NASA, in coordination with United Launch Alliance (ULA) and Orbital ATK, broadcasted the world’s first live 360º stream of a rocket launch.
Orbital ATK’s Cygnus spacecraft launched on a ULA Atlas V rocket carrying more than 7,600 pounds of science research, crew supplies and hardware to the International Space Station.
To view in 360º, use a mouse or move a personal device to look up and down, back and forth, for a 360-degree view around Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida. Note: Not all browsers support viewing 360º videos. YouTube supports playback of 360-degree videos on computers using Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer and Opera browsers. Those who own virtual reality headsets will be able to look around and experience the view as if they were actually standing on the launch pad.
Watch LIVE 360º
While virtual reality and 360º technology have been increasing in popularity, live 360º technology is a brand new capability that has recently emerged. Recognizing the exciting possibilities opened by applying this new technology to spaceflight, NASA, ULA, and Orbital ATK seized this opportunity to virtually place the public at the base of the rocket during launch. Minimum viewing distance is typically miles away from the launch pad, but the live 360º stream enables viewers to get a pads-eye view.
The Atlas V rocket performed very well during today’s liftoff and climb to orbit, reports Vern Thorp, United Launch Alliance’s program manager for commercial missions. “It was a beautiful launch,” Thorp said, pointing out that the Atlas booster performed at or slightly above expectations and that actual event times were very close to preflight predictions. “It looks like we nailed the orbit once again,” he added. “At this time, it looks like a very good orbit insertion.”