The History of Black Astronauts Is Highlighted in New Trailer for ‘The Space Race’ Documentary


October 12, 2023

National Geographic is revealing a new look into its upcoming documentary focused on the history of Black astronauts.

“The Space Race” documentary explores the Space Age through the retellings of Black astronauts, covering almost 60 years of history.

The documentary, which is from National Geographic Documentary Films, will debut on Disney+ in February.

A new featurette trailer dropped for the doc, which includes Edward Joseph “Ed” Dwight Jr., who was selected in 1961 by U.S. President John F. Kennedy to become the first Black astronaut. However, despite the work he put in for the program, Dwight did not end being chosen NASA.

Joining Dwight in the featurette are Black NASA astronauts Leland Melvin and Victor Glover.


The documentary is directed by Lisa Cortés and Diego Hurtado de Mendoza. It shares the stories of the Black pilots, scientists, and engineers who were part of NASA from 1963 through present day.

Murtada Elfadl of Variety described the power of the documentary in a review of the project written back in June.

“Cortés and de Mendoza interweave archival footage with the testimony of the astronauts in a fast-paced and informative way. Rapidly unraveling the fascinating story, they demand the audience’s attention and reward it,” said Elfadl. “Blink or look away for a second and an interesting factoid might be missed. But their greatest asset proves to be the astronauts themselves. Their recollections are emotional and humorous, going a long way to paint such a captivating narrative.”


“The astronauts talk of the weight of being an example and the challenges of having to navigate both white and Black spaces in order to succeed,” Elfadl added. “Yet most movingly, they talk of the camaraderie born of being together in these hallowed and mostly white spaces.”

Photo by National Geographic Documentary Films / Disney+

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