NASA has released incredible 360-degree video of a rocket launch into space that can be viewed with virtual reality headsets.
Tuesday was a big day for NASA, as it launched Orbital ATK’s robotic Cygnus cargo spacecraft to the International Space Station on top of a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket at Florida’s Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. You can watch the incredible video embedded below of the launch, the first 360-degree pad’s-eye-view of a launch ever.
The video allows you to use the move to look up, down, and side to side as the team counts down to the launch of the rocket. The video cuts out briefly during the key launch moment, which may have been due to the incredible power of the rocket disrupting the nearby camera. People with virtual reality headsets were able to look around and experience the launch as if they were actually standing feet from the launch pad.
Cygnus carries more than 7,600 pounds of scientific gear, hardware, and supplies for the ISS crew. Cygnus should get to the ISS in four days and then dock with the orbiting lab on April 22.
NASA said in the statement: “While virtual reality and 360 technology have been increasing in popularity, live 360 technology is a brand new capability that has recently emerged. Recognizing the exciting possibilities opened by applying this new technology to spaceflight, NASA, ULA, and Orbital ATK seized this opportunity to virtually place the public at the base of the rocket during launch. Minimum viewing distance is typically miles away from the launch pad, but the live 360 stream enables viewers to get a pads-eye view.”