Watch NASA"s first 360-degree live stream of a rocket launch

Tuesday

The agency, Orbital ATK and United Launch Alliance (developer of the Atlas V rocket that will ferry Cygnus to the space station) placed four fisheye-lens cameras on the pad, around 300 feet from the rocket. Nearby, a computer protected by a blast-proof box will stitch images together in near-real time. As with any 360-degree video, you can watch it on your computer and drag it around with the mouse cursor to get the full view. If you want to feel like you’re truly witnessing a rocket roar to life up close, though, you’ll have to watch it on a VR headset.


The broadcast will start airing around 11:01AM EDT, 10 minutes before Atlas V lifts off. It will be about a minute behind, since the computer needs to process the photos, but that’s still much better than ULA’s previous 360-degree launch videos, which were uploaded way after the events ended.


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