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12/12/2011
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NASA Launches Internet Radio Station

Space agency's music and news outlet, dubbed Third Rock-America's Space Station, will attempt to attract tech-savvy young adults with indie and alternative rock.

NASA's Next Mission: Deep Space
NASA's Next Mission: Deep Space
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NASA and rock-n-roll aren't words usually said in the same breath, but the space agency is looking to lure young adults to careers in science and technology with the debut of an Internet radio station.

Third Rock-America's Space Station--a collaboration with RFC Media in Houston--went live online Monday featuring new rock, indie, and alternative music.

"NASA constantly is looking for new and innovative ways to engage the public and inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers," said David Weaver, associate administrator for NASA's Office of Communications, in a statement.

NASA has been one of the government's innovators in leveraging new technology to communicate with its audience, he added.

[ What's in store for government IT in 2012? Read 10 Government IT Predictions For 2012: IDC. ]

It's true NASA has been out in front of adopting current technology and Internet trends to engage with its audience. The agency already has mobile applications for both iPhones and the Android smartphone platform, and will eventually make Third Rock available via those applications.

NASA also used crowdsourcing to determine which songs would wake up astronauts on one of the last flights of its Space Shuttle program last year.

Third Rock is now available online hosted by RFC Media's site and via NASA's website. A partnership through the Space Act Agreement allowed the station to be developed and operated at no cost to the government, according to NASA. Advertisers also are supporting the site.

The station will particularly focus on emerging music that doesn't often get mainstream airplay, according to a blog post on the station's website.

"Just like a healthy scientific curiosity leads to great discoveries in technology, a good musical curiosity is constantly leading us to great New Rock, which we will immediately share with you," according to the post.

NASA also will use the site to broadcast updates on NASA missions and discoveries, and its partners will leverage it to fill high-tech job openings in the engineering, science and IT fields, the agency said.

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