Return to Space

Return to Space is an American documentary film made for Netflix and directed by Jimmy Chin and Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi.[1][2] Its story follows Elon Musk's and SpaceX engineers' two-decade mission to send NASA astronauts back to the International Space Station and revolutionize space travel.[3] The film was released on April 7, 2022.[4]

Return to Space
Return to Space.jpg
Promotional poster
Directed byJimmy Chin
Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi
Produced by
  • Anna Barnes
  • Jimmy Chin
  • Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi
Music by
Little Monster Films
Distributed byNetflix
Release date
  • April 7, 2022 (2022-04-07)
Running time
128 minutes
CountryUnited States


The film tells a story of SpaceX from their Falcon 1 and re-usable Falcon 9 to the Crew Dragon Demo-2, launched on 30 May 2020 with Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken aboard.



The film received mixed reviews. IndieWire called it an "Exasperating 2-Hour Commercial for Elon Musk";[5] a Wired review, meanwhile, points that the film "chronicles the company’s unlikely rise, but it avoids talking about its shortcomings".[6] The review by Decider was more favourable, saying: "While a large part of Return to Space plays like a SpaceX promotional video, the meaningful way the film tells the story of a group of hopeful dreamers makes it more than worth your while."[7] The review by Joe Morgenstern on the Wall Street Journal was also favourable while noting the promotional tone, writing: "In fact, it promotes the company quite effectively, and why not? Elon Musk’s aerospace venture has achieved remarkable things since it was founded two decades ago. The film is more than that, though. It’s a return to dramatic accounts of blastoffs, followed by soul-filling footage from beyond our sheltering atmosphere and implacable gravity; a portrait, by reflected light from fiery boosters, of one of Earth’s most curious (in every respect) overachievers; and a testament to failing upward—far, far upward."[8]


  1. ^ "Watch Return to Space | Netflix Official Site". Retrieved 2022-03-19.
  2. ^ Grobar, Matt (2022-03-18). "'Return to Space' Trailer: Elon Musk & SpaceX Subjects Of Netflix Doc From Oscar Winners Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi And Jimmy Chin". Deadline. Retrieved 2022-03-19.
  3. ^ March 17, Jen Juneau; Am, 2022 10:30. "Liftoff! Return to Space Trailer Follows Elon Musk's First SpaceX Human Rocket Launch — Watch". Retrieved 2022-03-19.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  4. ^ "'Return to Space' Trailer Reveals Documentary About Elon Musk's SpaceX Program". Collider. 2022-03-17. Retrieved 2022-03-19.
  5. ^ Ehrlich, David (7 April 2022). "'Return to Space' Review: Netflix's SpaceX Doc Is an Exasperating 2-Hour Commercial for Elon Musk". IndieWire. Retrieved 8 April 2022.
  6. ^ Skibba, Ramin. "'Return to Space' Review: Netflix's SpaceX Documentary Doesn't Tell the Whole Story". Wired. Retrieved 8 April 2022.
  7. ^ "'Return to Space' Netflix Review: Stream It Or Skip It?". Retrieved 8 April 2022.
  8. ^ Morgenstern, Joe (7 April 2022). "'Return to Space' Review: A Double Booster". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 8 April 2022.

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