Discovery excavates NASA videos

Partnership announced at 'Moon' premiere

The Discovery Channel is getting into rocket science. At the premiere of Discovery Films’ first production, “In the Shadow of the Moon,” The Discovery Channel/ Science Channel and NASA unveiled a broad partnership that will give the cablers access to NASA’s extensive video archive.

NASA said Discovery will review its archival material, which is stored in freezers at the Johnson Space Center in Houston in film, kinescope and other formats. As part of the review process Discovery will convert the material to a digital HD format that will make it much easier for NASA to access and distribute its video wealth.

The space agency’s agreement with Discovery is non-exclusive in accordance with the Space Act, the 1958 legislation that created NASA, meaning that NASA is open to similar competing proposals. The act allows NASA to form agreements with a wide range of companies, so long as the agreements “advance NASA mission and program objectives.”

NASA Office of Public Affairs managing editor Mike Cabbage noted that the agreement “goes beyond simply converting archival footage. It includes documentaries and other multimedia projects.”

Jane Root, Discovery Channel and Science Channel prexy, said that the company plans to release specials and documentaries in 2008 documenting significant moments in NASA’s 50-year history.

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