featuring space pioneers including billionaire Sir Richard Branson and Professor Stephen Hawking,
The specials air Sunday March 25 and April 1 beginning at 8pm ET/PT


NEW YORK – February 27, 2018 Smithsonian Channel launches into space with four premieres centered around space exploration and humans‘ impact on the solar system. The first special, BILLIONAIRE SPACE CLUB, on Sunday, March 25 at 8 p.m. ET/PT, highlights the efforts of billionaire Sir Richard Branson and others to make space travel more accessible to the average person. The Sunday block also takes viewers on a journey revealing how humans have changed the planet Earth and how they will continue to shape its future on Sunday, March 25 at 9 p.m ET/PT in EARTH FROM OUTER SPACE. The following Sunday, April 1 at 8 p.m. ET/PT, FINDING LIFE IN OUTER SPACE explores one of the greatest mysteries of the universe – why life exists – and at 9 p.m. ET/PT, LEAVING EARTH: OR HOW TO COLONIZE A PLANET featuring Stephen Hawking reveals the secrets of space travel and what the future holds for exploration and potential habitation beyond Earth. These four hour-long premieres highlight innovators and pioneers who are forging ahead with space exploration to plan for an unknown future. 

Descriptions for specials below:

BILLIONAIRE SPACE CLUB Premieres Sunday, March 25 at 8 p.m. ET/PT

For years, the world has experienced a golden age of space exploration, with more space agencies and governments involved than ever before. However, recently, some of the boldest efforts to put everyday people into space are those of private companies started by a handful of maverick billionaires including Sir Richard Branson. British physicist and broadcaster Brian Cox explores how these entrepreneurs and engineers plan to overcome the challenges of human space travel. Featuring interviews, exclusive access and behind-the-scenes footage at Virgin Galactic, XCOR, Blue Origin and Spaceport USA, BILLIONAIRE SPACE CLUB takes viewers on a journey of what’s really happening in the world of privately financed space flight.

EARTH FROM OUTER SPACE Premieres Sunday, March 25 at 9 p.m. ET/PT

One of the most iconic images – the Blue Marble photograph of Earth – was taken 45 years ago by astronauts on board Apollo 17. In EARTH FROM OUTER SPACE, current astronauts use their unique perspective from space to reveal the astonishing changes on Earth since then – some so epic that they are visible from orbit. The film reveals how humans have etched their presence on Earth and takes viewers on a journey to meet some of the people affected by the changes made.  From the peak of Mt. Kilimanjaro and the casino city of Las Vegas to the deserts of Jordan and the Chinese metropolis of Shenzhen, the spectacles from space are awe-inspiring and reflect how important it is to explore space, but always look back to Earth for ways to move toward the future.

FINDING LIFE IN OUTER SPACE – Premieres Sunday, April 1 at 8 p.m. ET/PT

FINDING LIFE IN OUTER SPACE travels across incredible tracts of space and time exploring the greatest mystery of the universe – why life exists. The show follows the scientists responsible for some of the biggest breakthroughs in understanding the origins of life and uncovers how cutting-edge observations and experimentations are transforming the view of how the universe works. Hydrothermal geyser pools in the Atacama Desert in Chile reveal secrets about the first steps life took on the primeval Earth, and high in the Arctic Circle, the northernmost science facility on the planet keeps an eye on the magnetic shield that protects humans from devastation by the solar wind. The film explores U.S laboratories where the secrets of astrochemistry are recreated, and looks to England where they are closing the gap between chemistry and biology by simulating conditions on Earth four billion years ago. Telling a story of creation on an incredible scale and with incredible consequence, FINDING LIFE IN OUTER SPACE shows that science may be pointing to one fantastic conclusion – we are not alone.

LEAVING EARTH: OR HOW TO COLONIZE A PLANETPremieres Sunday, April 1 at 9 p.m. ET/PT

Planet Earth has been home to humankind for more than 200,000 years, but with a population of 7.3 billion and counting and limited resources, some scientists believe it might not support human life forever. Stephen Hawking, one of the world’s most prominent scientists, believes that humans must have an interstellar escape plan in place within the next 100 years. He asserts that this is the only way to safeguard the future of the human species from the next mass extinction – by leaving Earth and making a new home on another planet. Science writer Christophe Galfard and engineer Danielle George visit an exo-planet observatory in the heart of the Atacama Desert, discover a plasma-powered rocket engine that could revolutionize space travel, explore the giant greenhouses of Biosphere 2 and showcase NASA’s own “robot army.” With interviews from top scientists, technologists and engineers around the globe, they investigate whether humans really do have what it takes to colonize another planet.

BILLIONAIRE SPACE CLUB is a Sundog Pictures Ltd. and Voltage TV Productions Ltd. production in association with Smithsonian Channel and BBC. Sam Anthony and Johnny Webb serve as executive producers for Sundog Pictures and Sanjay Singhal for Voltage TV. Executive producers for Smithsonian Channel are John Cavanagh and David Royle.

EARTH FROM OUTER SPACE is produced by Arrow International Media, Smithsonian Networks and Channel 4. It is written and directed by Kenny Scott and produced by Ash Potterton and John Smithson of Arrow International Media, Ltd. Executive producers for Smithsonian Channel are John Cavanagh and David Royle.

FINDING LIFE IN OUTER SPACE and LEAVING EARTH: OR HOW TO COLONIZE A PLANET is produced by Brook Lapping Productions, Ltd. and Smithsonian Networks in association with BBC, France Television, NHK, DR, SVT and NRK. Greg Sanderson serves as executive producer for Brook Lapping Productions, Ltd. Executive producers for Smithsonian Channel are Tim Evans and David Royle.

Smithsonian Channel™, owned by Smithsonian Networks™, a joint venture between Showtime Networks Inc. and the Smithsonian Institution, is where curiosity lives, inspiration strikes and wonders never cease. This is the place for awe-inspiring stories, powerful documentaries and amazing entertainment across multiple platforms. Smithsonian Channel combines the storytelling prowess of SHOWTIME® with the unmatched resources and rich traditions of the Smithsonian, to create award-winning programming that shines new light on popular genres such as air and space, history, science, nature, and pop culture. Among the network’s offerings are series including Aerial AmericaAmerica in Color, First Ladies Revealed, Polar Bear Town, The Lost Tapes, Amazing Monkeys, America’s Secret Space Heroes, Mighty Ships, Mighty Planes and Air Disasters, as well as critically-acclaimed specials that include Titanic’s Fatal Fire, The Obama Years: The Power of Words, Nightmare on Everest, Diana and the Paparazzi, Diana: The Day We Said Goodbye and Flying High with Phil Keoghan. Smithsonian Networks also operates Smithsonian Earth™, through SN Digital LLC., a new subscription video streaming service delivering spectacular original nature and wildlife content. To learn more, go to, or connect with us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.




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