| || |
NASA video is out of this world
November 18, 2009 - Art Smith
If you are like me, normally you struggle to find something you enjoy watching on TV. There are a lot of options - just not that many that suit me.
There are a lot of options available on the Web; many of them are even educational.
There is of course You Tube, and other options that provide recorded programs and videos.
NASA provides a video option that is literally out of this world, allowing you to watch what is occurring on the in the International Space Station and during a Shuttle Mission live directly to your desktop.
While I write this a have small window open showing the "routine" docking of several billion dollars of space hardware hurling around the planet. The Shuttle Atlantis is delivering a variety of spare parts to the orbiting space station.
At one time such a docking would have been carry lived on the three networks that most American watched. The half dozen cable news channels available today will likely make a quick mention of it today. Like air travel, space travel is normally not big news unless something bad happens.
What makes it possible to watch a broadcast from space live on your desktop is nearly as big of an engineering feat as the fact that shuttle flies and the International Space Station exists. The Web did not even exist when the Shuttle program first launched in the early 1980s. The fact that is now being streamed from the Space Station to a network of ground based receiving stations to NASA and then through a variety of Web routers so that I can watch it on my desktop is remarkable to say the least.
The first videos from space in the 1960s were literally photographed off a TV monitor in Houston and then sent to the networks.
So what have I seen during this show?
• The shuttle making a slow roll over the Atlantic so that the underside could be photographed.
• Astronauts using off the shelf Nikons digital cameras to take photos that will basically be e-mailed back to earth for closer examination.
• A somewhat fuzzy image of the docking mechanism.
• A computer generated image showing the ongoing position of the two space crafts.
Direct feeds from sites such as NASA can help provide Web users with insight into important events, it one of the many ways Web users can get raw information that can allow them to get as much information that want from ongoing events.
No comments posted for this article.
Post a Comment
A still image of the live video from space