NASA is taking its mission of discovery and exploration to the universe of indie/alternative rock music with Monday’s launch of a custom-produced online radio station called Third Rock–America’s Space Station, created in collaboration between NASA and Houston-based RFC Media.

Features and news items related to NASA are woven throughout the programming, as are messages from a galaxy of celebrity-type stars, according to Pat Fant, RFC Media co-founder and chief operating officer. He added that the music includes deep tracks as well as better-known songs from rock artists across many styles and decades.

Also included are spots from NASA parter companies seeking to fill high-tech job openings in the engineering, science and IT fields.

“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 the Office of Communications at NASA headquarters in Washington. “We have led the way in innovative uses of new media and this is another example of how the agency is taking advantage of these important communication tools.”

Third Rock can be reached here and will soon be available through NASA iPhone and Android mobile applications. The RFC Media deal is a Space Act Agreement, and Third Rock’s development and operation are at no cost to the government.

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Image courtesy of The International Astronomical Union/Martin Kornmesser