final Mission

Watch Challenger Disaster: The Final Mission

  • 2019
  • 7.0  (60)

Challenger Disaster: The Final Mission is a stirring documentary series produced by National Geographic Channel that recounts the ill-fated 1986 space shuttle Challenger launch. The show takes the audience through the lead-up to the launch as well as the immediate aftermath of the tragedy, while exploring the legacy of the crew members and the effects the disaster had on America's space program.

The series features several interviews with people who were directly involved in the mission as well as family members of the crew members. Carol Armstrong, widow of astronaut Neil Armstrong, is among the voices featured in the show as well as James R. Hansen, author of "First Man," a biography of Neil Armstrong. The series pays tribute to the 7 crew members who perished in the disaster, including Ronald McNair, Ellison Onizuka, Christa McAuliffe, Gregory Jarvis, Judith Resnik, Michael J. Smith and Dick Scobee, through interviews with their families and friends.

Through the documentary, we get a glimpse of what went wrong on the fateful day of the shuttle launch, which resulted in the death of seven crew members. The show depicts how the Challenger launch was billed as a seminal moment in America's space program, intended to inspire a new generation of space enthusiasts that would push the boundaries of science and exploration. Instead, it remains a tragic reminder of the inherent danger in space travel.

The Challenger Disaster had an impact on the way NASA approached space travel and how the public perceived it. The documentary observes how the explosion of the Challenger shook Americans' belief in their space program and their confidence in NASA. The show depicts the hearings that followed the disaster, where NASA was held to account for the mission's failure. The documentary shows how the hearings eventually led to new safety measures, better communication protocols and a renewed commitment to space travel.

The series also highlights the personal grief experienced by the families of the crew members following the disaster. One of the most moving parts of the series is the footage of Christa McAuliffe's family members and friends. As a teacher, McAuliffe was to be the first ordinary citizen to go into space. Her infectious enthusiasm and passion for teaching made her a household name in the days leading up to the Challenger launch. The show depicts how the devastating loss of McAuliffe impacted her loved ones and the nation as a whole.

The Challenger Disaster: The Final Mission does a commendable job of paying tribute to the crew members of the Challenger voyage while also taking a deep look at the tragedy and its aftermath. The footage of family members, friends, and colleagues of the crew members helps humanize the tragedy, making it more personal for viewers. The documentary shows not just the physical but also emotional toll of the disaster.

One of the notable things about the show is how it highlights the far-reaching implications of the Challenger tragedy. It depicts how the disaster impacted not just NASA but the wider space exploration community in the US and worldwide. The show also observes how the Challenger Disaster alters the future course of space exploration, with NASA diverting resources away from space exploration in the wake of the disaster, ultimately slowing down progress in the field.

In conclusion, the Challenger Disaster: The Final Mission, is a gripping documentary series that portrays the Challenger disaster with sensitivity and poise. The show provides insight into the lead-up to the mission, the tragedy, and the aftermath of the disaster. It pays tribute to the crew members and shows how their loss has reverberated across the space program, and the world at large, in the decades since the Challenger disaster. It is an excellent, insightful, and emotional series that sheds a new light on the Challenger tragedy.

Challenger Disaster: The Final Mission