National Geographic Channel has set Live From Space, a two-hour television event to be broadcast live from the International Space Station (ISS) and Mission Control in Houston this March, coinciding with Seth MacFarlane’s Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, a Fox/Nat Geo reboot of the groundbreaking 1980s Carl Sagan series. The announcement comes on the heels of the news yesterday that NASA is extending the life of the ISS for four additional years beyond its current 2020 expiration date. Nat Geo had been making a push in live stunts following Discovery’s successful special in which Nick Wallenda crossed the Little Colorado River Gorge. Last summer, Nat Geo announced two such specials that were to air this past fall — Volcano Dive: Live with Bob Ballard was to be telecast on November 17 as part of the celebration of the National Geographic Society’s 125th anniversary, and rock climber Alex Honnold was to climb one of the world’s highest skyscrapers. None of those seem to have panned out though the latter may have been pushed to 2014. Live From Space, from Arrow Media, plans to go into orbit with astronauts Rick Mastracchio and Koichi Wakata from the ISS, while astronaut Mike Massimino (most notably known for fixing the Hubble Telescope) will be live in Houston. The special will air on NGC in 170 countries, and on Channel 4 in the UK. Viewers also will be able to chat via video with Mastracchio and Wakata. The Nat Geo special would go before NBC’s planned space travel series from producer Mark Burnett, which is done in collaboration with Richard Branson’s commercial spaceline. In 2012, Nat Geo aired a behind the scenes documentary about Felix Baumgartner’s space dive after the free fall jump was streamed live online.
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