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NASA has a rock radio station, and the promo video is hilariously cringey

Published Nov 18th, 2019 10:12PM EST
nasa radio
Image: Reid Wiseman/NASA

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What are you listening to today? Spotify? Apple Music? iHeartRadio? Whatever it is, it can’t possibly compete with Third Rock Radio. You’ve never heard of Third Rock Radio, and I don’t blame you. It’s a radio station that is run with the help of NASA, and in years of being a total science nerd I never even knew it existed.

It does, however, exist, and it’s been running for over eight years. NASA recently decided to remind everyone of this fact by republishing a short promo for the station. I have no idea why this is a thing.

As the name implies, Third Rock Radio is a radio station that plays rock music. The “third rock” thing is a nod to Earth being the third planet from the Sun. The station plays a variety of rock tunes that often have some casual link to science or space. Basically, if a rock song has “Moon,” “Sky,” or “Rocket” in the title, it’s going to get played.

The station weaves in science content now and then, with interviews featuring scientists and others in related fields. The playlist of music is all over the map, and you’re just as likely to hear a decades-old tune as you are a recent release. The one thing that links it all together is science, and if I’m being totally honest here it’s not a terrible format.

NASA’s promotion of the station, on the other hand, has obviously been lacking. Even the promo video for the station has a mere 50k views despite being published over four years ago.

On top of that, the language NASA uses to describe the station comes off as very “How do you do, fellow kids?”


Third Rock’s disarmingly hip, street-smart context connects and engages young adults and helps NASA deepen relationships with its next generation of avid supporters. Third Rock Radio is a recognized New Media phenomenon attracting the brightest and best, tech-savvy young adults.


Anyway, if you like rock music and you like science, the station itself isn’t half bad.