MBONE: Multicasting Tomorrow's Internet
Figure 6-1: Dr. Robert Ballard introducing the event to a student. (Photo courtesy of JASON Project.)
Figure 6-2: Dr. Ballard and a lava field. (Photo courtesy of the JASON Project.)
The broadcasts were sent to satellite links, and hundreds of thousands of students participated and interacted directly with the scientists on the site. The broadcasts focused on the research activities of the scientists, students, and teachers who participated in the program. The expedition went one more step by allowing students to try to control ROVs (remotely operated vehicles), like the one in Figure 6-3, from their remote location. Using the Web, people were able to register their location in a map of viewers' locations, and this map was later used in the event itself.
Figure 6-3: A remotely operated vehicle. (Photo courtesy of JASON Project.)
During these broadcasts, we can follow the astronauts during their space walks, their experiments, and their everyday life in space.
We are also provided with spectacular views of the Earth and space (Figure 6-4), and we can view live historic events like the rendezvous between the shuttle and the MIR space station (Figure 6-5).
Figure 6-4: A view of the Space Shuttle's launch. (Photo courtesy of NASA.)
Figure 6-5: A rendezvous between the shuttle and the MIR space station. (Photo courtesy of NASA.)
These space shuttle events are a great source of information, and the MBONE is the medium for viewing them live when most human beings only hear about these events through the news on TV. The shuttle missions are very popular, and seeing more than a hundred sites joined to view them is not uncommon.
The events are held by Sun Corporation, and they consist of a discussion about issues involved in a larger topic. For example, on January 11th, 1994, the broadcast was about Global Information Infrastructures, and it featured people from Sun Corporation and the Internet Society.
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