Press Release

The Science Channel Offers In-Depth One-Hour Live Coverage of Discovery Shuttle Launch

By SpaceRef Editor
July 7, 2005
Filed under , , ,
The Science Channel Offers In-Depth One-Hour Live Coverage of Discovery Shuttle Launch

On Wednesday, July 13, The Science Channel will have live coverage of the space shuttle Discovery’s launch, from 3:30-4:30 PM (ET) The actual launch is scheduled for 3:51 PM ET. Coverage will include color commentary from astronaut Chris Hadfield, in-depth reports that cover the steps NASA has taken to improve shuttle safety since the Columbia tragedy, and profiles of the shuttle commander and the capcom (capsule communicator) at mission control. DISCOVERY: RETURN TO SPACE, a recap of the day’s launch events and a look ahead at what will take place during the mission, will air Wednesday night from 9-10 PM (ET/PT). Additional information regarding the Discovery mission can found online at

On July 12, the night before Discovery’s historic lift-off, The Science Channel will offer encore presentations of two specials that pay tribute to the Columbia crew. The network will lead off with ASTRONAUT DIARIES: REMEMBERING THE COLUMBIA SHUTTLE CREW at 9 PM (ET/PT), followed at 10 PM by 16 DAYS: COLUMBIA’S FINAL MISSION. ASTRONAUT DIARIES will also air the night of the launch, July 13, at 10 PM (ET/PT).

ASTRONAUT DIARIES: REMEMBERING THE COLUMBIA SHUTTLE CREW is composed almost entirely of exclusive behind-the-scenes home movie footage shot by one of the Columbia astronauts, former Navy pilot and doctor Dave Brown, who was making a film about his experiences training to be an astronaut. His footage offers a poignant and compelling glimpse into the lives of the seven people who trained together for more than two years and perished together that fateful day. Juxtaposing the footage shot by Brown and others on the team are interviews with surviving family members, who describe their observations of the training process and offer moving insights into the personalities of the crew members. With his unique perspective as one of the crew, Brown captures the energy, playfulness, optimism and determination of the men and women of Mission STS-107. The special concludes with shots of the crew during their final takeoff preparations, ascending the elevator at the launch pad and boarding the shuttle on what was to be their last mission.

16 DAYS: COLUMBIA’S FINAL MISSION begins with the crew boarding the ship and readying for takeoff. The special uses footage from the ship’s onboard cameras, bringing viewers inside the shuttle for the 16 days the crew fulfilled their dreams of working in space, conducting experiments geared toward everything from curing cancer to fighting fires. It ends as the shuttle prepares to reenter Earth’s atmosphere.

The Science Channel is part of Discovery Networks, U.S., a unit of Discovery Communications, Inc., which also operates and manages the Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet, the Travel Channel, Discovery Health Channel, Discovery HD Theater, Discovery Kids Channel, Discovery Times Channel, Military Channel, Discovery Home Channel, Discovery en Espanol and FitTV. The unit also distributes BBC AMERICA.

SpaceRef staff editor.