NASA (short for National Aeronautics and Space Administration) TV is the only television service that offers the public an in-depth look on just what the government’s space program is developing. Originally designed as a way to offer viewers up-to-date news on space and shuttle missions, the network grew and evolved to accommodate other topics relating to the program.

It’s not just about space shuttles or the International Space Station (ISS), NASA is involved in a number of different activities and NASA TV offers a rare look at what really goes on behind sealed hatches.

The launch of NASA TV

NASA TV might sound like something new to anyone reading this, but the truth is that the channel was originally conceived and launched as early as the 1980s. Back then, America was steeped in the hysteria of space madness – the public just couldn’t get enough of all the exciting satellite deployments, engineering missions and shuttle launches.

In order to generate support and give the public what they wanted, NASA TV (originally known as NASA Select) was established. More for archival purposes than anything else, the network showcased broadcasts of footage from missions and maneuvers relating to the various space missions. And, as time moved on and interests began to shift, so too did the network.

Today, NASA TV still features footage and broadcasts dealing with all manner of space-related missions and events. However, the programming has expanded to include lots of specific info on everything from how the shuttles function to how mission control organizes and prepares. It’s a particular kind of channel for a particular type of viewer and the various shows can be a little intimidating to the uninitiated.

What you’ll discover on NASA TV

Unfortunately, science fiction – as great and fun as it can be – has ultimately simplified the overall idea of the space program. Shows featured on NASA TV offer a more realistic look at just how much work goes into a launch.

NASA Gallery: This show is perfect for all the NASA history buffs out there interested in learning about the origins of the legendary space program. This program features detailed photos and video clips that chronicle the history as well as some of NASA’s proudest moments.

Video File: This show is an exhaustive resource of b-roll footage from missions of past and present. Meant for news and media outlets, it’s a great way for the public to see some unedited footage of what really goes on in deep space.

Education File: This indispensable resource serves as an educational tool for teachers and students alike. Programs featured during this block can run the gamut from what a spacesuit consists of in parts to just how much preparation is required for something as deceptively simple as a spacewalk.

This Week @ NASA: This program recaps the week’s activities from NASA centers all over the country.

Blastoff into entertainment

There’s always something going on in the world of NASA. NASA TV offers an unprecedented look behind closed doors at just what the US government’s space program is up to.