The Washington Post

Space Shuttle Discovery wows in flight (and live feed)

As Discovery glided across the D.C. skyline, tens of thousands of people watched — from the comfort of their cubicles, coffee shops and desktops.  As the Space Shuttle, piggy-backing on a modified 747, flew circles above the city and landed at Dulles Airport, it was striking to see just how many people were watching this event online, rather than from a television.  

The landing was streamed live on and was by far one of the most-viewed items on the site all day, and one of the most popular events of the year.

Its popularity highlights a simple trend we’ve been noticing: users want to see what’s happening now. Live. Raw. Instantly.

And there’s interest across topic areas: Tons of people tune in for breaking news and political events, such as the White House Correspondents' Dinner, State of the Union address and state dinners.  We’ve successfully livestreamed coverage from the Egyptian uprising in Tahrir Square, from underwater at the oil spill in the Gulf, from above D.C.'s Occupy encampment in McPherson Square — and we’re always streaming D.C. news conferences and hearings on the Hill.

We’re continuing to improve how we deliver live video to users and quality of the content.  We strive to not only offer the access itself, but also some context and perspective, so look for live video appearing elsewhere on the site soon.

For now, check out what we’re currently streaming.

Andrew Pergam is The Post’s director of video. You can follow him on Twitter @pergam. You can follow The Post video team @postvideo.


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Space Shuttle Discovery flies over Dulles Airport


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