Want to view NASA’s Space Shuttle Discovery launch today live at 4:50 PM EST? All you need is a PlayStation 3, a copy of PlayStation Home, and a spot on Sony’s “Sunset” Yacht, courtesy LOOT.
Discovery goes up this afternoon, February 24, for its final voyage, an 11-day orbital tour during which it’ll deliver something called an Express Logistics Carrier-4 (ELC-4), basically a payload delivery system for the International Space Station (ISS), a Permanent Multipurpose Module (PMM), and a bunch of spare components for the ISS. NASA’s broadcasting the event live courtesy its NASA TV Channel.
So what’s a Sunset Yacht? Let’s start with LOOT, a Sony DADC Digital Services subsidiary that creates stuff for PlayStation Home. They built a virtual yacht, christened it “Amaterasu,” at some point rechristened it “Sunset,” and made it possible to fold in a live stream–or as they’re calling it, a “social event”–of Discovery’s liftoff.
“We’re excited about this new way for people to experience the exhilaration of human spaceflight as part of a larger community,” said NASA Office of Communications associate administrator David Weaver in a statement. “In addition to the other two shuttle launches planned for April and June, NASA looks forward to sharing more of our endeavors with PlayStation users.”
The yacht’s a “premium” space in Home, meaning it’ll set you back about $5 to download from the PlayStation Home Mall. Apparently you can watch other programs on the Yacht like Dilbert and The Tick, pull up videos of the universe from past and current NASA missions–even fiddle with the time of day.
Though one assumes fast-forwarding to “late afternoon” early won’t cause a time-space event, forcing the Discovery to liftoff prematurely.
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