Discovery Space Shuttle Launch: 4 Ways to Watch

discovery shuttle launch padI love technology. When we were kids and a space shuttle launched, we might get lucky enough to watch it on TV. But you don't need a TV to catch the last ever Discovery Space Shuttle Launch out of the Kennedy Space Center today. And you don't have to be at Cape Canaveral either (although a trip from the northeast cold to Florida sunshine is awfully tempting).

NASA is showing the whole thing -- from soup to nuts -- online today. It runs a website named -- rather ironically if you think about it -- NASA TV, where you can get a look-see at what it takes to get a space shuttle off the ground. And if you happen to own a PlayStation 3, you can make it a party, watching through your PS3 while you chat with other PS3 users about the goings on.

Ain't technology grand? Here's how to keep up with the shuttle launch today, no matter where you are:

  • Fan the NASA: 2Explore Facebook page. Status reports there are being updated regularly on the progress of the launch. And they're written in plain English, not science-ese. They may be your best bet to figure out what's going on.
  • Pull up NASATV on your web browser. The launch itself is at 4:50 p.m. EST, but there will be launch commentary all afternoon. Warning: it may get confusing. It's literally a live stream of what the folks at NASA are doing, and here's betting most of you aren't rocket scientists (raising hand over here, I'm not). I would like to send a nice batch of chocolate chip cookies to the kindly narrator whose voice crops up once in awhile to explain what the heck is going on. A detailed NASATV schedule gives us the highlights of the day, but I confess I was more fascinated by the "after launch" details. It has the astronauts' schedules so mapped out they already know when they'll sleep (and if you read it, you will too!). If you're totally confused by the scientific mumbo jumbo on the NASA feed, take a few moments to check out REEL NASA on YouTube. They're not live updates, but an astronaut walks you through life on board one of the shuttles. This is the stuff you pull the kids into the room for -- they'll be much more interested in seeing how an astronaut eats in space.
  • If you're jonesing for some video game time, power up your PS3, and visit the LOOT Sunset Yacht. You'll be part of the first live-streaming event featured in PlayStation Home.
  • If you must turn on a regular TV, your best bet is HDNet. It will be showing the launch from Cape Canaveral starting at 4:30 p.m. EST (check local listings).

Will you be watching? How?

Image via maggieandcharles/Flickr

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