Press Release

“Inside the Space Station” Lifts Viewers into Orbit with an Insider’s Look at Humankind’s First Permanent Residence in Space

By SpaceRef Editor
December 4, 2000
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— Third “Watch With the World” event premieres globally on December 10 —

A new dawn in the space age is emerging and it is one of exploration, of enterprise and of extending civilizations into the furthest reaches of space. History has shown that space travel was once a race between countries in the quest for dominance of the moons, the planets and the stars; but the future paints a very different picture of space travel and the essence of its significance. In space, humans stand to find the life-saving medicinal cures for the terminal illnesses ailing populations worldwide; space flight will help treat and prevent osteoporosis because of conditions such as weightlessness; and space will teach scientists of more efficient electrical systems. Humans are also in a race against time to conquer space – if the dinosaurs are any indication, human existence depends on it. One giant asteroid destined for Earth could very well decimate life on this planet. The International Space Station is the stepping stone for human survival beyond Earth and among the stars as permanent residence in space becomes a reality.

Discovery Channel presents an unprecedented, in-depth look at the technological marvel expected to house humans in other worlds with INSIDE THE SPACE STATION, Discovery Channel’s third “Watch with the World” event, premiering around the world in primetime in 150 countries and 32 languages on Sunday, December 10, 2000 from 9-10 PM. An insider’s look to the development of the International Space Station continues with SPACE GAMES, a companion piece to INSIDE THE SPACE STATION, detailing the intricate relationships of the various nations involved and their contributions to the International Space Station. This third global media event integrates Discovery’s on-air programming with its other international business platforms including online and retail. Beginning in November 2000, Discovery’s online sites will unveil in-depth, interactive looks at the International Space Station, designed to profile what living and working in space might be like. Timed in conjunction with the worldwide primetime program premieres, the website will gear up by adding online content
including online chats and profiles with local heroes, taking space enthusiasts inside the experience and featuring milestones in the design and construction of the International Space Station.
The first two components of the International Space Station were assembled in December 1998. Since then, every 90 minutes, 354 kilometers high in the sky, the steadily growing structure of the International Space Station has orbited the Earth. Once completed in 2006, it will be the third brightest object in the night sky, visible to the naked eye. Close-up, the station will look like a giant metal dragonfly soaring through space, with white-painted cylinders for the
body and big, open solar panel boxes for wings. The largest structure humans have ever built in space, the station is an unprecedented international cooperative project involving the collaboration of 16 countries. From Kibo, the Japanese Experiment Module (JEM) with its extensive laboratory facilities for life science research to the Canadian Space Station Remote Manipulator System, a robotic arm with a hand capable of maneuvering massive elements necessary for station maintenance, this “out-of-this-world” construction project utilizes the skills, technological advances and expertise of scientists from Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, The Netherlands, Norway, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Shot on high definition video and using state-of-the-art computer-generated images, INSIDE THE SPACE STATION shows viewers what the finished station will look like – inside and out – and how astronauts work in space to construct this ambitious project, designed to be a multi-room space platform and research facility. While a number of challenges and delays have beset construction of the project, the station is an engineering, scientific and technological marvel that will usher in a new era of human space exploration and include six laboratories, providing more research space than any spacecraft ever built. Areas of research will include: scientific visualization to simulate complex surgery, a technique which may be used as a training tool for the next generation of surgeons; testing promising cancer treatments in microgravity – without risking side effects to patients; improving the treatment of diabetes; and developing new, space-grown sources of petroleum.

INSIDE THE SPACE STATION is produced for the Discovery Channel by Pierre de Lespinois for Evergreen Films LLC. The executive producer for Discovery Channel is Tomi Landis. Mike Quattrone is the executive in charge of production. The special is sponsored globally by BP Amoco and Sun Microsystems. SPACE GAMES is produced for Discovery Networks International (DNI) by Paul Mitchell for Wilton Films. The executive producer for DNI is Emma Read. Peter Weil is the executive in charge of production.

As the world’s leading real-world media and entertainment company, Discovery Communications, Inc.’s (DCI) combined networks reach subscriber households in 150 countries worldwide. Discovery Networks, International (DNI), a division of DCI, includes Discovery Channel, Discovery Kids, Discovery Health, Discovery Home & Leisure, Animal Planet, People+Arts, Discovery Sci-Trek, Discovery Travel & Adventure, Discovery Civilisation and Discovery Wings. Available over 58 separate feeds in 32 languages via 15 satellites, DNI’s services are tailored to the specific needs of viewers around the globe.


SpaceRef staff editor.