In Brief

Live from Space! National Geographic, NASA Team Up for Cosmic TV Event

International Space Station as seen from NASA space shuttle.
This image from a NASA space shuttle mission shows the International Space Station in orbit. The space station is the size of a football field and home to six astronauts. Image taken: Feb. 10, 2010. (Image credit: NASA)

Editor's update for Friday, March 14: It's launch day for the National Geographic Channel's "Live From Space." See our full coverage here: 'Live From Space': Complete Coverage of NASA, NatGeo TV Event

TV-viewers around the world will be treated to an unprecedented live tour of the $100 billion International Space Station next month when the National Geographic Channel airs a two-hour special from the astronauts' orbital home.

During the "Live from Space" TV event, NASA astronaut Rick Mastracchio and Japanese astronaut Koichi Wakata — two of the six spaceflyers currently living on the station — will show how they stay fit, conduct science experiments and even use the toilet in microgravity. They'll also talk to viewers via video chat, according to Nat Geo. Meanwhile, veteran NASA astronaut Mike Massimino, who is perhaps most famous for his spacewalking repairs the Hubble Space Telescope, will be partaking in the two-hour event, live from Houston.

The TV special, which will air in mid-March, is meant to coincide with the reboot of Carl Sagan's popular "Cosmos" miniseries, according to Nat Geo. The new iteration of the show, called "Cosmos: A SpaceTime Odyssey," is hosted by astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, and the first episode is set to air March 9 on Fox and the National Geographic Channel. 

The International Space Station is the largest manmade structure ever built in space. Five different space agencies representing 15 countries contributed to its construction and rotating crews of astronauts have continuously occupied the orbiting lab since 2000.

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Megan Gannon Contributing Writer

Megan has been writing for Live Science and since 2012. Her interests range from archaeology to space exploration, and she has a bachelor's degree in English and art history from New York University. Megan spent two years as a reporter on the national desk at NewsCore. She has watched dinosaur auctions, witnessed rocket launches, licked ancient pottery sherds in Cyprus and flown in zero gravity on a Zero Gravity Corp. to follow students sparking weightless fires for science. Follow her on Twitter for her latest project.