Wowza Media Systems's Wowza Media Server 2 software was a key component in supporting the first-ever commercial company to launch and recover a spacecraft from orbit successfully. On Dec. 8, 2010, American space exploration company SpaceX launched its Dragon spacecraft into the Earth's orbit from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The spacecraft twice orbited the Earth and landed in the Pacific Ocean only a few hours later. Thousands watched the historic event unfold on SpaceX's live webcast.
Relying on the Wowza multiplatform streaming solution, SpaceX captured the event on HD-resolution IP cameras placed around the launch pad and pushed live streams to a global Web audience via Akamai streaming services. The flexible Wowza software made it easy for SpaceX engineers to view operations from every angle.
"At SpaceX, we are working every day to bring about significant breakthroughs that will improve the reliability and cost of space transportation," said Branden Spikes, SpaceX chief information officer. "It's an ambitious task, and we need support we can count on. Wowza Media Server 2 improved our closed-circuit monitoring system for the local and remote operations teams, a critical component of our successful mission, by making it more robust and flexible. This allowed us to more effectively share Dragon's first flight with the thousands of viewers around the world. Wowza provided us with the most advanced tools for streaming, a flexible and extensible architecture, excellent technical support, and impressive reliability."
The Dragon launch and recovery marks the start of a new era in which private companies will provide safe, reliable, and cost-effective space transport. After the NASA space shuttle retires, the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft will start carrying cargo, including plants and animals, to and from the International Space Station for NASA.
"At Wowza, we are continually developing and enhancing our unified media server software to make it more useful in a wider variety of applications," said Alex Dobrushin, chief marketing officer, Wowza Media Systems. "In step with us are the innovative companies continually finding new ways to take advantage of our product. SpaceX is a great example. For Wowza, it's exciting and gratifying to be part of the advanced technology mix supporting the next generation of space travel."