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TV's Space Week: Reaching for the Space Station and Beyond

TV's Space Week: Reaching for the Space Station and Beyond
The red planet beckons in Mars Underground, part of The Science Channel's Space Week of programming betwen May 6 and May 12. (Image credit: The Science Channel.)

NASA'splans to fling astronauts out to the Moon and Mars will step out of the futureand into your living room tonight as The Science Channel launches its first-ever"Space Week."

Between May6 and May 12, The Science Channel will debut a series of programsranging from inside looks at the InternationalSpace Station (ISS) and NASA'snext spaceship to future plans for manned lunar base camps.

 "Spaceis a powerful catalyst for exploration and imagination," Jane Root, presidentand general manager for the Discovery Channel and The Science Channel,in a statement. "Today's greatest scientific minds are tapping this power todetermine real possibilities of the potential for humans in space."

"Space Week"intersperses planetary studies of our solar system with nightly premieres that kickoff tonight at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT with "Space Station and Beyond," which presents viewsof the still-unfinished $100 billion orbital laboratory from the by astronautswho've been there and future plans to push human space exploration outwards.

NASA plansto launch seven astronauts to the ISS, where the three-person Expedition 15 crewcurrently awaits, aboard the space shuttle Atlantis in June to deliver a pairof massive trusses and new solar arrays to the orbital laboratory.

The Moongets its close up Monday in "Base Camp Moon" to chronicle Earth's only naturalsatellite and NASA's plans to return human explorers to its surface by 2020. TheU.S. space agency's Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle, a Lockheed Martin-builtspacecraft slated to make its first flight in early 2015 after the spaceshuttle fleet's 2010 retirement, follows Tuesday in "Starship Orion: The Futureof Space Travel."

Two separatespotlights on the red planet run between May 9 and 10, beginning the U.S. premiere of "MarsUnderground," a documentary detailing plans for a direct human expedition long-supportedby Mars Society founder and engineer Robert Zubrin.

NASA's twinMars Exploration Rovers Spirit and Opportunity, which have both spent more than1,000 Martian days exploring the red planet, close out Space Week in "RovingMars," an IMAX film chronicling the robot's early mission.

Initiallybuilt for a primary 90-day mission, Spirit and Opportunity are now in theirfourth Earth year exploring Mars.

"With 'SpaceWeek' our commitment is to immerse viewers in scientific efforts to helpfurther understanding of these possibilities and knowledge of what lies beyondEarth," Root said.

TheScience Channel's Space Week begins at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT nightly (check locallistings) between May 6-12. For more information, clickhere.

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Tariq Malik

Tariq is the Editor-in-Chief of Space.com and joined the team in 2001 as a staff writer, and later editor, covering human spaceflight, exploration and space science. He became Space.com's Managing Editor in 2009 and Editor-in-Chief in 2019. Before joining Space.com, Tariq was a staff reporter for The Los Angeles Times. He is also an Eagle Scout (yes, he has the Space Exploration merit badge) and went to Space Camp four times as a kid and a fifth time as an adult. He has journalism degrees from the University of Southern California and New York University. To see his latest project, you can follow Tariq on Twitter.