Discovery Launch to be Aired Online

There is nothing quite like watching a space shuttle launch. Going forward, everyone will get to do so online, thanks to agreements between NASA, Yahoo and Akamai.

NASA’s Space Shuttle Discovery STS-114 launch from Cape Canaveral, scheduled to blast off at 3:51 p.m. EDT, was scrapped Wednesday due to a fuel sensor glitch.

While the organization has yet to announce another launch date, Yahoo has agreed to stream the spacecraft when it does take off this year.

Yahoo will pipe the feed via a co-branded Windows Media player that will be available on both Yahoo and NASA Web sites. More than 50 gigabits per second of bandwidth have been allocated for the event by Yahoo for both sites.

Akamai will stream the launch for RealPlayer and provide all Web content during the mission.

“We’re very excited to be able to offer this expanded coverage to the
public,” said NASA’s Associate Administrator for Space Operations, William Readdy. “Internet users will be able to follow every event from launch
through landing, including the spacewalks.”

The STS-114 “Return to Flight” is a 12-day mission that
will see the crew conduct a series of spacewalks, as well as test techniques
for fixing holes and cracks in the shuttle’s thermal shields.

Earlier this month, NASA’s Deep Impact comet mission led to an explosion of Internet traffic, which generated a record 80 million page views for NASA.

NASA said that peak traffic for the Discovery’s launch may triple that of its Deep Impact record.

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