Space tourism, the new reality TV
Future. We’ve always been fascinated by the stars. In 1969, over 600M people watched Neil Armstrong’s Apollo 11 moon landing. Now, private space companies and Hollywood are taking space to the big screen. Despite widespread criticism of space tourism as an “environmentally questionable hobby for the ultrarich,” streaming platforms are betting that curious, starry-eyed viewers will still tune in.
Meet the stars
Netflix is partnering with SpaceX to chronicle the company’s first all-civilian flight into space.
- The five part miniseries, Countdown: Inspiration4 Mission to Space, premieres on September 6, along with a live-action/animated show for kids and their families.
- A team of videographers will follow SpaceX’s crew of four civilians as they prepare for their journey and launch into space.
- Unlike Blue Origin and Virgin Galactic’s civilian spaceflights, which brushed the edge of space and then returned to Earth, Inspiration4 will orbit the Earth for three days.
- The series will be directed and produced by Jason Hehir, whose past work includes the recent Michael Jordan documentary The Last Dance.
Hollywood’s setting its sights on the stars. The Inspiration4 partnership marks a new era of space tourism reality TV, following closely behind Blue Origin’s July rocket launch, which aired live on Prime Video.
“Shooting something into space, that’s something that’s going to bring in subscribers globally,” says media strategist Julia Alexander, who thinks we’ll see an uptick in space-bound shows on streaming platforms.
Looking ahead, American production company Space Hero is putting together a reality contest show pitting average people against each other for the chance to win a trip to the International Space Station. The company signed a contractor agreement with NASA earlier this year.