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A Lot or a Little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Homemade Astronauts is a series that follows different groups of people who work to build human-inhabited rockets. Characters use varying quality materials to build their space craft -- one character hunts for old pressure-cooker seals to use in his space suit. Perilous situations include threat of explosion, asphyxiation, death. Mixing chemicals and putting flame to fuel is part of the thrill for these inventors too -- parents might want to warn kids to not try these things at home. Some bleeped out language and some mild swearin, including "ass," "bitch," and "hell."
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What's the Story?
In HOMEMADE ASTRONAUTS, three separate groups of American adults (mostly white, mostly male) work towards sending a manned rocket into space. Some groups have mechanical and chemical engineers on their teams, others are self-taught inventors, but all are willing to risk their lives to make a rocket that will take a human into space. One is a "flat earther" daredevil, who's obsessed with publicity. Another is an anthropology professor who always wanted to be an astronaut. A third is a self-titled "rocket man," who's built rockets that have pushed boundaries in the past. Their approaches vary, their grasp on the risks vary, but they all have something in common -- they are determined to be the first to send a human into space using technology that they've created on their own.
Is It Any Good?
DIY inventors and amateur scientists risk everything in this formulaic reality series. Really, there are three ways the projects in Homemade Astronauts can turn out -- their project fails and they're financially ruined, they experience unprecedented success, or someone ends up dying. The inventors avoid regulators, Bureau of Land Management, and permits, which makes them underdogs, and that's catchy. Critics are not allowed around these inventors.
Science-minded kids will enjoy the race to space, and they'll want to see what happens as the rockets and gear get tested. Adults will wonder at the daredevil nature of some participants. But unlike an exciting cooking show or a vain celebrity tell-all, the consequences of these projects have high stakes. What happens when people don't know when to stop? Whether they will succeed -- or perish -- is documented in this series.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about the drive to satisfy a life goal in Homemade Astronauts. When is perserverance a good thing?
Pressure from the media motivates one astronaut team to speed up their efforts, which might have disastrous effects. How does media influence your life?
Risking human life in the name of science is a theme in this show. Which risks do you think are appropriate? Which are off limits?
- Premiere date: May 13, 2021
- Network: Discovery+
- Genre: Reality TV
- TV rating: TV-14
- Last updated: February 28, 2022
Our Editors Recommend
Thrilling, heartwarming, scary, and superb.
The Astronaut Farmer
Billy Bob dreams of space in uneven fantasy drama.
Inspiring tale for older tweens and up.
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