February 1, 2010
As reality TV, let’s just say it lacks drama. So far I haven’t seen a single shouting match. But beginning today, you can watch live as NASA astronauts go about their daily business inside the International Space Station.
The “Live From the ISS” link on NASA’s space station web page shows you the view from inside the U.S. Destiny laboratory module, looking toward the Harmony node. The astronauts will float in and out of view as they conduct experiments, exercise, or tend to housekeeping chores. We won’t hear what they’re saying to each other, but will hear any open-air communications between the station and ground controllers.
The astronauts have okayed this intrusion on their privacy in the interest of sharing their experience with the general public. Mostly it will be NASA astronauts inside Destiny, but Russian and other international crew members are aware that when they enter the U.S. lab, they’ll be on display.
For the astronauts, it may not feel very different. Onboard video is routinely available on NASA TV during times when the shuttle is docked to the station, and Mission Control is able to watch what the astronauts are doing most of the time. Besides, says NASA spokesman Kelly Humphries, the astronauts can always decide to turn off the cameras temporarilyat their discretion.
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