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Discovery shoots for the stars with NASA

The Discovery Channel is hoping to seal an ongoing deal with NASA that would give it access to a previously unseen catalogue of hundreds of hours of prime footage from the US space agency.

Discovery already has a relationship with NASA – the two announced a media partnership in September – and is airing a number of series and specials to coincide with its fiftieth anniversary next year. It is hoping to extend this relationship.

"We’re hopeful of becoming the official partner of NASA," said Jane Root, president and general manager of Discovery Channel. "There’s a lot of footage the agency has had in cold storage and people haven’t really seen it for years."

The catalogue stretches to about 400 hours and Discovery has already mined some of it in upcoming 6x60mins show, NASA’s Greatest Moments (WT). Produced by UK indie Dangerous Films the show will has candid footage of famous US astronauts including spacewalks, rocket take-offs and clips of them relaxing with friends and family. The series will air on international Discovery channels in 3Q08 after its US bow next June.

Separately, Root reaffirmed her commitment to Discovery. Having left BBC Two for Discovery in 2004, she had been linked to the controller position vacated by Peter Fincham at BBC One. But the Discovery exec told TBIvision.com that she had a contract and had no intention of heading back to the UK to rejoin the BBC.