Return to Space is the most awaited Netflix science documentary released on April 7, 2022. Directed by Jimmy Chin and Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi, this documentary gives us a rare insight into Elon Musk & SpaceX’s historic mission to return NASA astronauts to the International Space Station in nearly 20 years. The space documentary has a runtime of about 2 hours 8 minutes.
Netflix synopsis of the documentary reads as:
“Elon Musk and SpaceX engineers embark on a historic mission to return NASA astronauts to the International Space Station and revolutionize space travel.”
-Return to Space Review Does Not Contain Any Spoilers-
Return to Space is an inspiring documentary by an Oscar-winning filmmaker couple, Jimmy Chin and Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi. The film follows the journey of NASA astronauts, Bob Behnken & Doug Hurley, in their lead up to the launch into space on a commercial spacecraft in 2020. In nearly 20 years, it was the first time that a rocket from American soil was launched successfully into space.
SpaceX’s Demo-2 mission launched astronauts Bob Behnken & Doug Hurley for a four-month trip to the International Space Station(ISS). Their main aim was to help repair the ISS & change the rechargeable batteries, on which the whole station runs. The viewers are taken along for a ride to the International Space Station, which is literally breathtaking. We get glimpses of life in space with no gravity to hold us down.
Watching the astronauts fly around like a superhero in the space station is surely surreal and makes us wanna feel that as well. But behind all the amazing shazmataz, there are hundreds of SpaceX engineers on the verge of a nervous breakdown. Of course, the end result was amazing but the journey that led up to that success is full of failures & destruction.
The film shows us behind the scenes of Musk & SpaceX engineers working for years through years to have a successful launch that opened the opportunity for commercial space travel. After 3 consecutive failed attempts to launch a rocket into space orbit, the engineers at SpaceX expected the whole project to be shut down. But here’s what Elon Musk’s tenacity is what motivated the team to learn from all the failures & get back on their feet.
In the film, Elon Musk says, “Earth is the cradle of humanity. But you cannot stay in the cradle forever”. He says that we should think more about the future that we want & he definitely wants to make sure that space exploration is not a distant dream for us. Since the success of the SpaceX Demo-2 mission, they continue to be NASA’s regular provider for astronaut travel to & from the space station.
The team at SpaceX is extensively working on developing a reusable launch system that would reduce the cost of space travel & would create more opportunities for crew missions to the Moon or even creating colonies on Mars.
Final Thoughts: Return to Space or Stay on Earth?
Netflix’s Return to Space is definitely an interesting documentary that makes the viewers familiar with space adventures. It gives the behind the scene scoops of what really goes down for a space launch and how nerve-wracking it really is. Musk & SpaceX have revolutionised space travel for America & NASA which is commendable.
Whether you vibe with Musk’s eccentric personality or not, you can not deny his contribution to the significant advancement of various technologies. Apart from that, in the film, we can really sympathise with the family of astronauts being sent to space, as even they don’t know if they will come back alive or not. If I were to take away a quote from the film it would be, “when you can have any superpower in the world, luck is the one you would want”.
Return to Space is streaming on Netflix.Instagram & Facebook to keep yourself updated with the latest news and reviews.