It might seem strange to some that Glen Zipper, the Oscar-winning documentarian who created Netflix’s adorable docu-series Dogs, chose to tackle the Challenger explosion as his second project for the streaming giant. But in an interview with The Daily Beast, he said both have been passion projects for him—even if their subjects are different as can be.
Challenger: The Final Flight, which Zipper executive produced, debuts on Netflix Wednesday and details the disaster that defined a generation. Before the tragic loss of seven astronauts in 1986, everyone thought that NASA could do anything. (NASA, the doc suggests, seemed to think that perhaps more than anyone.) It was the first shuttle voyage that included a non-astronaut, schoolteacher Christa McAuliffe—all to make the case that in the future, space travel would be as frequent and casual as taking a commercial flight on Earth.
Zipper was 11 years old when the explosion happened, and describes it as “one of the most vivid memories of my childhood.”