STS-114: the first manned space mission I watched live - Lisp Propulsion Laboratory log

Lisp Propulsion Laboratory log

Paolo Amoroso's weblog. Main interests: Lisp, astronomy (Moon), space exploration (Apollo and early manned programs) Calendar of past entries | Related links xml

STS-114: the first manned space mission I watched live

Tuesday, August 9, 2005

The landing of the space shuttle Discovery earlier today concludes the successful STS-114 Return to Flight mission. Some Apollo enthusiasts dismiss Shuttle and ISS activities as "low Earth orbit" (much like Lispers view other programming languages, but I digress). Yet, I always find manned missions exciting, and STS-114 is especially important for me: it's the first one I was able to watch live almost in its entirety.

TV stations in my country, Italy, have not been airing live space events for the last couple of decades. But I was able to get continuous, live coverage from NASA TV. I watched it from my Linux box via the Internet feed in RealPlayer format. I also got excellent, timely technical information from Spaceflight Now.

It is the first time I can do this since I first got ADSL access last December. And the fact that this happened in the summer did help.

This complex mission generated a lot of stunning multimedia such as images, videos and audio -- I concede that the wakeup calls are not that exciting. Be sure to watch the video of the left Solid Rocket Booster (the first one at the top of this page; Spacefligh Now has a better version accessible only to paying subscribers), and hear the empty tin can and wind noises.

Copyright © 2005 by Paolo Amoroso

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