See new trailer for NatGeo's 'The Space Race' documentary saluting Black astronauts (video)

A new trailer for National Geographic's documentary "The Space Race" has just landed.

The timing is right, given that February is Black History Month and the film adds historical perspective to the myriad achievements and contributions of Black astronauts.

"The Space Race" features little-known stories of the first Black pilots, engineers and scientists who became part of NASA's astronaut corps. Directed by Emmy Award-winning producer and director Diego Hurtado de Mendoza and Academy Award-nominated and Emmy-winning producer and director Lisa Cortés, the documentary debuts on the National Geographic Channel today (Feb. 12) prior to streaming on Disney+ and Hulu the following day. 

Related: NASA, ESA experts weigh in on diversity and inclusion in space

Poster for NatGeo's "The Space Race." (Image credit: National Geographic)

"The Space Race" was written by screenwriter Mark Monroe and executive produced by Academy Award winner Frank Marshall, Tony Rosenthal, Carolyn Bernstein, and former NASA astronaut Leland Melvin. Producer credits include Alexandra Bowen, Aly Parker, Mark Monroe, Keero Birla, Lisa Cortés and Diego Hurtado de Mendoza.

Here's the official synopsis:  

"'The Space Race' weaves together the stories of Black astronauts seeking to break the bonds of social injustice to reach for the stars, including Guion Bluford, Ed Dwight and Charles Bolden among many others. In 'The Space Race,' directors Lisa Cortés and Diego Hurtado de Mendoza profile the pioneering Black pilots, scientists, and engineers who joined NASA to serve their country in space, even as their country failed to achieve equality for them back on Earth

"From 1963, when the assassination of JFK thwarted Captain Ed Dwight's quest to reach the moon, to 2020, when the echoes of the civil unrest sparked by the killing of George Floyd reached the International Space Station, the story of African Americans at NASA is a tale of world events colliding with the aspirations of uncommon men. The bright dreams of Afrofuturism become reality in 'The Space Race,' turning science fiction into science fact, forever redefining what 'the right stuff' looks like, giving us new heroes to celebrate and a fresh history to explore." 

Also featured in the 91-minute documentary are Victor Glover, Frederick Gregory, Bernard Harris, Leland Melvin, Arnaldo Tamayo Méndez, and Jessica Watkins, who all provide tales of tough experiences and challenging paths to becoming respected NASA astronauts and the importance of representation in the space program's early years and beyond.  

National Geographic Channel presents "The Space Race" on Feb. 12, 2024 at 9/8 c. The documentary then streams exclusively on Disney+ and Hulu beginning on Tuesday (Feb. 13). 

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Jeff Spry
Contributing Writer

Jeff Spry is an award-winning screenwriter and veteran freelance journalist covering TV, movies, video games, books, and comics. His work has appeared at SYFY Wire, Inverse, Collider, Bleeding Cool and elsewhere. Jeff lives in beautiful Bend, Oregon amid the ponderosa pines, classic muscle cars, a crypt of collector horror comics, and two loyal English Setters.