Welcome to Third Rock, NASA's New Radio Station

Keep Houston Press Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Houston and help keep the future of Houston Press free.

Satellite radio got some new competition from a little old outfit called NASA when the government agency went live Monday with its new internet radio station, Third Rock.

The station is described in NASA's press release as "crafted specifically to speak the language of tech-savvy young adults." The New Rock/Indie/Alternative format mixes mostly deep tracks from new rock albums with a scant seasoning of recognizable radio hits.

Using local radio consulting outfit RFC Media, which is the brainchild of longtime Houston rock radio veterans Pat Fant and Cruze who were around when the Buzz lifted off, to select the play list and program the tracks, NASA developed the station outside its budget through a Space Act Agreement grant.

Our first hour spent with the station revealed a mix of mostly R.E.M./Pearl Jam-template modern rock with the occasional bit of rap that we were mostly unfamiliar with. On the surface it's quite a bit like 103.7 FM in Houston, the adult alternative station, but with less emphasis on known quantities and recent hits. Listeners probably won't be hearing Tom Petty on Third Rock.

According to Monday's press release, the hope is to appeal to the next generation of scientists and engineers that will be needed in the space program going forward by being a go-to place to discover new music.

One local jock associated with the project who asked to remain anonymous noted there currently is a building trend toward companies, government agencies, and non-profits to support and program internet stations that target key demographics, and much of that type of work is being done in Houston, which has been one of the leaders in developing new radio formats the past twenty years.

Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.


Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.