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NASA Mars announcement fail: space agency struggles with live stream of 'major' Mars finding | One Herald
Home / Technology / NASA Mars announcement fail: space agency struggles with live stream of 'major' Mars finding

NASA Mars announcement fail: space agency struggles with live stream of 'major' Mars finding


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NASA will be changing their launch schedule following their discovery of liquid water on Mars, says astronomer Dr Alan Duffy from Swinburne University of Technology.

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San Francisco: Washington, we have a problem.

As NASA announced on Tuesday morning that there was strong evidence to suggest liquid water flows on present-day Mars, its live-stream of the event struggled to cope.

A screenshot of NASA's live stream of its "major" Mars announcement.

A screenshot of NASA’s live stream of its “major” Mars announcement.

At times the stream, hosted on NASA.gov, didn’t work at all, simply stating there was “a problem getting the configuration information”.

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“Please try again later,” it said.

A back-up stream, hosted on video-streaming website Ustream, also failed to load at times throughout the announcement.

Another screenshot of the live stream of NASA's "major" Mars announcement.

Another screenshot of the live stream of NASA’s “major” Mars announcement.

Before the event began at 1.30am AEST there were about 30,000 people watching the Ustream stream.

That quickly jumped to over 80,000 people as the announcement’s start time approached.

It appeared the space agency that can send people to the moon and find flowing water on Mars couldn’t provide enough internet infrastructure to live stream a major announcement.

Even NASA's backup stream - hosted on Ustream.tv - failed to show the content at times throughout the announcement.

Even NASA’s backup stream – hosted on Ustream.tv – failed to show the content at times throughout the announcement.

But in a statement to Fairfax Media, NASA said the difficulties came from Akamai, a content delivery network used by websites around the world.

“The problems were at Akamai, which provides the streaming capability we use. It affected just about anyone streaming on the Internet, including Ustream, which is why our streams there weren’t any better than on NASA.gov,” said Brian Dunbar, Internet Services Manager at NASA’s Office of Communications.

“We first saw them last night during the eclipse, and unfortunately they continued today. I don’t have any details on exactly what the problem was, but we haven’t found anything in our infrastructure.”

In the US, Bloomberg TV carried the broadcast but cut it off midway through after Russian President Vladimir Putin began delivering a press conference at the United Nations General Assembly. The US Weather Channel also carried the stream for a short while before cutting to news about wild weather in the US.

Most other major news channels passed on the opportunity to even attempt to bring the news to their audiences live, opting to screen earthly matters instead, including a press conference from Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump or other live news from the UN.

According to NASA, 130,000 people watched the Mars announcement live stream online, 50,000 on their own infrastructure and 80,000 on Ustream.

Avid space watchers took to Twitter to joke about the video stream’s flakiness :



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