Viewers opted for the Web over TV to watch Curiosity's landing
More than 3.2 million people watched the nail-biting descent of the Mars rover via live streaming on the Web, which is far more than those who tuned in on the top cable TV networks.
More Curiosity fans took to the Web to watch the rover's highly anticipated landing on Mars than those tuning into cable TV.
According to Mashable, more than 3.2 million people viewed the nail-biting descent nicknamed "seven minutes of terror" via Ustream's live streaming platform on Sunday night.
The Mars rover, surviving its white-knuckle plunge in remarkably good shape. After setting down on a flat, wind-swept plain, it began its trek across the martian landscape taking photos and collecting samples to find clues and learn more about the Red Planet.
At its height, 500,000 people were simultaneously watching the live landing on NASA's HDTV, JPL, and JPL 2 broadcasts via Ustream. While numbers like this aren't available for TV, Mashable cites research firm Nielsen's ratings for the night -- CNN had 426,000 viewers, MSNBC had 365,000, and Fox came in the highest with 803,000 -- which overall have lower numbers than Ustream.
Besides live streaming, NASA is also engaging audiences with a Twitter stream from Curiosity. The rover has been and answering fan tweets since before its launch last November. As of this writing, Curiosity has 862,365 followers.
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