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Watch the World's First VR 360 Video of a Rocket Launch as Orbital ATK Leaves for Resupply Mission to the ISS

Apr 18, 2017 09:47 AM EDT
Atlas V MMS Rollout
NASA TV will broadcast the first live 360-degree video of a rocket launch. The agency will capture Orbital ATK's rocket launch for its resupply mission to the International Space Station (ISS).
(Photo : Aubrey Gemignani/NASA via Getty Images)

Rocket launches are about to become more interesting than it already is. Although there are tons of video and streaming of former rocket launches that perfectly capture boosters beaming up into space, the world is about to see the first 360-degree video footage of a rocket launch live.

Orbital ATK's Cygnus spacecraft carried by ULA's Atlas V rocket is about to launch for its resupply mission to the International Space Station (ISS). However, spectators aren't just waiting for the completion of the mission but also for the new virtual reality compatible 360-degree video footage of the launch on April 18.

United Launch Alliance (ULA) and Orbital ATK are working with NASA to broadcast the world's first live 360-degree video streaming of the rocket launch scheduled later this week. NASA TV will broadcast the launch of the cargo resupply mission. Anyone with access to NASA TV and the Internet can watch the world's first live 360-degree rocket launch video anywhere in the world.

Orbital ATK's Cygnus spacecraft carried by the ULA Atlas V rocket will deliver more than 7,600 pounds of cargo to the space station under the Commercial Resupply Service (CRS). The cargo is composed of crew supplies, science research and hardware.

According to NASA, the streaming will start 10 minutes before the estimated time of lift-off on NASA TV's official Youtube channel. The 30-minute window to lift-off starts at 11:11 on April 18 a.m. EDT.

To watch in 360, using a mouse is necessary. Some devices allow users to view 360 content by tilting up, down, left and right. The 360-degree video will capture the Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station launch pad in Florida during a rocket launch.

Some 360-degree-video-supported browsers include Chrome, Internet Explorer, Firefox and Opera, NASA said. Viewers can also stream the content using Youtube apps installed on their mobile devices.

Advanced VR enthusiasts with headsets and other enabled-gear will be able to view the video in virtual reality or as if they're really there standing on the launch pad. Although the technology and the video will widely be available, experts advice to configure devices ahead of the launch date since not all devices are yet compatible to view 360-degree video or VR content.

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