Today Hyperbola is calling on the UK space industry, advocacy groups and political parties to back the idea of television programming from the European Space Agency and NASA to be broadcast in the UK via all means available. Outreach was highlighted as an area of importance for the recently launched UK Space Agency (UKSA)
Through a partnership of ESA, UKSA and the British Broadcasting Corporation (which is required by law to educate) a channel consisting of ESA output, past and ongoing BBC science programmes and perhaps special co-productions from industry (Virgin Galactic?) and UKSA could be broadcast via the terrestrial and satellite Freeview (and later Freeview HD) services, the internet (perhaps from UKSA’s website) and cable and satellite providers should be legally required to carry the channel – as Sir Richard Branson has his Virgin Media cable company he should be enthusiastic to support an ESA/UKSA/BBC “Space Exploration channel”
Getting the BBC involved, hopefully, will mean a less ‘corporate video’ feel to the programming that could be available though inevitably company videos from industry will be used. If you want to have enough content to make the channel 24/7 it could always include sci-fi shows as well. Blake’s 7 anyone?
An agreement with NASA could see its tv channel go international for the first time (yes anyone in the world can watch the webcasts but that’s not the same as real telly) by broadcasting it via Freeview and satellite and when appropriate from UKSA’s website
NASA content could be included in this ESA/UKSA/BBC “Space Exploration channel” on a this for that, bartering basis. And why not Roscosmos tv as well?
A tv channel might seem like a big investment but the expenditure is already being made by the likes of ESA and NASA. If UKSA and the BBC, and whichever politician becomes science minister after the UK general election, supports it then industry gets a higher profile and school children have easier access to inspirational material about humanity’s efforts to understand our universe