NASA, in partnership with leading commercial cargo provider ‘Orbital ATK’ and the launch service major ‘United Launch Alliance (ULA)’, is gearing up to add a new feather to its cap as the agency is planning to live broadcast the video of a rocket launch, scheduled to take place on April 18, 2017. If everything goes accordingly, then NASA will be documented as the first agency to broadcast world’s first-ever live 360-degree stream video of the cargo resupply mission launch.
Orbital ATK’s Cygnus spacecraft, atop an on a ULA Atlas V rocket, is all set to lift off from the launch-pad of Cape Canaveral to the International Space Station, and as per the agenda of NASA, the live launch event will be on air on the NASA Television YouTube channel. The live 360-degree stream will be started from10 minutes earlier than the takeoff of Cygnus spacecraft, said NASA in a recent statement. To view the stream in 360degree, viewers need to draw on a mouse or shift a personal device to call on and down, back and forwards. With a flexible view capable device, viewers can witness the 360-degree view of the launch event around the Florida-based Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.
But, don’t forget, not every current-day browser supports the playback of 360-degree videos. YouTube supports 360-degree videos on computers, operated on updated versions of browsers like Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer and Opera browsers, and hence users need to go for any of these browsers to enjoy the rare event. However, viewers also can download YouTube app on their smartphones to view the launch. Moreover, those individuals who own headsets with virtual reality feature are capable of looking around the launch site and enjoy the view as if they actually see the live lift-off view on the launch pad, said NASA.
The Cygnus spacecraft, from Orbital ATK, carrying more than 3,447 kg of research experiments, crew supplies and hardware will blast-off on a ULA Atlas V rocket to the orbiting laboratory – International Space Station (ISS). The launch is set to have an effect on 18th April during a 30-minute window that will be fired up at 11:11 a.m. EDT, 18th April 2017. It is the 71st Atlas 5 launch as well as the third to set up a Cygnus for the International Space Station. The weight of Cygnus spacecraft is nearly 15,928 pounds, and during the launch period, it will be loaded with 7,443 pounds of internal cargo as well as 183-pound external deployer for CubeSats.
Cygnus will keep soaring around the orbiting laboratory for next four days after launch, as the rendezvous is planned for the next Saturday, 22nd April. The vessel will be grappled by the robotic arm of the space station, operated by Expedition 51 flight engineer Thomas Pesquet, on 6:05 a.m. EDT (1005 GMT), 22nd April.