NASA providing 1st live 360-degree view of rocket launch


Tuesday's launch marked the first time NASA, in coordination with the ULA and Orbital ATK, has broadcast a rocket launch with a 360-degree view, which should "virtually place the public at the based of the rocket during launch".

The 191-foot (58-meter) Atlas V lifted off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida at 11:11 a.m. EDT (1511 GMT), blazing through partly cloudy skies as it headed out over the Atlantic Ocean. The spacecraft for this mission is named in honor of John Glenn, the first American to orbit Earth.

Besides supplies, the capsule contains a banner showing Glenn in his orange space shuttle launch suit - it's the first thing the station astronauts will see when they open the craft - as well as memorabilia for his family.

"Starting 10 minutes prior to launch, at about 11 a.m. ET, the camera will stream video that you can manipulate", Rick Glasby of member station WFIT reports.

News 3 will be streaming the launch live and will also provide a link to watch the 360 video.

Meteorologists have predicted very promising conditions for the launch and expect it to go off as scheduled on time.

ULA will launch its next Atlas V rocket August 3, 2017, from the same pad.

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On Tuesday, NASA is launching 7,600 pounds of cargo to the International Space Station on Orbital ATK's Cygnus cargo ship, which has been dubbed the SS John Glenn as a tribute to the late astronaut and senator.

Once Cygnus departs the space station, the spacecraft will execute three secondary OA-7 missions.

At that point, flight controllers at the Johnson Space Center in Houston will take over to pull the Cygnus in for berthing at the Earth-facing port of the central Unity module. The cargo is composed of crew supplies, science research and hardware.

The cargo also included Easter baskets for the crew.

After troubleshooting the hydraulic glitch with ground support tools and then the next malfunction with a hydraulic booster line, the engineers of the Orbital ATK are gearing up to set out the spacecraft atop an Atlas V rocket to the International Space Station (ISS). Weather conditions were ideal for the launch, and NASA broadcast the event on its NASA TV media channel.

"While in space, after traveling a safe distance from the station, the fire is lit and data is collected before re-entering the Earth's atmosphere", said a statement from NASA.