The National Geographic Channel will air a live special from the International Space Station and Mission Control in Houston in March.
Reported exclusively by The Hollywood Reporter, a two-hour program titled Live From Space will have astronauts Rick Mastracchio, Koichi Wakata, and NASA engineer Mike Massimino streaming from the cosmos. The special will feature a tour of the $100 billion facility and show experiments.
This special coincides with an order for another Inside Combat Rescue and the final steps for Miracle Landing on the Hudson special. The network is pushing for bigger event programming. They had success with past specials like SEAL Team Six: The Hunt for Osama Bin Laden, Inside 9/11, The 80s: The Decade That Made Us and Bill O’Reilly’s Killing Kennedy and Killing Lincoln.
National Geographic Channel isn’t the only network to have success in the space themed specials or series. Discovery had its highest-rated daytime program when Felix Baumgartner made the jump from the stratosphere to a number of 4.2 million viewers. Following a bidding war NBC won Mark Burnett’s, reality space competition where contestants try to win a seat on Sir Richard Branson’s commercial spaceship.
“Every day at NGC our team tries to reach for the stars,” National Geographic Channel president Howard T. Owens said. “Now we are literally able to do it. We are honored to have secured such amazing access to the station and the astronauts living there, and are exhilarated by the tremendous challenge to show Earth live.”
Nat Geo’s Live From Space, produced by Arrow Media, is a special joint venture with Fox’s Cosmos: A SpaceTime Odyssey.
“We’re thrilled to be making this unique event for NGC Worldwide,” Arrow Media creative director Tom Brisley said. “The technological and logistical challenges of broadcasting live from space may be enormous, but there’s no bigger buzz than creating mind-blowing content that works in microgravity, on the world’s largest spacecraft.”
Other shows coming from Nat Geo include Inside Combat Rescue: The Last Stand and Miracle Landing on the Hudson, a multi-channel event. All three events will air on Spanish-language Nat Geo Mundo. Live From Space will also air in the U.K. on Channel 4. They are also planning a second-screen experience so viewers can interact with Mastracchio and Wakata.
Arrow’s Al Berman and Sally Dixon will executive produce on Live From Space are along with Nat Geo’s Madeleine Carter.