NASA+, which is premiering later this month, is a new streaming service from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration that will bring space to your face, free of charge. While the news is sure to excite nerds, it might also cause some confusion as the agency already has NASA TV. However, the streaming service brings a new level of accessibility to NASA content.
NASA+ will carry the agency’s launches, research, and missions via live coverage, along with other video content. NASA TV already does this, but it is a 24/7 linear network that operates like a standard television station. The new streamer will instead feature NASA content on demand.
NASA+ comes as part of a series of efforts the agency is making to upgrade its online presence, including retooling its website and making changes to its app. In a press statement, the associate administrator of the Office of Communications at NASA Headquarters, Marc Etkind, said the new service will be putting space “at your fingertips.” Similarly, NASA’s Chief Information officer, Jeff Seaton, referred to the updating of the space agency’s digital output as a way to improve the public’s ease of access to NASA’s online content.
Available both free of charge and without ads, NASA+ benefits from the same Congressional funding as NASA itself, making the new service highly accessible. Launching on November 8, it will be available across iOS, Android, and smart TV devices through the NASA app. It will also be accessible through Roku, Apple TV, and Fire TV. This will bring NASA content to a global audience, including coverage of the Artemis program and, in the future, missions to Mars.
A complete content listing for NASA+ has yet to be released, but we know it will include a variety of livestream events, behind-the-scenes videos, and mission updates, just as is currently available on NASA TV. It will also feature NASA documentaries, some of which have won Emmys, along with several new series that are expected to launch within the next few months. The docuseries Other Worlds will focus on the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), while Space Out will discuss the relationship between space and music.
There will be some scripted content on NASA+ as well, including two animated series, The Traveler and Lucy. The Traveler will follow a curious being who takes trips around the cosmos, while Lucy will stick to the solar system as it follows the titular spacecraft character on her adventures. Trailers for new offerings on the streaming service will be appearing on NASA’s YouTube channel.
Most likely, NASA+ will feature the types of content currently available on the agency’s YouTube channel and website, such as landings, launches, and more. It is also likely to have content that has been shown in the past on NASA TV, including the Artemis-1 launch and the first images from the James Webb Space Telescope. Full details about the content that will be available on the new streaming service are still forthcoming from NASA.