Filmed on the Space Coast, 'The Right Stuff' launches Friday on Disney+

It's only natural that "The Right Stuff," the original series based on the iconic bestselling book by Tom Wolfe, would be filmed on the Space Coast.

The story, after all, is about the early days of the U.S. space program and America's first astronauts, the Mercury 7. The eight-episode series launches Friday, Oct. 9 on Disney+.

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In 1959, newly-formed NASA was tasked with sending a man into space within two years. To achieve this monumental task, Project Mercury would recruit and train astronauts from the military's best pilots, who became overnight celebrities.

Left row front to back: Micah Stock as Deke Slayton, Michael Trotter as Gus Grissom, Aaron Staton as Wally Schirra. Right row front to back: Patrick J. Adams as John Glenn, Jake McDorman as Alan Shepard, Colin O’Donoghue as Gordon Cooper and James Lafferty as Scott Carpenter in National Geographic’s THE RIGHT STUFF on Disney+.

At the center of the story are John Glenn, a Marine and committed family man played, by Patrick J. Adams ("Suits,") and Alan Shepard, one of the best pilots in Navy history, played by Jake McDorman ("American Sniper".) The two would compete to become the first man in space.

Launch schedule:Upcoming Florida rocket launches and landings

Produced for National Geographic by Leonardo DiCaprio’s Appian Way and Warner Bros. Television, the series was filmed here on the Space Coast and other locations around Central Florida last summer and fall.

"The Space Coast is such an important character in our actual story," producer for "The Right Stuff," Llew Wells told FLORIDA TODAY via email. "Being able to shoot parts of 'The Right Stuff' series in some of the places that the events actually took place is invaluable. It will lend levels of authenticity and a sense of place that we simply can't capture any other way."

The timing for the series is relevant, as the U.S. looks towards more crewed launches. The show is a look back at our history, but also a reflection on where we are today.

A news release from Disney+ says, "Set during a time when many wondered whether America’s glory days were behind it, 'The Right Stuff' is an aspirational story about ambition and exploration and how ordinary human beings can achieve the extraordinary."

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"The Right Stuff"

What: Series about the early days of the U.S. Space Program and the incredible story of America’s first astronauts, the Mercury Seven.

When: 2-episode premiere on Friday, Oct. 9

How to watch: Streams on Disney+

Starring: Patrick J. Adams ("Suits") as John Glenn; Jake McDorman ("American Sniper," "Limitless") as Alan Shepard; Colin O'Donoghue (Captain Hook on "Once Upon a Time") as Gordon Cooper; James Lafferty ("The Haunting of Hill House," "One Tree Hill") as Scott Carpenter; Micah Stock ("Brittany Runs a Marathon") as Deke Slayton; Michael Trotter ("Underground") as Gus Grissom; Aaron Staton ("Mad Men") as Wally Schirra; Eloise Mumford ("Fifty Shades of Grey") as Trudy Cooper; and Shannon Lucio ("True Blood," "The O.C.") as Louise Shepard.

Social Media: @disneyplus @natgeochannel #disneyplus

From Sept. 2019:Well known Chevrolet dealership has 'The Right Stuff'

From Aug. 2019:'Right Stuff' TV show cast, crew film at Kennedy Space Center on Apollo 11 anniversary

Christina LaFortune is the Entertainment and TgIF Editor at FLORIDA TODAY. Follow her on Facebook at, on Twitter at @lafortunec, or send her an email at

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