Great Ways to Watch the Last Space Shuttle Missions

NASA’s space shuttle Discovery is queued up for its final mission Thursday at 4:50 p.m. Eastern time, but you don’t need to race to the Space Coast to catch the action.

Thanks to the magic of the internet (and taxpayer dollars), you can watch Discovery and the two other final shuttle flights this year in high-definition, for free.

If space agency technobabble isn’t your thing, worry not: A handful of space-obsessed videocasters rip the NASA TV feed and provide their own user-friendly live shows.

Below are three of the best internet streams able to cater to any flavor of space geek. To watch future space shuttle missions, bookmark this page and check NASA’s launch schedule.

NASA TV

Since its inception, NASA has a long tradition of providing live mission commentary. Unfortunately, NASA TV first timers can find the government-sponsored feed a tough multimedia pill to swallow.

For purists who have learned the cryptic language associated with human spaceflight, however, it’s the stream to watch.

Spacevidcast

Hosted by super-fans of space, Benjamin and Cariann Higginbotham, Spacevidcast is perhaps the most street-friendly source of live mission commentary available.

The duo reads and responds to chatroom banter during their coverage, making for an engaging, but sometimes noisy, experience. This year, Spacevidcast plans to take video call-in questions from readers using Vokle.

Spaceflight Now

When CNN gave veteran space journalist Miles O’Brien the boot in December 2008, he joined Spaceflight Now’s webcasting team.

O’Brien brings high-profile guests onto the show to help with mission commentary, including former astronauts and NASA mission managers. Expect a mix of traditional journalism and humor geared toward space enthusiasts

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