May 21, 2020
ABC NEWS LIVE AND NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC JOIN FORCES FOR GLOBAL LIVE STREAMING AND TELEVISION EVENT, ‘LAUNCH AMERICA: MISSION TO SPACE LIVE’
Two-hour Live Coverage of NASA and SpaceX’s Highly Anticipated Crewed Space Launch Streams on ABC News Live and Airs on National Geographic,
Wednesday, May 27 (3:00 – 5:00 p.m. EDT)
ABC News Live Continues Coverage Thursday Morning, May 28, as the Spacecraft Docks
With the International Space Station
ABC News – America’s No. 1 News Source – and National Geographic – the No. 1 Brand on Social Media – Bring Historic Event to Massive Audience
As American astronauts launch from U.S. soil for the first time in nearly 10 years, ABC News and National Geographic will join forces to present a two-hour, global live streaming and television event covering NASA and SpaceX’s mission to the International Space Station (ISS) on Wednesday, May 27.
“LAUNCH AMERICA: MISSION TO SPACE LIVE” kicks off at 3:00 p.m. EDT on ABC News Live and National Geographic. Live coverage continues on Thursday, May 28, when the spacecraft is expected to dock with the ISS. With the unrivaled partnership to offer viewers true, 360-degree coverage, the two leading news and science organizations dominate on television, streaming and social media, providing in-depth, comprehensive analysis and coverage of this momentous occasion to the entire country in real time and on multiple platforms.
The mission will send astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley to space aboard the Crew Dragon capsule, a first for a spacecraft designed by Elon Musk’s company SpaceX. If successful, it will be a historic achievement for SpaceX as it would become the first privately owned company to take humans to the ISS and meet NASA’s certification requirements. From ABC News headquarters in New York, ABC News’ Tom Llamas and Linsey Davis will anchor coverage of the lift off from NASA’s famed Kennedy Space Center in Florida. They’ll be joined by ABC News transportation correspondent Gio Benitez and correspondent Victor Oquendo, reporting live from Cape Canaveral and chief meteorologist Ginger Zee, reporting from her home in New York. Moments before launch, ABC News will go on the air with a live special report on ABC.
“LAUNCH AMERICA: MISSION TO SPACE LIVE” will feature exclusive interviews, including former NASA astronaut Cady Coleman, who completed two Space Shuttle missions and a six-month trip aboard the ISS; astronaut Christina Koch, who made four spacewalks and holds the record as the female astronaut with the longest single trip in space; ABC News contributor Steven Ganyard; and additional scientists and NASA officials. Plus, the live event will offer a comprehensive look at what’s on the horizon in human exploration; SpaceX and Elon Musk’s roles in the launch; personal stories of what life is like on the ISS; and profiles of Behnken and Hurley, as well as their wives, both also NASA astronauts.
“It’s very exciting to see Americans launching into space again,” says Marc Burstein, senior executive producer of Special Events, ABC News. “It’s an uplifting story about the American spirit and resolve, heroism, innovation and determination.”
“National Geographic has such a rich tradition of supporting and celebrating exploration that pushes the boundaries of human achievement, so we couldn’t be more excited to partner with ABC News to provide exclusive access to the country’s top experts while delivering the most up-to-the-minute breaking coverage of this milestone event,” says Geoff Daniels, executive vice president, Global Unscripted Entertainment, National Geographic. “This is the perfect moment to remind viewers everywhere about the power of the human spirit and how science is leading the way forward.”
In the days leading up to the launch, National Geographic will put the mission in context with a photo timeline of humans in space (published HERE today), in email newsletters and as a story on its massively popular Instagram account. The website will also provide readers with a brief, mission-preview story, which features an embedded livestream for tuning in to the launch. On the day of, National Geographic contributing writer Nadia Drake will report on the launch live from Kennedy Space Center, and her story will be sent to millions of readers via a special breaking-news edition of the NatGeo newsletter that evening.
Should the launch be postponed prior to the live event, ABC News Live and National Geographic will air the special on the new launch date, which is determined by NASA and SpaceX and is slated for Saturday, May 30, from 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. EDT.
ABC News is America’s No. 1 news source, with more people getting their news from ABC News than from any other source. National Geographic is among the most widely distributed television channels in the world and is the No. 1 brand on social media – with a staggering 499.6 million followers overall – and the No. 1 brand on Instagram – with more than 213.4 million followers combined and more than 137 million for the main account. National Geographic magazine remains one of the most-read magazines in the world.
ABC News Live provides “LAUNCH AMERICA: MISSION TO SPACE LIVE” to viewers on Hulu, The Roku Channel, YouTube TV, Amazon’s news app on Fire tablets and Fire TV devices, Xumo, Sling TV, Facebook, Twitter, ABCNews.com, the ABC News and ABC mobile apps, and standalone ABC News Live apps on Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Roku and Apple TV.
National Geographic provides “LAUNCH AMERICA: MISSION TO SPACE LIVE” to viewers on the NGTV app across all devices, On Demand on cable and satellite providers, NatGeoTV.com, Hulu, YouTube TV and other program providers.
To prepare for liftoff, check out National Geographic’s extensive library of space programming on Disney+, including “Apollo: Missions to the Moon,” “One Strange Rock,” “Mars: Inside SpaceX” and “Mission to the Sun.”
“LAUNCH AMERICA: MISSION TO SPACE LIVE” is produced by Marc Burstein, senior executive producer of Special Events for ABC News, and Katie den Daas, executive producer for ABC News Live. For National Geographic, Kevin Tao Mohs is executive producer, and Drew Jones is supervising producer.
Spokespeople/interviews available upon request.
About National Geographic
National Geographic Partners LLC (NGP), a joint venture between the National Geographic Society and Disney, is committed to bringing the world premium science, adventure and exploration content across an unrivaled portfolio of media assets. NGP combines the global National Geographic television channels (National Geographic Channel, Nat Geo WILD, Nat Geo MUNDO, Nat Geo PEOPLE) with National Geographic’s media and consumer-oriented assets, including National Geographic magazines; National Geographic studios; related digital and social media platforms; books; maps; children’s media; and ancillary activities that include travel, global experiences and events, archival sales, licensing and e-commerce businesses. Furthering knowledge and understanding of our world has been the core purpose of National Geographic for 132 years, and now we are committed to going deeper, pushing boundaries, going further for our consumers … and reaching millions of people around the world in 172 countries and 43 languages every month as we do it. NGP returns 27 percent of our proceeds to the nonprofit National Geographic Society to fund work in the areas of science, exploration, conservation and education. For more information visit natgeotv.com or nationalgeographic.com, or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn and Pinterest.
About ABC News
ABC News is responsible for all of The ABC Television Network’s news programming, including broadcast, digital and radio. ABC’s award-winning newscasts include “Good Morning America,” “World News Tonight with David Muir,” “Nightline,” “20/20” and “This Week with George Stephanopoulos.” ABC’s “The View” joined the news division in 2014; and in 2018, ABC News launched 24/7 streaming news channel ABC News Live and acquired renowned data journalism organization FiveThirtyEight. NewsOne, the affiliate news service of ABC News, provides live and packaged news, sports and weather reports as well as footage of news events to over 200 ABC affiliates and more than 30 domestic and international clients. More people get their news from ABC News than from any other source.
ABC News Media Relations
National Geographic Media (nationalgeographic.com)
— ABC —