‘Among the Stars’ astronaut Chris Cassidy on space flight: ‘It’s not without risk’
LOS ANGELES - Eyes have increasingly been fixated on the sky — thanks to SpaceX's recent Inspiration 4 mission, Jeff Bezos's Blue Origin suborbital excursion and Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic blast off.
And now all eyes are on NASA astronaut Captain Chris Cassidy in a new Disney+ documentary.
The new original series "Among the Stars" showcases intimate footage, personal video diaries and livestream footage — stationed both on Earth and in space — giving viewers a look at the dangerous and awe-inspiring missions Cassidy and the team at NASA embark on.
Chris Cassidy talks to mission managers prior to departing for the launch pad, Thursday, April 9, 2020. (NASA/GCTC/Andrey Sheli)
"Space travel is not easy," Cassidy told FOX Television Stations in an interview. "It takes a lot of people to pull it off and to do it safely, and that’s an important message given all the success that we have enjoyed watching with the recent commercial companies in space."
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The original six-part series, set to premiere Oct. 6 on the streaming service Disney+, follows the teams’ successes and failures over the course of two year. In doing so, it provides behind-the-scenes access to a critically important NASA mission: the repair of a $2 billion science experiment, the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS), which aims to reveal the origins of the universe.
To repair the AMS, Cassidy and his team must undertake a series of complex spacewalks, but the story quickly becomes a tale about the broader team at NASA and the collective quest to succeed.
"It’s hard. It’s not without risk, and that’s what this documentary also shows," Cassidy continued.
Filmed with different space agencies across the globe — from NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston to the European Space Agency in Cologne — viewers are transported around the world as they follow Cassidy in his training to depart for the International Space Station.
"Now I have this footage forever, and the mission is captured for me to enjoy with family and friends as I age in life, so that’s a really nice benefit," Cassidy, 51, shared.
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The recently retired astronaut and former Navy Seal Captain said he’s "excited" about the industries and businesses working to make commercial human spaceflight commonplace.
"Anything that gets the public interested, excited, motivated for space travel — it ultimately benefits our space program," Cassidy revealed. "I love watching all those launches."
While it’s unclear who will be next to walk on the moon, Cassidy said he’s thrilled it will likely be one of his friends.
"The next moonwalker doesn’t know who she or he is, but I’ve walked in the hallways with that person," Cassidy continued.
See other NASA-inspired documentaries on Tubi’s free-to-stream platform:
NASA: A Journey Through Space(2016): "This exciting documentary series takes you on the incredible journey of the past, present and future of NASA that shaped the 20th Century and will boldly go further in the 21st Century and beyond!"
Alien Contact: Nasa Exposed (2014): "Whistleblowers claim NASA not only knows about alien visitations but that they are in contact with extraterrestrials."
Alien Contact: Nasa Exposed 2 (2017): "The recent discovery of 1300 exoplanets that could sustain life has rocked the scientific world. Now everyone from world leaders to former astronauts are testifying that UFOs not only exist, but that Aliens are here and have been monitoring the human race for centuries."
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Premieres Oct. 6 on Disney+. Produced by Fulwell 73 Productions for Disney+. Ben Turner directs and executive produces for Fulwell 73. Executive producers on this series include Gabe Turner, Leo Pearlman, Will Gluck and Richard Schwartz.
About the writer: Stephanie Weaver is a Los Angeles-based journalist. She is a host of the national streaming show, LiveNOW from FOX, and is a digital reporter for FOX TV. Find her on Facebook and Instagram at @StephWeaverTV.