HDNet’s NASA Celebration To Include a Special “Dan Rather Reports” Roundtable Discussion on the Future of U.S. Space Exploration

Colette Carey
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Network to conclude 5 years of dedicated NASA programming with extended coverage of the final Shuttle launch – Friday, July 8

DALLAS (July 6, 2011) – Following the historic 135th and final Shuttle mission, “Dan Rather Reports” travels to Houston to assemble a distinguished panel of experts for an insightful conversation about the future of space exploration in the United States and abroad. “Dan Rather Reports: The New Space Race” airs Tuesday, July 12 at 8:00 p.m. ET.

HDNet will air “NASA on HDNet: The Final Flight,” live extended coverage of the launch of Space Shuttle Atlantis in high-definition, on Friday, July 8 beginning at 10:00 a.m. ET.

In “Dan Rather Reports: The New Space Race,” Rather is joined by Walter Cunningham, Apollo 7 pilot; Leroy Chiao, Expedition 10 commander; Bobby Braun, NASA’s chief technologist; and Ken Bowersox a former astronaut and now VP of Astronaut Safety and Mission Assurance at a private space company, SpaceX. These men join a conversation covering the scientific and technological accomplishments and discoveries made over the last 30 years of the space program, the opportunities for space exploration that lie ahead, and the imminent changes for the program when it comes to government-run vs. privately-run space flights.

The panel also discusses why it is important for the U.S. to continue to lead the way in meaningful space exploration, the possibilities for eventual space travel for average citizens and the potential trip to an asteroid – and even Mars.

“I would argue that our space program today is positioned to maintain U.S. technological leadership– to contribute to our economy, to create jobs– and to have lasting scientific benefits,” states Bobby Braun. ” In terms of where our space program is headed– we are, at the same time that the commercial industry is focused on getting astronauts up and down to low Earth orbit, NASA is gonna focus on going out into deep space, for the first time, perhaps going back to the moon, perhaps going farther, to an asteroid– to orbit Mars.”

A clip of the program can be found at the Dan Rather Reports blog.

HDNet’s celebration of the Space Shuttle program begins with “NASA on HDNet: The Final Flight,” live from Cape Canaveral, on Friday, July 8 at 10:00 a.m. ET. HDNet has covered every Shuttle launch in high definition since the program resumed in July of 2006. The network’s special extended coverage of the final flight of the Space Shuttle program will feature the Atlantis launch in pristine high-definition scheduled at 11:26 a.m. ET.

Dan Rather continues HDNet’s NASA coverage with “Dan Rather Reports: The New Space Race” premiering on Tuesday, July 12 at 8:00 p.m. ET with an encore at 11:00 p.m. ET. The program also airs on Saturday, July 16 at 12:00 p.m. ET.

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