“Return to Space” is the shining Netflix memorial to Elon Musk

Recent Netflix Countdown: Inspiration4 Mission to Space—About SpaceX’s efforts to launch the first all-civilian orbital flight around the Earth — was corporate propaganda of the kindest kind, but the streaming platform is redeemable with Back to Spaceanother project for Elon Musk’s aerospace suit.

Oscar winner Free solo The feature-length documentary by directors Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin (April 7) is about the 2020 Demo-2, which attempted to transport astronauts to the International Space Station from US soil for the first time in nine years. It was a myriad of endeavors, and thanks to the amazing access of the filmmakers to Musk, his team of engineers, scientists and experts and the two brave men in charge of this pilot mission, it proves to be an inspiring portrait of innovation and ingenuity. .

The driving force behind this project is, of course, Musk, who founded SpaceX in 2002 with the goal of drastically reducing the cost of space travel to facilitate our eventual journey to Mars and its colonization. As we say Countdown: Inspiration4 Mission to Space, Back to Space finds Musk repeatedly discussing his dream of making humanity a multi-planetary species. Although this sounds like science fiction, he has invested his money in SpaceX, investing a fortune to find a way to make space exploration more accessible – a problem that contributed to the collapse of NASA’s bus program. NASA is now partnering with SpaceX, launching an era of space commercialization that has also seen people like Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson enter the field with their own big tourist destination plans in the world.

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SpaceX’s solution to its price dilemma was to create a fully and quickly reusable rocket that – instead of disengaging above the Earth and then falling to the ground again, never to be used again – could be driven to a point landing using revolutionary mesh fins. This turns out to be as difficult as it sounds, and Back to Space offers a close-up and personal view of the SpaceX team multiple knives when creating this new system. As throughout the film, Vasarhelyi and Chin have at their disposal a wide range of self-portraits and pre-existing shots from the company’s flight cameras (located inside and outside their craft) as well as inside their. control rooms and training centers, thus providing a complete picture of SpaceX’s trial and error efforts to refine this and other groundbreaking elements of the project.

Musk is prone to making big statements like, “Earth is the cradle of humanity. But you can not stay in the crib forever. It’s time to go out, to be out there among the stars, to expand the breadth and scale of human consciousness. ” Still inside Back to Space, appears as a defender of human ambition and ingenuity and the belief that transcending the boundaries of the past – in the pursuit of a better understanding of ourselves and the universe and of creating a better life for future generations – is a noble endeavor. Vasarhelyi and Chin do not ignore his occasional wacko show (such as smoking weed on Joe Rogan’s podcast while praising the wonders of the flamethrowers), but the portrayal is of a quirky pioneer who is convinced there are other worthy frontiers for to conquer and is dynamically committed to achieving the hitherto unthinkable.

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On more than one occasion, Musk is crying over the weight of his responsibility for the Demo-2, as more than just money is at stake. The Dragon spacecraft was manned by Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken, NASA veterinarians who enjoy the opportunity to return to the cockpit, and both men speak eloquently about their firm commitment to the purpose they (and Musk) have chosen. The fact that Hurley and Behnken are married to other astronauts and leave young children behind underscores how much they are gaining in success, even though their ultimate fate is now common knowledge. Back to Space However, it brings us so close to them that it creates intense suspense as the launch day approaches.

On more than one occasion, Musk is crying over the weight of his responsibility for the Demo-2, as more than just money is at stake.

Even better than the shocking scenes of the Demo-2 landing, the connection to the International Space Station and the realization of the dangerous journey back to Earth is the snapshot of the film from the usual failures of SpaceX. Musk’s company believes that practical errors provide the necessary knowledge for progress and, consequently, Back to Space is not intimidated by clips with malfunctioning flames and rocket explosions. It is an honest admission that nothing great is achieved with the first move, as well as a reminder of the intense danger of this project. SpaceX operates with almost zero margin of error, and if that was not evident from their efforts to bring Hurley and Behnken safely into space, it is a touching forge from the Challenger and Columbia tragedy recaps, the legacy of which hangs in the balance from everyone in it. field.

Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken come in Back to Space

Netflix

Back to Space I can only feel like SpaceX PR. However, the depiction of the company’s goals and methods does not seem to be overly violated, in large part because Musk and the company’s statements about the motives of their true followers are obviously authentic and their methods are so strict and innovative. When Musk says technological improvements are not inevitable, he is right to call on the world to strive for more, not just space travel, but everywhere else. Although the sincerity of Musk’s feelings may not be matched by his general personality in pop culture, he is always present in the film by Vasarhelyi and Chin. In addition, it combines with the seriousness of Hurley and Behnken’s comments about the depth of existence in space, where the vastness of the Earth throws our own individual insignificance and our common unity as inhabitants of the same planet, into sharp and worldview relief.

In this respect, Back to Space concerns less the special value of creating stores on Mars despite the need of humanity to continue to move forward. It is an encouraging and hopeful film for inventors and dreamers seeking to do the impossible, and suggests that it is only a matter of time before we watch future Netflix documentaries about SpaceX travel to the moon – and beyond.

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