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An Inspiring Elon Musk Movie Is Crushing It On Netflix

Elon Musk has been all up in the news over the last week (and many years) with the word that he’s looking to purchase one of the most popular social media platforms. It’s been a major talking point around the billionaire, and the financial world in general, with Musk making it clear that he wants to purchase Twitter in an effort to uphold certain aspects of free speech on the platform. Well, while you are following along with that story, and it’s quite a story, you can also check out a movie about the dude which is streaming on Netflix. Return to Space has been crushing on the streaming platform for a couple of weeks and is currently sitting at #7 worldwide. While it won’t have to do with the current move to acquire Twitter, it does focus on another major company of his and its quest to explore one of the great unknowns.

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Return to Space is a documentary about SpaceX, the company Elon Musk runs that has made it a mission to make space travel cheaper, more accessible, and able to reach further than we humans have been able to before. They’ve essentially revolutionized space travel for a modern error (something they mention and detail) while also working through the trials and tribulations of what it means to actually create a rocket ship company from scratch. It’s an understatement to say this was a monumental task. The documentary walks viewers through the founding of the company and what drove Elon Musk to want to take on such a massive, and seemingly impossible, endeavor. 

Check out Elon Musk in the trailer for Return to Space. 

It’s a remarkable feat to do what Elon Musk and company have done here, and especially crazy and significant considering just how close they came to having it all go kaput. Consider that back in 2008, SpaceX was attempting its fourth launch of the Falcon rockets after the first three had failed. At this point, Musk had already exhausted his initial, $100 million investment which he knew even at the time was only enough to cover the first launches. He reinvested more for the fourth knowing that this was the final attempt. There would be no more after this if it didn’t work. It did. The final attempt worked, SpaceX was saved and Musk had financial viability again. He spent his last functional dollars on this and Tesla to get them up and running.

In Return to Space, we are also treated to the story of how the company sent two astronauts to space to dock with the International Space Station, the first time a private company had been able to achieve such a feat. The movie details this part of the mission and just what kind of significance it has, in the age of modern space travel, for Elon Musk to lead the initiative to make it happen. 

But despite a positive showing on Netflix, Return to Space has been met with mixed reviews by critics about the overall message. Writ large, the reception was fine with the movie hitting 85% on Rotten Tomatoes. So, fine showing there. But some dissenting opinions believed this to be way too pro-Elon Musk in its messaging, acting as something akin to a commercial for the company rather than a real deep dive on what was happening in the inner workings of SpaceX.

On a broad level, this makes sense all things considered. It’s hard to imagine filmmakers Jimmy Chin and Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi getting full access without a few stipulations. I’m not saying there was any artistic compromise here, the story is really freaking awesome. But if someone were anti-Elon Musk they might not see this as anything more than an infomercial. That would be unfortunate.

Other than SpaceX, of course, Elon Musk has the possible acquisition of Twitter on the front-burner right now. He had originally bought a 9% stake in the company and then offered to join the Board of Directors, which he declined when a stipulation was going to be that he not purchase more than 14%. He then went ahead and made an offer for the whole kit and kaboodle for $54 billion. We are still waiting to hear what will happen with this transaction. In the meantime, while we wait, be sure to check out Return to Space on Netflix. 

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