Top Ten Best Space Documentaries

We’re here to help you choose the best space documentary to watch today! 

best space documentaries
Photo Credit: Alex Litvin

At a Glance: Best Space Documentaries 

Are you looking for a movie to watch and want to avoid reading long reviews? We’ve done the work for you.  

Best Space Documentary

We generated a list of the Best Space Documentaries based on Rotten Tomatoes, Amazon, and IMDb ratings. 

We selected the ten space documentaries with the highest audience ratings.

Return to Space 

SpaceX is preparing to send a U.S. flight crew of astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS). The launching and docking of a commercial spaceship with the ISS is the focus of Return to Space.

In 2011 NASA Atlantis Space Shuttle completed its final mission. Since then, NASA has relied on other nations to take U.S. astronauts into space.

Commercial manufacturing companies have replaced NASA as the only U.S. route to space. SpaceX is now responsible for two-thirds of all NASA launches.

The Last Man on the Moon

Eugene Cernan, the eleventh man to walk on the moon, was also the last man to walk on the moon. A personal reflection on the cost of success as an astronaut. Was too much pressure for success placed on Apollo pilots? 

A pilot of three Apollo space flights, Cernan shares his experiences.

Cernan shares about his broken marriage and the long absences from his family. What’s the personal pressure like when you’re an astronaut? 

The Last Man on the Moon takes us on the unforgettable lifetime journey of an Apollo astronaut.

The Wonderful: Stories from the Space Station

Six astronauts live inside the International Space Station (ISS), two hundred fifty miles above the earth. What’s it like to eat, sleep and live your wildest dreams? 

Astronauts share their experiences about life and work on the Space Station. The astronauts live a daily life onboard, similar to everyday life on earth, but vastly different.

The astronauts tackle intriguing questions. What’s it like to live day in and day out inside the space station? Is a space walk fun? What’s it like to be one of six individuals living full-time in space?

The Wonderful: Stories from the Space Station introduces us to astronauts who risk everything in the name of humanity.

Moon and Sun
Photo Credit: Tyler van der Hoeven

Journey to the Edge of the Universe

Cutting edge Computer Graphic Imagery (CGI) plus Hubble Space Telescope images are astounding. National Geographic takes us on a whirlwind expedition through the universe.  

We’ll pause at significant structures in our solar system to reflect upon their past and our future. Distant nebulas and galaxies have crisp details thanks to the Hubble. All too soon, we’ll arrive at the edge of the universe.

The Hubble telescope images and CGI intertwine to create an unforgettable journey. You’ll watch this documentary again and again.

Black Holes: The Edge Of All We Know

Black Holes: The Edge Of All We Know explores scientific tools and theories to study black holes. Prepare for a bit of math, astrophysics, and a smidge of awe as you settle in to watch this space documentary. 

What is a black hole, and what do they look like? Black Holes are camera-shy! There were no photographs of black holes until this project was complete. The targeted data collection was on the gasses that swirl around the black hole.

Simultaneous data collection of the M87 Black Hole occurred at eight different locations. Tandem data recording allowed the images to be combined into a single large data set. Collective teamwork created the first image of a black hole.

Black Holes: The Edge Of All We Know is a technical documentary, but don’t let that scare you away. It’s well worth your time investment.

Hubble

Hubble Space Telescope changed how we see the universe. After 18 years of active service in a harsh environment, Hubble needs a few upgrades and repairs.

Hubble” follows seven astronauts during Servicing Mission 4 to provide a final servicing.

Five spacewalks by NASA astronauts completed the installation and repair of Hubble components. Follow along during the repairs and marvel at Hubble’s images of the universe.

Deep space images from the Hubble are why we watch space documentaries.

Hubble telescope
Photo Credit: NASA

In the Shadow of the Moon

Surviving Apollo astronauts from 1968-1972 share their stories of the Apollo project. In the Shadow of the Moon explores the Apollo mission’s legacy through the lens of the astronauts. 

The award-winning documentary features remastered videos from actual missions to the moon. NASA located and restored countless hours of mission film. The film restoration process included color refreshment and cleaning. The results are spectacular.

A reminder that the entire world came together not so long ago and said, “We did it!”

For All Mankind

For All Mankind is the granddaddy of all Space Documentaries. NASA film from all nine Apollo missions comes together into one “round trip” moon voyage.

Between 1968 and 1972, there were nine U.S. manned missions to the moon. For All Mankind is the story of twenty men, in their own words, who risked everything to travel to the moon. 

Watch and listen as the astronauts talk with each other, flight control, and the world. “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind .” History unfolds, from lift-off to splashdown, in front of our eyes.

For All Mankind isn’t a good space documentary; it’s on of the best documentaries about space.

Countdown: Inspiration4 Mission to Space Editors’ choice

One of our top 2 picks for best space documentaries is Countdown: Inspiration4 Mission to Space.

Follow a physician’s assistant, a professor, a CEO, and an engineer as they embark on the journey of a lifetime. 

Six months ago, everyone had a routine non-astronaut life. Today, all four head for low earth orbit as astronauts on a SpaceX rocket.

What’s it like to train to be an astronaut? We’ll follow along as the group trains for space flight. Do they have what it takes? The training might be a bit more intense than expected!

Follow their journey from start to completion. This is one of the best space documentaries on Netflix.  

The Farthest: Voyager in Space Editors’ choice

Humanity hopes that the Voyager spacecraft will provide answers to age-old questions. Where do we come from? Are we all alone? What’s the universe made of? 

Many Space Documentaries have a concrete starting and ending.  

The Farthest: Voyager in Space doesn’t have an ending yet. The next scheduled event is when the Voyager exits our solar system in 20,000 years. 

The Voyager spacecraft and mission successes are one of humankind’s crowning achievements. Follow their lonely trek that has the whole world paying attention. The excitement and wonder of this film make it no mystery to why this is one of the best space documentaries.

Conclusion

The Best of Space Documentaries list is daunting to assemble. There are many great selections. For best space documentaries we recommend  The Farthest: Voyager in Space and Countdown: Inspiration4 Mission to Space.

DocumentaryAmazonIMDbRotten TomatoesReleased
Return to SpaceN/A7.3772022
The Last Man on the Moon4.87.4782014
The Wonderful: Stories from the Space Station4.36.2802021
Journey to the Edge of the Universe4.78.4842008
Black Holes: The Edge Of All We Know4.76.6862021
Hubble4.67.6862010
In the Shadow of the Moon4.78912007
For All Mankind4.48.1911989
Countdown: Inspiration4 Mission to SpaceN/A7.8932021
The Farthest: Voyager in Space4.88.1932018