'Challenger: The Final Flight': Release date, plot, cast and all you need to know about the Netflix docuseries

'Challenger: The Final Flight': Release date, plot, cast and all you need to know about the Netflix docuseries

On January 28, 1986, the Space Shuttle Challenger broke apart 73 seconds into its flight, killing all seven crew members aboard. The crew consisted of five NASA astronauts and two payload specialists. The disaster had huge repercussions for NASA when Ronald Reagan's administration formed the Rogers Commission to investigate the accident and resulted in a 32-month hiatus in the shuttle program. The Rogers Commission found that NASA's organizational culture and decision-making processes had been some of the key factors that led to the accident with the agency violating its own safety rules. It was also revealed that many engineers had voiced their concerns about the safety of the shuttle before its launch.

Thirty-four years later, a new docuseries from Netflix, executive produced by JJ Abrams, will take an in-depth look into the disaster. The four-part series will feature archival footage. Read on to know more about the docuseries.

Release date

'Challenger: The Final Flight' will be available to stream on Netflix on September 16, at 12 am PST.


'Challenger: The Final Flight' is a four-part docuseries that examines the 1986 Challenger space shuttle, which tragically broke apart 73 seconds after launch as millions of Americans—many of them schoolchildren— watched live on television. The series offers an in-depth look at one of the most diverse crews NASA assembled, including high school teacher Christa McAuliffe, who was selected to be the first private citizen in space.


Conversations with the crew’s surviving family members help create a poignant and relatable portrait of the astronauts. Directors Steven Leckart and Daniel Junge also delve into the “fatally flawed decision process” and mechanical failures that led to the disaster, interviewing former NASA officials and engineers who worked on the failed booster engine and had repeated concerns about its safety. 


The docuseries also incorporates never-before-seen interviews, training footage and rare archival material to give viewers the most unfiltered, emotional behind-the-scenes look at these events to date.


The docuseries will feature interviews with the crew's surviving family members and friends as they speak in detail about the lives lost. It will also feature interviews with former NASA engineers as it delves into the causes behind the disaster.



Steven Leckart

Steven Leckart (Getty Images)

Steven Leckart is a writer, filmmaker, and journalist known for his work in the documentary 'All Things Must Pass' and his book, 'Cabin Porn'.


Daniel Junge

Daniel Junge (Getty Images)

Daniel Junge is a documentary filmmaker. In 2012, he won the Academy Award for Best Documentary for the film 'Saving Face', which he co-directed along with Pakistani filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy. He is also known for 'They Killed Sister Dorothy' and 'Being Evel'.




“NASA was always the good guys, the right stuff,” one interviewee says in the trailer. “You realize they’re really rolling the dice.”


If you like this, you'll like:

'Challenger Disaster: Lost Tapes'

'The Last Man on the Moon'

'In the Shadow of the Moon'

'Mission Control: The Unsung Heroes of Apollo'

'Columbia: The Tragic Loss'

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