A new Discovery+ docuseries following three self-financed teams hoping to become the first private citizens to travel into space is set to stream May 13.
Homemade Astronauts is a four-episode series that was filmed over two and a half years. The series includes lifelong daredevil ‘Mad’ Mike Hughes (pictured) and his build partner Waldo Stakes attempting to propel Hughes 62 miles above the Earth to the Karman line, the border between Earth’s atmosphere and outer space with a part rocket, part balloon machine.
World of Wonder produced Homemade Astronauts with executive producers Jeremy Simmons, Fenton Bailey, Randy Barbato and Tom Campbell. Caroline Perez is the executive producer on the series for the Science Channel, and Lindsey Foster Blumberg is the supervising producer for Science.
In 2018, Hughes launched himself 1,875 feet above the Mojave Desert. In 2020, he aimed to reach a full mile above the ground, until he met a tragic end.
The series also includes Ky Michaelson in Minnesota who is the first civilian to build and launch an unmanned rocket into space. In this series, he works with his son and another entrepreneur to build and launch a fuel-powered manned rocket.
And in Oregon, anthropology professor Cameron Smith works on a spacesuit with the goal of taking himself to the Armstrong line, 60,000 feet above ground.
Discovery+ is also set to premiere the feature documentary Broken Harts, beginning May 18.
Expanding upon an article and podcast from Glamour, the two-hour film tells the story of the Hart family.
When police found the bodies of two adults, identified as Jen and Sarah Hart, and three children on a coastal part of Highway 1 in Mendocino County, California, many were shocked at the sudden deaths. The film digs into the story of these two white women and their six Black adopted children, and patterns of abuse and systems that failed to protect the children in this family that was beloved by many in their hometown.
“When the news of this story broke, it rocked the nation and created a cloud of confusion shrouding the Hart family,” said Lisa Holme, group SVP, content and commercial strategy for Discovery+. “This story is captivating and exemplifies the notion that what we see online is almost never the reality.”
Broken Harts was produced by Jupiter Entertainment and Conde Nast Entertainment. Executive producers include Patrick Reardon, Harrison Land, Gregory Palmer and Skye Borgman for Jupiter, and Oren Katzeff, Geneva Wasserman and Jonathan Koa for Conde Nast. Katherine Grandy and Lorna Thomas also serve as executive producers.
The film includes family photos, video and archival content, unpacking who the family seemed to be and what really happened. The film covers the dichotomy of race within the family and the privilege the Harts held and exploited.