For the first time, NASA is making space shuttle launch footage available to anyone who has a portable media player with video capability. A video podcast, or “vodcast,” of the liftoff of Space Shuttle Atlantis for the STS-115 mission will be available to subscribers. Atlantis is set to launch at 4:30 p.m. EDT Sunday, Aug. 27 from the Kennedy Space Center. NASA will continue to offer these free downloads for every launch.

A podcast is a digital audio or video file automatically downloaded to a personal computer and transferred to an iPod or similar media player. On the NASA Web site,, the agency refers to a video podcast as a “vodcast.”

The launch vodcast will be approximately three minutes long, beginning in the final seconds before liftoff and continuing through separation of the twin solid rocket boosters about two minutes into flight. Footage will be drawn directly from NASA cameras and will include natural audio, as well as launch and ascent commentary provided by Kennedy Space Center and Johnson Space Center in Houston.

“We are really excited about this new offering,” said Dennis Armstrong, public Web information manager at Kennedy. “We’ve been producing audio podcasts for a while now. We tested the video podcast technology for the STS-121 launch and it went very well. We’re very pleased to make it officially available to a wider audience for all future missions, including both space shuttle and rocket launches.”

The vodcasts are included in NASAcast, a free service that enables subscribers to download NASA features, news and other content. Just like a magazine subscription, the podcast delivers new information directly to the user. Podcast software automatically searches for new content on a frequent basis, and subscribers can review the content at their computer or download it to a player for later use.

In addition to launches, other NASAcast selections include feature stories from NASA’s Web site; “This Week@NASA” from NASA TV; “How to Build a Rocket Scientist” from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory; and “Science in STEREO,” highlighting the upcoming mission to study the sun.

For information on subscribing and using NASAcast, vist: