One of the biggest debates you hear on television is whether or not scientist can create a Covid-19 fast enough but be safe. Critics will say that it is humanely impossible to create a vaccine that fast. But it was not that long ago that people were arguing if a man could go up into space. Let alone that the competition between rival countries would lead to one of the greatest accomplishments in human history. The Mercury Seven project was the first US government funded space mission to get a man into space. The only problem is that the Soviet Union had already successfully sent a satellite and man into space. Now we can relive that tense time period with Disney+’s new series The Right Stuff.
Based on the iconic bestseller by Tom Wolfe, The Right Stuff is an inspirational look at the early days of the U.S. Space Program and the incredible story of America’s first astronauts, the Mercury Seven. In one of the most tense competitions in history, NASA recruited the best military test pilots as their first astronauts. The goal, send a man into space. Major John Glenn, Lieutenant Commander Alan Shepard, and Guss Grissom along with four other test pilots would be selected and eventually become American heroes.
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This new series does a great job of detailing the intensity surrounding the Mercury Seven project. It is not just a series about the pilots, the story is shared among the men and women that sacrificed their lives for this mission. One of the most unique aspects of this series is the focus of the astronauts families and the sacrifices each made for success. The series examines the astronauts’ families, including Annie Glenn, who contends with a speech impairment in the public eye; Louise Shepard, who anchors her family while refusing to let Alan’s transgressions affect her home; and Trudy Cooper, an accomplished pilot who puts her own ambitions aside to present the image of a happy family.
The Right Stuff even goes into detail telling about the NASA’s PR department led by John “Shorty” Powers, who leads the astronauts on glad-handing trips to factories and fundraising dinners to build support for the space program, while LIFE Magazine’s Loudon Wainwright Jr. is assigned to write profiles of the astronauts and their families to paint the perfect picture for a transfixed public.
Any fan of American history or great storytelling will enjoy this series. What is great about The Right Stuff is that it reminds us that we are capable of doing extraordinary things during extreme times. Before the Mercury Seven project, it was considered impossible to send a man up into space. Not only was the Mercury Seven project send multiple men up into space, it led to more space missions in the United States than any other country in history.
The first two episodes of The Right Stuff debuts this Friday October 9th on Disney+.
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