Saturday, May 4, 2024


This is an examination of the effort to find people who can stand the isolation that long trips into space, say to Mars, will require. We watch as the officials at NASA try to sort out potential astronauts who will be able to survive the strain. We also see the candidates who are finally faced with the gulf between their dreams and the realities.

As a space kid who grew up in the late 60’s and early 70’s, and who read everything I could gget my hands on space travel, I found that THE LONGEST GOODBYE opened my eyes. Much like many of the Candidates I found that there was a lot to long travels in space I never considered. As amazed as I am by anyone who gets to leave earth, this film made me consider their achievements to be even more awe inspiring. As much as I would love to go I was forced to consider that maybe I don’t have the right stuff.

This is a killer doc. Not only does it say a great deal about our exploration of space, but it also speaks volumes about the things we hold important. As one astronaut is heard at the start – going into space for an extended period means missing out on things like rain. What will you give up or what are you willing to reduce down to only be available via a screen? I had a lot to ponder.

This is a super film and recommended.

Debuts on PBS's Independent Lens on Monday, May 6th at 10 p.m. ET (check local listings). After, the film be available to stream on the PBS App and also accessible via PBS’s flagship YouTube channel.

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