Whether you’re a space nerd or a casual fan, you likely have an interest in the mysteries of the universe. The vast and unknown depths of outer space prove equal parts fascinating and intimidating — luckily, you never have to leave your couch to traverse it.
Dive into this expansive selection of space documentaries on Netflix, and you’ll feel like a seasoned astronaut of your own right.
1. “The Farthest: Voyager in Space”
This space documentary celebrates the 40th anniversary of the Voyager mission, which launched in 1977. You’ll experience an in-depth look at the achievement of sending these two probes into outer space for data collection. The effort was well worth it, as these missions transformed space study on an unprecedented scale. Without this mission, planets like Neptune and Saturn would still be vague dreams to us.
2. “Death Dive to Saturn”
In this riveting adventure, you’ll explore the last hurrah of spacecraft Cassini, which studied Saturn for 13 years. Cassini carried out its last mission — a dive below Saturn’s rings and into its atmosphere — in 2017. Take a trip back to the past to rediscover some of Cassini’s marvelous findings, then settle in to witness the ending of an iconic mission.
3. “Black Hole Apocalypse”
Astrophysicist Janna Levin hosts this scarily amazing documentary that explores how black holes can lead to answers about the existence of our universe. If that isn’t mindblowing enough, you’ll learn that black holes not only birth galaxies, but they may have facilitated the formation of life.
4. “The Search for Life in Space”
Reach your feelers out into depths of the Pacific Ocean before shooting for the stars — literally. This space documentary explores Mars, the ice moon Europa and the far reaches of outer space we’ve only begun to conceptualize. This journey features the Kepler Space Telescope, which ushered in the discovery of exoplanets.
5. “14 Minutes From Earth”
Watch the ex-VP of Google’s Knowledge sector, Alan Eustace, fly 41 kilometers into the stratosphere and free-fall back to Earth without a rocket. He declares his purpose was to promote space exploration and science, and he accomplishes that while depicting the challenges of building a suit durable enough to protect him.
6. “Edge of the Universe”
In this blast from the past, scientists in 2008 make significant discoveries concerning the dangers of asteroids and the probabilities of Earth-like planets. Experience the birth of the universe from a new perspective as physicists theorize that radiation from the Big Bang still exists today.
7. “Mission Control: The Unsung Heroes of Apollo”
Get up close and personal with the people behind early space missions such as Mercury, Gemini and Apollo. This documentary on the Mission Control Center showcases archive footage alongside recent interviews from those who held the reality of space innovation in their hands. Relive the transformation of history as the Apollo Mission Control Center presents it.
8. “Mercury 13: Mission Incomplete”
A group of women who worked on the first U.S. mission, Mercury, retell the trials and tribulations they endured while trying to execute their jobs in a men’s world. For those who study feminism or enjoy the social aspects of the space race, you’ll view space exploration through the female perspective of sexism and discrimination. Though these women were once lost in history, they revive their story with vigor and spirit.
9. “One Strange Rock”
Centered more on Earth than outer space, this documentary offers a refreshing look at our world within the bigger picture of the universe. Astronauts share their perspectives about Earth’s water, atmosphere and more within the context of space travel, and they achieve this on a journey through 45 different countries and six continents.
10. “The Last Man on the Moon”
Visit the moon all over again with Gene Cernan, the 11th and last man to set foot on this familiar planet. More of a biographical picture than an outright space documentary, this film still deserves a spot on the list due to its detailed look at moon landings and its efforts to preserve the legacies of past astronauts.
11. “Eclipse Over America”
If you were in North America for the 2017 total solar eclipse, then you have an idea of what this documentary is all about. It never hurts to learn more, though — such as information on the sun’s blazing atmosphere and raging solar storms. Relive the phenomenon of the first total eclipse in 99 years.
Prepare for Takeoff
With these 11 intergalactic space documentaries available on Netflix, you’re sure to feel like you’re traversing the wonderful and strange maze of the universe as we know it. Grab some popcorn and strap in!