More than a half million unique visitors went to nasa.gov last week from their offices and work stations for news about -- and live pictures and audio of -- the NASA launch of the space shuttle, Endeavor. And now that the shuttle is in orbit, the site will probably prove every bit as compelling. Though at first the effect of watching the round-the-clock space-cam video may seem reminiscent of sitting in front of your TV and watching the video from the hidden camera in the lobby of your apartment building, the NASA streaming video also sends back stunning real-time pics of space travel that may lead you to recall old set designs for Flash Gordon movies and The Wizard of Oz.
As regarding the week of the shuttle launch, the NASA show -- which includes earthbound feeds from mission control -- was popular enough to spike at-work traffic some 75 percent to the official government space site. It also has one thrilling addition your lobby camera probably doesn't have: intermittent audio featuring space travelers barking orders miles above the earth's atmosphere. -- Sid Ross
--Number of unique visitors to nasa.gov for the week ending April 22: 567,000
--Gender breakdown of traffic to the site: 56 percent men, 44 percent women
--Average time spent on site: 5 mins.
Source: Nielsen NetRatings, Milpitas, Calif.
*At-work unique visitor numbers/Week ending April 22