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Over Four Million People Livestreamed the Rosetta Orbiter’s Death

The spacecraft's crash into a comet topped the list of Livestream's most-viewed live videos of 2016.

2016 produced some extraordinary livestreams, from this "almost narcotic" feed overlooking Jackson Hole to exclusive coverage of Motherboard's own Jason Koebler peeing into a golden toilet.

Now, as the year closes out, the streaming service Livestream has announced the top ten feeds that attracted the most views through its site in 2016. The list is bonkers; an improbable smorgasbord of content representing several subcultures, from space enthusiasts to drag-racing fans (not that those two are mutually exclusive).


Topping off the list was the emotional send-off of the Rosetta orbiter, as it executed a controlled fatal crash into comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko on September 30. Rosetta's finale generated 4,131,149 total views, and allowed anyone with an internet connection to witness the spacecraft's swan song from the perspective of mission control. You can revisit the fateful moment at the timestamp 56:47 in this video.

Video: Livestream/ESA

Second place went to the MotorMania racing event Lights Out 7, which attracted 3,539,336 total views on February 17. You might be thinking there is a theme developing here—gearheads, interested in vehicles both on Earth and in space.

But then the bronze medallist on the list turned out to be a livestream of an August conference event called "Argentina: Economic and Political Perspectives," which garnered 3,324,371 total views. Further down the list, ranking in at ninth place, is James Comey's Kenyon College opening address on encryption and surveillance, while the World's Toughest Mudder obstacle course rounds out the list at number ten.

READ MORE: People Are Going Nuts Over a Livestream of a Tiny Town Square

"If you look at the most popular content on Livestream in 2016, the real takeaway is the variety

and depth of diversity," said Jesse Hertzberg, CEO of Livestream, in a statement. "The mass adoption of live video across the globe isn't just pushing forward a handful of industries, live video is changing everything."

Bear in mind that Livestream is one of many streaming services, but with 40 million monthly viewers and six million annual streams, it reaches a sizeable portion of the livestreaming audience.

Check out the full top ten list, in all its random glory, at this link. We dare you to try to predict what kind of dark horse feed will end up on the 2017 roundup.

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