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Netflix plans series on historic SpaceX Inspiration4 mission

A SpaceX Dragon capsule approaches the International Space Station in June. Photo courtesy of NASA
A SpaceX Dragon capsule approaches the International Space Station in June. Photo courtesy of NASA | License Photo

ORLANDO, Fla., Aug. 11 (UPI) -- Netflix plans to cover the upcoming SpaceX launch of the first all-private orbital spaceflight in September, Inspiration4, with a five-part docuseries.

The series would offer closeup footage of the entire mission "from training to launch to landing," according to Netflix. It would give viewers a unique perspective on a historic spaceflight and break ground for the leading streaming service as a nearly real-time documentary.

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Having the mission streamed on Netflix is beneficial for the expansion of human spaceflight and a good marketing strategy for Inspiration4, Rich Cooper, vice president of strategic communications for the non-profit Space Foundation, said in an interview.

The Colorado-based foundation advocates for space exploration and the space industry.

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"The mission is really opening up another chapter in regular people going to space," Cooper said. "It is an absolutely brilliant effort to share that story on Netflix."

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Inspiration4 will be a privately chartered mission led by New Jersey billionaire Jared Isaacman, who is using the event to promote one of his favorite charities, Memphis-based St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

Isaacman, a trained pilot who will lead the mission, has given away three seats. Those crew members are to be physician assistant Hayley Arceneaux, who was a children's cancer survivor at St. Jude, data engineer Chris Sembroski and science communicator and artist Sian Proctor.

Time Studios is promoting the documentary, to be directed by Jason Hehir, who directed the ESPN series The Last Dance, which is about basketball star Michael Jordan.

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Inspiration4 is scheduled for launch aboard a Falcon 9 rocket from Florida as early as Sept. 15, pending any weather and technical issues.

The crew plans to orbit the Earth for several days aboard a Crew Dragon capsule built by Elon Musk's space company.

Isaacman, the founder of electronic payments company Shift 4 Payments, plans a $100 million donation to St. Jude while challenging others to donate.

The philanthropic goal and the mix of crew members means the public may feel more of a connection to Inspiration4 than a NASA mission, Cooper said.

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"There are regular people here, the kind of people any of us might know in our communities," he said. "You have a health professional, an artist-scientist, a successful entrepreneur and Sembroski, who is an Air Force veteran. So it will be good to see how it all unfolds."

Out-of-this-world images from space

This composite image made from six frames shows the International Space Station, with a crew of seven aboard, in silhouette as it transits the sun at roughly 5 miles per second on April 23, 2021, as seen from Nottingham, Md. Aboard are: NASA astronauts Shannon Walker, Mike Hopkins, Victor Glover, Mark Vande Hei; Roscosmos cosmonauts Oleg Novitskiy, Pyotr Dubrov; and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Soichi Noguchi. Joining the crew aboard station the next day were Crew-2 mission crew members: Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur of NASA, JAXA astronaut Akihiko Hoshide and ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet. Photo by Bill Ingalls/NASA | License Photo

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