Press release from Science Channel, July 26, 2017:
Former NASA Astronaut Mike Massimino, a veteran of two missions to the Hubble Space Telescope and four space walks, will host Science Channel’s GREAT AMERICAN ECLIPSE special airing Monday, August 21 at 9 p.m. ET/PT. In addition, Massimino will serve as guide to the definitive series on our closest neighbors in the solar system, THE PLANETS, premiering Tuesday, August 22 at 10 p.m. ET/PT.
“Mike Massimino is a true hero of space exploration, having risked his life to fix the Hubble Space Telescope,” said Marc Etkind, General Manager, Science Channel. “His dedication to furthering our understanding of the universe makes him the perfect guide to take our viewers through the once-in-a-lifetime Great American Eclipse and to the farthest reaches of the galaxy in The Planets.”
“Even as a child staring into the sky, I was fascinated with what’s out there,” added Massimino. “And I’m excited to be sharing my lifelong passion for space exploration with Science Channel viewers.”
On, August 21, for the first time in 99 years a total solar eclipse will span the continental United States, the path of totality stretching from Oregon to South Carolina. Science Channel will be on the ground to capture the excitement with live coverage starting at 12 p.m. ET from Madras, Oregon and will continue throughout the day from other locations along the eclipse’s path. Science Channel will also be airing an eclipse preview special on Sunday, August 20 at 9 p.m. ET/PT. A Great American Eclipse wrap-up special airing Monday, August 21 at 9 p.m. ET/PT, featuring same-day eclipse footage, will be hosted Massimino. Massimino will anchor the network’s coverage from Charleston, South Carolina, one of the last land-based sites to see the eclipse.
Great American Eclipse will spotlight the NASA WB-57 eclipse project, which will observe the eclipse with two high speed fighter jets, each carrying infrared and visible light cameras taking high definition video. Also featured will be the Eclipse Ballooning Project, which will send high altitude balloons up in the air from about 25 locations across the total eclipse path, sending live video and images to NASA. This has never been done live, and certainly not across an entire continent.
Each of the eight, hour-long episodes of The Planets will take an in-depth look at Venus, Mars, the newly discovered Planet 9, Exoplanets and others. The series kicks off with an episode on Jupiter, which will look at recent discoveries by NASA’s Juno mission that reveal new secrets about this strange world that is more akin to a star than a planet. As scientists uncover what lies beneath Jupiter’s violent storms, our understanding of the solar system could change forever.
An astronaut, the first person to tweet from space, and now a New York Times bestselling author, Mike Massimino grew up a working class kid whose seemingly unreachable dream of becoming an astronaut and going to space was realized in an unlikely journey that was driven by determination and commitment and realized with hard work and humor. After two missions to the Hubble Space Telescope and four space walks to make critical repairs to the telescope, Mike is now the Senior Space Advisor to the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, a Columbia University professor, an author, a media personality, and an in-demand speaker for audiences seeking a unique perspective on teamwork, innovation, and leadership from a down to earth spaceman.