Virtual Space: NASA's reality IP

Not only was the Space Shuttle Discovery mission a triumph for NASA'marking a successful return to space flight'but it also demonstrated what a multimedia heavyweight the agency can be. NASA posted exhaustive coverage of the mission through video and audio streams, as well as high-resolution images. The shuttle sent 17.6TB of information back to Earth within one 48-hour period alone, according to NASA associate chief technology officer Nitin Naik, who spoke at the recent Enterprise Management World Conference in Washington. Within minutes, much of the shuttle material was posted on the Web. More than 14 million users tuned in. At one point, the agency was streaming 438,000 videos at once. 'Reality TV seems to be the next big thing,' Naik said. 'Well, this is the best reality TV there is, and it took place in space.'

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