Friday, June 7, 2024

Kristen Stewart to Play Astronaut Sally Ride in Amazon Limited Series 'The Challenger'

Academy Award-nominated actress Kristen Stewart (Spencer, Personal Shopper) has signed on to star as astronaut Sally Ride in the limited series The Challenger, which is nearing a series order at Amazon Prime Video.

Astronaut and physicist Sally Ride was the first American woman to fly in space. She did this as part of a NASA space shuttle astronaut class of 1978 that was the first to be diversified and not comprised of all white men. In 1983, she became an instant celebrity after flying the space shuttle. That joy was short-lived, however, when three years later the space shuttle Challenger blew apart 73 seconds into its ascent, killing all seven members of the crew. Ride then became the only astronaut on the Roger Commission, a presidential commission to investigate the disaster. It later came out that she pinpointed the problems with O-rings that became stiff at low temperature, and that turned out to be the reason for the explosion.

Maggie Cohn developed the series based on the novel "The New Guys" by Meredith E. Bagby. The showrunner and author will executive produce with Stewart, Kyra Sedgwick, Valerie Stadler, Darryl Frank and Justin Falvey. Amazon MGM Studios, Amblin Television, Big Swing Productions and Nevermind will produce.

The Challenger disaster occurred on January 28, 1986. The creative team of the limited series is hoping to have the series ready to debut to mark the 40th anniversary in 2026.