[Links updated May 2020] Space is the ultimate travel destination for many. Only few actually make it. There are still only around 500 astronauts, less than 10 of which can be earmarked as true space tourists. So until space travel becomes available to the masses, we’ll have to do with armchair travels. The entertainment industry has been working hard over the years to take us along on trips all across the Universe. Most of this is through fictional stories of alien worlds, populated by strange and often hostile creatures. Far from reality, but fueling our desire to travel to the stars.
This post is not about science fiction. It is about the reality of space travel and how we can experience some of that from the comfort of our own home and our own gravity. There are many hours of video that you can watch online, for free, covering all aspects of human spaceflight and probes that we sent into space, teaching us about the real challenges of the endeavor. As a space history enthusiast myself, I have watched many hours of these documentaries. I thought by bringing all these links together, this post can keep you entertained and amazed by the real stories of humanity in space. Of course I still hope to see your videoblog of your trip into space add to this page soon!
Below is a list of space documentaries that are available to watch online. Good for at least 48 hours of armchair space travel. That’s along trip! Especially when you bear in mind that Yuri Gagarin’s flight only lasted 108 minutes and Alan Shepard’s only 15!
Carl Sagan’s Cosmos – A Personal Voyage (1980)
Episode 1 – The shores of the cosmic ocean
Episode 2 – One voice in the cosmic fugue
Episode 3 – The harmony of the worlds
Episode 4 – Heaven and hell
Episode 5 – Blues for a red planet
Episode 6 – Traveller’s tales
Episode 7 – The backbone of the night
Episode 8 – Journeys in space and time
Episode 9 – The lives of stars
Episode 10 – The edge of forever
Episode 11 – The persistence of memory
Episode 12 – Encyclopaedia Galactica
Episode 13 – Who speaks for Earth?
From the Earth to the Moon (HBO 1998)
Episode 1 – Can we do this?
Episode 2 – Apollo One
Episode 3 – We have cleared the tower
Episode 4 – 1968
Episode 5 – Spider
Episode 6 – Mare Tranquilitatis
Episode 7 – That’s all there is
Episode 8 – We interupt this program
Episode 9 – For miles and miles
Episode 10 – Galileo was right
Episode 11 – The original wives club
Episode 12 – Le voyage dans la lune
The Space Race (BBC 2005)
Moon Machines (Science Channel 2008)
When we left Earth – the NASA Missions (Discovery Channel 2008)
The Red Stuff (2000)
First Orbit (2011)
In the Shadow of the Moon (2007)
Moonwalk One (1970)
50 Years of NASA (2012)
To Mars by a bomb (BBC 2003)
Ascent (NASA Glenn Research Center 2010)
The Overview Effect (2013)
White Sun of the Desert (1970)
This is the movie that all Soyuz crews watch during quarantine before launch. It is not about space, but it is an important part of a very old Russian space flight tradition.
White Sun of the Desert (English subtitles)
Disclaimer: Please note that I cannot assess whether this content has been uploaded to these sites legally. Some links may not work in all countries. However, I only include links to legal and well known video websites like YouTube and Dailymotion. As far as I know watching these videos is legal in all jurisdictions that I know, but make sure to check the situation in your country. No rights can be claimed from this post.