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View Full Version : NASA TV is bad.



Damburger
2006-Jan-19, 05:34 PM
Sorry, but it is. The guy who is commentating the launch is struggling for what to say next, and has a rubbish voice for it. The video on new horizons they are currently showing looks like it was made in the 1970s. Cheesy music and a load of talking heads who aren't engaging at all - and this is coming from someone who IS interested in the mission.

They really need to sort this kind of thing out if they want more people to take an interest in space exploration.

NEOWatcher
2006-Jan-19, 05:38 PM
First of all, they are not in the entertainment industry. Thier main purpose is to launch, not provide the public with a neat event.

Second; what are they going to say? "Were waiting for launch, Were waiting for launch, Were waiting for launch, Were waiting for launch, Were waiting for launch, Were waiting for launch, Were waiting for launch, Were waiting for launch, "

Damburger
2006-Jan-19, 05:45 PM
First of all, they are not in the entertainment industry. Thier main purpose is to launch, not provide the public with a neat event.


They do what they do on behalf of the public, so why shouldn't a hugely expensive launch be an event?



Second; what are they going to say? "Were waiting for launch, Were waiting for launch, Were waiting for launch, Were waiting for launch, Were waiting for launch, Were waiting for launch, Were waiting for launch, Were waiting for launch, "

They could run some interesting videos while they are waiting. Maybe have a few guys discussing the mission instead of one bloke with a nasal voice who isn't quite sure what to say half the time.

Sam5
2006-Jan-19, 05:57 PM
NASA TV has some problems to start with. First, itís government operated. Doh, how boring can that be? Next, itís low-budget, so it canít afford to produce exciting documentaries or hire top narrators. Plus, they have to fill in a lot of air-time when they arenít launching anything and they arenít making a docking with the space station and they donít have a shuttle up.

Where they are the best is when they have a live blast-off, a shuttle up, and it is docking with the space station. These events are broadcast live and they are very exciting.

They canít show exciting space documentaries that are made by the commercial channels because they are too expensive to rent or buy, NASA canít pay for them, and they canít run any commercials to pay for them.

Itís only boring when nothing much is going on in space, which is most of the time, but NASA TV is much better than British Space TV and France Space TV.

NEOWatcher
2006-Jan-19, 06:18 PM
They do what they do on behalf of the public, so why shouldn't a hugely expensive launch be an event?
Are your taxes going into the launch? Mine are, and I think the coverage is fine. I don't want my hard earned tax money being spent to amuse foreigners.

Damburger
2006-Jan-19, 06:21 PM
Are your taxes going into the launch? Mine are, and I think the coverage is fine. I don't want my hard earned tax money being spent to amuse foreigners.

Don't get started on the whole nobody-outside-america-gets-to-comment-on-america crap - you guys poke your noses into the rest of the worlds business enough.

NEOWatcher
2006-Jan-19, 06:25 PM
Don't get started on the whole nobody-outside-america-gets-to-comment-on-america crap - you guys poke your noses into the rest of the worlds business enough.
I never said you can't comment on it, and opinions are welcome. But you used the argument "on behalf of the public". Well that means taxes, and that means U.S. Citizens.

Added:
And I'm talking about this one issue only. There are too many issues on both sides of the fence that can be argued, and this is not the place for it. Let's keep this on subject.

Sam5
2006-Jan-19, 07:03 PM
NASA TV just had a live lift-off of a new rocket to Pluto. That was exciting.

SolusLupus
2006-Jan-19, 07:07 PM
Don't get started on the whole nobody-outside-america-gets-to-comment-on-america crap - you guys poke your noses into the rest of the worlds business enough.

Okay, this just got WAY too political, WAY too fast. Damburger, you should know better than that.

Also, I refuse to be judged based on the decisions of the politicians of the Country I just happen to live in.

Candy
2006-Jan-19, 07:34 PM
NASA TV could stand to spruce it up a bit. Those guys have an incredible sense of humor sometimes. Why not show the world? :shifty:

If it is due to a budget, why not "outsource" it out to a university, like M.I.T. or Purdue, with professors and interns running the program? Or is this not allowed for a government agency?

Damburger
2006-Jan-19, 07:42 PM
Okay, this just got WAY too political, WAY too fast. Damburger, you should know better than that.

Also, I refuse to be judged based on the decisions of the politicians of the Country I just happen to live in.

I wasn't actually refering to politics.

NEOWatcher
2006-Jan-19, 07:45 PM
NASA TV could stand to spruce it up a bit. Those guys have an incredible sense of humor sometimes. Why not show the world? :shifty:

If it is due to a budget, why not "outsource" it out to a university, like M.I.T. or Purdue, with professors and interns running the program? Or is this not allowed for a government agency?
I'm not sure what you're saying (so maybe I'm rephrasing it), but I would hope that if an independent group (like a university) thinks it's worth their worthwile to make a "show" out of it, then NASA would let them. why not?
I just think that there's not enough private interest to justify making a production out of it. Just because a bunch of die hards want it, doesn't mean it's feasable. Heck; it only took 2 moon shots to lose interest.

Candy
2006-Jan-19, 07:54 PM
I'm not sure what you're saying (so maybe I'm rephrasing it), but I would hope that if an independent group (like a university) thinks it's worth their worthwile to make a "show" out of it, then NASA would let them. why not?
I just think that there's not enough private interest to justify making a production out of it. Just because a bunch of die hards want it, doesn't mean it's feasable. Heck; it only took 2 moon shots to lose interest.
You got my meaning perfectly. :)

I think if you make it interesting, then more people will watch it on a daily basis. I often watch PBS for hours at a time due to the quality of programming. The University wouldn't have to focus on just lift-off's. If you surf NASA website, there are so many interesting (down right cool) things they do. Especially, with kids as the main target. The University could incorporate this into NASA TV.

Oh well, it was just a thought on connecting NASA with the whole public and not just a few space lovers. :neutral:

[Edited]

NEOWatcher
2006-Jan-19, 09:28 PM
You got my meaning perfectly. :)

I think if you make it interesting, then more people will watch it on a daily basis. snip
Well if Discovery, and History Channels can make some of their junk interesting or profitable, then somebody should be able to.

The Bad Astronomer
2006-Jan-19, 09:32 PM
Stay away from politics in this thread, or accounts will be suspended.

Doodler
2006-Jan-19, 09:42 PM
NASA TV could stand to spruce it up a bit. Those guys have an incredible sense of humor sometimes. Why not show the world? :shifty:

If it is due to a budget, why not "outsource" it out to a university, like M.I.T. or Purdue, with professors and interns running the program? Or is this not allowed for a government agency?

Their senses of humor were cut due to budget limits.

Anyway, if you people want to deride NASA for sterile extended coverage of events like launches, I would STRONGLY suggest you go have a sit down with the boys and girls at FOX, CNN, MSNBC, and what have you before you give NASA a shred of grief.

NASA is at least willing to be honest with the fact that the wait for an event is freakin' BORING. For those others, you can tell when its a slow news day because they'll latch on to some event and just ride the bloody thing into the ground talking and talking and talking and talking some more, and talking even more, for hours, and with that bleeper blankety blanking* plastic smile botoxed into their mugs that makes you wonder how many narcotics are being pumped intravenously into their thighs under the desk to keep them so blasted chipper in the light of having even MORE boring material to cover than NASA does while waiting for the clouds to blow over.

You want to talk about mindless droning of coherent sonic assault trying to make an event from literally nothing, allow me to remind you all about how much neverending coverage was thrown at the last Micheal Jackson trial...

Believe me, I'd just as soon not have some pointless pedantic talking head droning the same garbage over and over and over and over and over and over again while we're waiting to see a lift off occur when the weather isn't being cooperative.

*Note: These are not replacing any deliberately intended expletives. This is nonspecific jibberish intended to non-profanely express a declarative statement that might otherwise be unacceptable.

Candy
2006-Jan-19, 10:13 PM
I'd make it more like PBS. ;)

Michelle Thaller (http://www.bautforum.com/showthread.php?t=9210&highlight=michelle) is an example of some interesting programming. I’d be interested in viewing her work.

Otherwise, here is what NASA TV (http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv/MM_NTV_Breaking.html) is airing for the remainder of this month.

2006

January

January 19, Thursday
9 a.m. - 9:30 a.m. - New Horizons Video-File - HQ (News Feed)
9:42 a.m. - 10 a.m. - ISS Expedition 12 In-flight Educational Event with Kuss Middle School, Fall River, MA - JSC (Mission Coverage)
10 a.m. - International Space Station Commentary - JSC (Mission Coverage)
10:30 a.m. - New Horizons Countdown Update - KSC
11 a.m. - Stardust News Conference - JSC (Interactive Media Briefing)
12:00 p.m. - Pluto / New Horizons Launch Commentary Begins (Launch 1:08 p.m.) - KSC (Mission Coverage)
TBD - New Horizons Video-File (Immediately Following New Horizons Launch) - HQ (News Feed)
TBD - Pluto / New Horizons Post Launch News Conference - KSC (Interactive Media Briefing)
5 p.m. - 7 p.m. - Live News Interviews on Stardust with Mike Zolensky - JSC (One-Way Media Interviews)

January 24, Tuesday
1 p.m. - Stardust News Conference - JSC (Interactive Media Briefing)
2 p.m. - TBD - JPL (Special Program)

January 27, Friday
2 p.m. - ISS Mission Status Briefing - JSC (Interactive Media Briefing)
:D

Nicolas
2006-Jan-19, 10:28 PM
NASA TV has a good thing when they cover things such as waiting for a launch: if there's nothing to say, nothing is said.

Unconventional but refreshing.

Meanwhile, the countdown thread overhere at the BAUT was the fastest thread ever :D.

Irishman
2006-Jan-19, 11:54 PM
I think NASA TV could use some work. They do try to develop other programming. I have seen science programs for children run during the day. Covering space operations is a bit boring, so that's where they could use some boost.

That said, NASA is government agency, and it's a difficult position because they're not allowed to do advertising. There's also a certain attitude about how much can be spent before it's perceived as being "wasted". Just look at the negative publicity over Jim Oberg's proposed book to counter the Moon Hoax proponents. Someone at NASA thought it would be a good idea to help provide a resource to educators and the public interested in a response to the hoax crowd, but then the media chimed in with "how silly can you be, nobody believes that", which then made NASA look like they were wasting money, so they canceled the book.

Candy
2006-Jan-20, 05:00 AM
The government puts out some pretty cool commercials for the Armed Forces. :shifty:

If NASA TV would let Universities donate their time, money, and efforts for space technology, I bet you'd get some pretty good programs.

Another thought would be to let small entities submit space programs for air time. Like the Indie Film Awards - low budget films that get exposure. How cool would it look to have a NASA reference on your resume?

Another thought would be for NASA TV to show TV versions of IMAX specials. I'm not sure how film works from IMAX to TV, but it is a nice thought.

IMO, NASA TV could do so much to peak the curiousity of our future generations toward space exploration.

ngc3314
2006-Jan-20, 05:14 AM
ToSeek may have more details, but we need to bear in mind thet NASA TV's origins were strictly internal - for some years its main function was to let folks at the NASA centers exchange, for example, launch video so the MSFC people could watch for anomalies or performance hints. They later realized it could be used to distribute educational material to be videotaped and (first of all) distributed by the NASA centers, and later videotaped by teachers in the lucky places that occaionally carried it on cable. Direct public relations is, if at all, still just barely on the NASA TV radar screen, I suspect.

That said, Al Hibbs' commentary during the Voyager encounters was a jewel. A genuine rocket scientist with a great gift for letting the scientists and engineers tell their own stories, while asking the questions that folks in the street would actually wonder about.

The_Radiation_Specialist
2006-Jan-20, 05:25 AM
NASA TV is pretty cool. I stream it almost whenever im online. Just listen to the audio and the small video at the corner of my desktop while surfing the net.
I have to admit that after a while you do get a bit bored of watching the same programs over and over again, Specially those two hour long Apollo programs and the "This week at NASA" parts.
But the cool part is the live coverage of all the missions and those technical details about missions (mission briefings) which you can only get on NASA TV.

R.A.F.
2006-Jan-20, 05:44 AM
I prefer less "talk for the sake of talking". It would not make the NASA channel "better" to have some talking head blathering on and on just because there is nothing of note happening at the moment.

CNN's coverage of todays launch is a case in point. They couldn't simply "allow" the launch to happen, they had to talk, and talk, and talk...etc. about pretty much nothing.

This reminds me of the extended Moonwalks during the Apollo missions. I found them quite exciting simply because history was being made...and for a lot of the time there was no talking whatsoever.

I am seriously afraid that if NASA decided to make their coverage more "entertaining" that we would end up with coverage just like the cable news networks. I prefer my coverage bare bones...if others find that boring, then there are the cable news networks to watch...But as far as NASA TV is concerned...it should be left alone.

(Wow...I didn't even know I had an opinion on this subject until I started typing. :))

Candy
2006-Jan-20, 05:54 AM
I agree with leaving the live coverage alone for launches. I was just wanting more for the non-launch days. The title of the OP get me thinking on a whole new level. :D

NEOWatcher
2006-Jan-20, 01:17 PM
Ditto, everyone.

If they jibber-jabbered during a live launch, then they most likely would talk right over top of something important. How many times have you watched a football game where they were showing some promo, or a replay, and then don't cut to the live action until you see someone running down the field? Now that's irritating.

Anybody remember the documentaries they made in the 60s and 70s? They were relatively bad for their time too. So what, it's info.

Between IMAX and some of the shows they've done on cable (like Discovery had a pretty good Spirit/Oppy show), I think there is some proof that Nasa only needs to cooperate, and not initiate. It also shows that if interest is there, it will be done.

What NASA does only needs to meet the requirement that it covers what mainstream doesn't, or might not pick up.

NASA is not in the entertainment industry, but the knowledge is entertainment to me.

Nicolas
2006-Jan-20, 01:22 PM
To me as well.

And you can't really commercialize things like launch coverage. What were we watching Tuesday? It boiled down to boiling off fuel, nothing more :). You just can't commercialize that.

Still I am glad they do air these things at NASA TV. A front seat for those who are interested :). And I wouldn't want to have it any other way than it is now. It's nice, clear, calm.

farmerjumperdon
2006-Jan-20, 03:41 PM
I find NASA TV to be mostly pretty uneventful. When they do put on some actual programming (something other than stock footage), it is very good.

Swift
2006-Jan-20, 04:40 PM
If they jibber-jabbered during a live launch, then they most likely would talk right over top of something important. How many times have you watched a football game where they were showing some promo, or a replay, and then don't cut to the live action until you see someone running down the field? Now that's irritating.

I can see it now... John Madden doing launch coverage for a NASA-TV.
:think:

:doh:

:naughty:

Swift
2006-Jan-20, 04:45 PM
Michelle Thaller (http://www.bautforum.com/showthread.php?t=9210&highlight=michelle) is an example of some interesting programming. Iíd be interested in viewing her work.

I had not thought about Dr. Thaller's writing in a while, so I went googling around the internet. It is amazing what you'll find, like this photo of the good doctor, on the beach with our own BA, in uniform.
LINK (http://spacetimetv.com/pix/web_Phil_Michelle_beach.jpg)
:)

Candy
2006-Jan-20, 05:29 PM
I had not thought about Dr. Thaller's writing in a while, so I went googling around the internet. It is amazing what you'll find, like this photo of the good doctor, on the beach with our own BA, in uniform.
LINK (http://spacetimetv.com/pix/web_Phil_Michelle_beach.jpg)
:)
Now, that is a dangerous photo. ;)

Wolverine
2006-Jan-20, 06:49 PM
I prefer less "talk for the sake of talking". It would not make the NASA channel "better" to have some talking head blathering on and on just because there is nothing of note happening at the moment.

Agreed. With all the budgetary constraints I'd rather money be spent on the missions instead of coverage glitz.

R.A.F.
2006-Jan-20, 06:53 PM
If they jibber-jabbered during a live launch, then they most likely would talk right over top of something important.

"Somewhat related"...Walter Cronkite "almost" talked over Neil's first words as he stepped onto the Moon. (He was shouting "Man on the Moon!!!") That's the kind of "stuff" I want to see avoided.


NASA is not in the entertainment industry, but the knowledge is entertainment to me.

Precisely.

There seem to be 2 different discussions going on here. One about how NASA presents it's live coverage...(IMO, they shouldn't change a thing.) And the other, on what NASA presents when there is no mission coverage.

I agree with those who have said that NASA needs to do "something" different (during this off time) than what they are doing now.

Pheonix
2006-Sep-14, 03:50 PM
I've been watching NASA TV coverage of the current Atlantis and the previous Discovery missions, and Googled "NASA TV bad" this morning to see if anyone else was commenting on NASA TV. I found this thread and joined up. I agree with most of what others have said - I like the bare-bones for the most part, and certainly don't want babbling talking heads over important events that speak for themselves (like launches). However, the coverage of events that are both exciting and boring - like spacewalks or robotic arm operations from the ISS - could use a bit more - not commentary but information. They show camera shots of Jeff Williams and mention he is inside of the "Discovery lab module" or give precise to-the-minute details on how much time each spacewalker has spent outside, but don't describe anything. What are all of those things we see on the walls of the Discovery lab module, and what differentiates that module from the other parts of the station? What are the high-tech elements of the spacesuits that function to keep them out there for so long and help them do their work? Operationally, how do they plan station assembly activities and EVA schedules, choose which astronaut does what when, etc.? This may sound like elementary stuff, and maybe it's all available to read on-line, but I'm an intelligent adult space fan who otherwise knows very little about all this and doesn't have loads of time to read on this, and would love if every now and then the NASA TV commentator would tag on a phrase, say, defining a "statute mile" or explain about the "big loop" and all of the various voices heard between orbit and ground.

On a different note, how can I find and watch "Al Hibbs' commentary during the Voyager encounters" mentioned by ngc3314?

Pheonix
2006-Sep-14, 04:40 PM
As an aside, NPR's All Things Considered commented yesterday on NASA coverage. The commentary/humor is nothing great but it is interesting that they did it at all. Links to listen:

NPR :

Covering NASA: Go Big, and Go High-Energy
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=6069748&sc=emaf


*Listen to this story*
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For players or technical support, please visit NPR's Audio Help page.
http://www.npr.org/help/index.html?showdiv=100.

*Order a text transcript of this story*
http://www.npr.org/transcripts/