NASA TV - the Coolest Thing that You're Not Watching Online

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We all grew up with vivid images of ourselves as astronauts soaring through the stratosphere. Sadly, for many of us that dream never happened, but that doesn't keep us from loving NASA.

There's this current perception that NASA is an outdated and outmoded beast of a government entity that's not nearly as relevant as it's private counterparts in the quest to get off of this little planet. But while NASA is certainly short on funds and hasn't done all of the things that we wanted it to (where's my moon colony?), it's still doing some pretty cool stuff.

One of the coolest things that NASA is doing is embracing streaming TV. Right now I'm watching a Japanese astronaut on the International Space Station. Live. Right now. His hair is floating around a bit and he's answering some really fascinating questions from kids all over the world. I don't know about you, but that gives me goosebumps.

There's a list of live events that are coming up on the NASA TV site, including launches and question and answer sessions. There are also events at the Kennedy Space Center or other facilities. NASA has four streaming channels available - one general, one educational, one for the media and then a CONSTANT LIVE FEED of what's going on the International Space Station.

This is one of the best things ever. If you're up late and there's nothing on Hulu, tune into the International Space Station - 24/7/365. You can watch to see where the space station is as it orbits the Earth via a live map below, and see the astronauts in their daily interactions, even listening in on live conversations between them and Mission Control. The space station orbits the Earth every ninety minutes, so there is a spectacular sunrise or sunset every 45 minutes.

NOTE: If the screen is blue then it means there's no video signal, but you'll still hear what the astronauts are saying and it rarely lasts for long. Sometimes they have technical difficulty and you'll literally hear Mission Control say things like "Have you tried moving your mouse to the left." Tech support is still frustrating in space. Listening in on these conversations is one of the most satisfying things about watching the live stream, because it makes us realize that even astronauts struggle to figure out simple things, just like the rest of us.

NASA TV is the coolest thing on the web that you're not watching. Who needs Netflix when you have live space explorers?
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