Challenger: The Final Flight

Watch Challenger: The Final Flight

  • TV-14
  • 2020
  • 1 Season
  • 7.8  (7,908)

Challenger: The Final Flight is a Netflix original docuseries that takes a deep dive into the catastrophic 1986 Challenger space shuttle disaster. The series is directed by Steven Leckart and Glen Zipper, and features interviews with experts, engineers, and family members of the seven crew members who lost their lives during the launch.

The series starts by introducing us to the crew of the Challenger, consisting of five NASA astronauts, one civilian teacher, and one Air Force officer. We get to know each of them through personal photographs and home videos shared by their families, which makes the tragic incident all the more emotional.

The first episode of the series lays out the timeline of events leading up to the Challenger disaster. It covers the inspiring teacher-in-space project "Teacher in Space Program," for which the Challenger mission was selected. It also shows the public's fascination with the intended crew member, Christa McAuliffe, as well as the rigorous astronaut training process in which she and her fellow crewmates underwent. We see how Countdown began and how the launch process started.

As the story unfolds, it becomes clear that the warning signs of an impending disaster were there all along. The decision to launch the shuttle was made despite cold weather conditions that could have potentially compromised the shuttle's O-ring seals - a critical component designed to keep the fuel from escaping the booster's joints. The episode explains how the engineers responsible for the seals warned NASA executives about the potential dangers, but their concerns were ignored.

The series also delves into the immediate aftermath of the disaster, including how the public reacted, the impact on NASA's reputation, and the subsequent investigation led by Richard Feynman, a renowned physicist who had been appointed to the Rogers Commission to investigate the tragedy.

One of the most compelling aspects of the series is its emphasis on the human element. Through exclusive interviews with the family members of the astronauts who lost their lives, we get a glimpse of the human beings behind the headlines. We see the impact of the tragedy on their families, who have to find a way to cope with the sudden loss of their loved ones. We also get to know the astronauts as individuals - their personal stories, their hopes and dreams, and their unwavering commitment to advancing space exploration.

One particularly poignant moment comes from June Scobee Rodgers, the widow of Challenger commander Dick Scobee. She shares a never-before-seen scrapbook that she kept, which contains photos and letters from Dick during his mission. It's a touching tribute to her husband and a reminder of the incredible sacrifices that the Challenger crew and their families made in pursuit of space exploration.

The final episode of the series ties everything together by exploring the lasting legacy of the Challenger disaster. It features interviews with former NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, SpaceX founder Elon Musk, and others who reflect on how the disaster influenced space exploration in the years following the accident. It also explores the improvements made to NASA's safety protocols and the lessons learned from the tragedy.

Overall, Challenger: The Final Flight is a gripping and emotional docuseries that pays tribute to the seven crew members who lost their lives in the Challenger disaster. It's a reminder of the importance of human error in disasters, and a poignant tribute to the incredible courage and dedication of the men and women who have risked their lives in the pursuit of space exploration. For anyone with an interest in space travel or those who want to uncover the details behind what happened to Challenger in 1986, this series is an essential watch.

Challenger: The Final Flight is a series that is currently running and has 1 seasons (4 episodes). The series first aired on September 16, 2020.

Challenger: The Final Flight
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Seasons
Nothing Ends Here
4. Nothing Ends Here
September 16, 2020
Challenger's shocking explosion devastates the families of the crew as well as millions watching live, and an investigation puts NASA on the defensive.
A Major Malfunction
3. A Major Malfunction
September 16, 2020
After several delays, the crew prepares for launch as engineers and NASA officials tensely discuss concerns about the O-rings and a cold weather launch.
HELP!
2. HELP!
September 16, 2020
To revive public interest, NASA chooses teacher Christa McAuliffe to be the first civilian on the Shuttle. Issues with the solid rocket boosters linger.
Space for Everyone
1. Space for Everyone
September 16, 2020
The new Space Shuttle program captivates America and draws a diverse, determined crop of astronauts. But safety issues arise out of public view.
Description
Where to Watch Challenger: The Final Flight
Challenger: The Final Flight is available for streaming on the Netflix website, both individual episodes and full seasons. You can also watch Challenger: The Final Flight on demand at Netflix.
  • Premiere Date
    September 16, 2020
  • IMDB Rating
    7.8  (7,908)