Monthly Archives: April 2011

STS-134 NASA Tweetup: Day 2

Day 2 of the STS-134 tweetup started with great hope for an afternoon launch. I passed this car in the parking lot. LUV it!!

Space Shuttle Team: Doing What Others Dream

Space Shuttle Team: Doing What Others Dream

What a day. We started with a NASA Tweetup marriage proposal and ended with a launch scrub. Oh, and a visit by the President of the United States and First Family somewhere in between.

NASA Tweetup Proposal @tempegirl @chriscardinal

NASA Tweetup Wedding Proposal: Chris Cardinal @chriscardinal + Nina Tallman @tempegirl

Nina Tallman accepted Chris Cardinal's wedding proposal

Nina Tallman said YES to Chris Cardinal's wedding proposal

We took our traditional NASA Tweetup Countdown Clock pic. What a good looking group of tweeps.

STS-134 NASA Tweetup Launch Clock portrait

STS-134 NASA Tweetup Launch Clock portrait. Photo credit: NASA/Paul Alers

Good luck finding yourself in this shot, tweeps. I’m sitting crosslegged in front in white pants. They weren’t quite so white after the shot. ;)

Our Brits celebrated the Royal Wedding in their very own way — complete with flag-waving in front of the Countdown Clock. They are hoping to “launch” Royal Kate and William into wedded bliss. At least, that’s my interpretation.

Brits @tristamsparkes @jackdearlove @DrLucyRogers

Flag-waving Brits @tristamsparkes @jackdearlove @DrLucyRogers

@JackDearLove trying to take over NASA tweetup

@JackDearLove trying to take over NASA tweetup ;)

@JackDearLove's flag

@JackDearLove's flag

We had great lineup of speakers, starting off with Astronaut Ricky Arnold. He’s somewhere in the sea of tweeps in the photo above. Here are a few great quotes tweeted out during his talk. The Barbies were all so excited. Ken too!

@VenusBarbie & friends

@VenusBarbie & friends

@jenniferHuber Ricky Arnold food tweet
@SusanMazza quoting Ricky Arnold
@michaelbmore quoting Ricky Arnold
@TimLillard quoting Astronaut Ricky Arnold

NASA’s Education Chief, Leland @Astro_Flow Melvin came to speak next.

@SpaceTeam tweet about @Astro_flow
@schollem lego tweet about @Astro_flow
@brendajburrell quotes @Astro_Flow
@CarsonSkinner quotes @Astro_Flow

Tweeps heard more about NASA’s activities with LEGO from Daire McCabe, LEGO designer, then heard from Lt. Col. Patrick Barrett, Launch Weather Officer.

@DrLucyRogers LEGO mission patch
@NancyBroden weather tweet

We broke for lunch then lined up along the “road to the launch pad” to wave to the STS-134 crew as they pass by in the AstroVan. But, alas, they drove past, turned around and went back where they came. The dreaded SCRUB!

AstroVan headed to Launch Pad A

AstroVan headed to Launch Pad A

AstroVan returning Crew

AstroVan returning Crew

We went back to the NASA tweetup tent to wait for more information about the next launch attempt. The President and First Family toured the Kennedy Space Center and met with the crew. Some of our tweeps waved to them as they passed by.

POTUS with STS-134 crew

POTUS with STS-134 crew. Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls

We found out that the earliest next launch attempt will be Monday at 2:34 p.m. EDT. Many of the tweeps had to say goodbye, sadly. But not before lots of goodbye pics like the one below with the LEGO mission patch.

Space Tweeps

Space Tweeps

We packed up, making plans to start this show again on Monday, if all goes well. Our DC Twitter rep, Adam Sharp, was the very last to leave around 6:30 pm. He has a meeting Monday and can’t stay for the next launch attempt.

Last to leave the tweetup tent....

@Sharp: Last to leave the tweetup tent....

Here’s my last look:

NASA Tweetup Tent Sign

NASA Tweetup Tent Sign

Looks like Seth Green, Clare Grant, Nicole Solomon and Abe Benrubi will be coming back for Monday’s launch attempt. WooHoo! (BTW, thanks Nicole for strongly encouraging me to using Hipstamatic pics. They really are so much fun!

@SethGreen tweet

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Filed under AIDs, Bethany House Trust, NASA, social media, space, tweet-up

STS-134 NASA Tweetup: Day 1

Day 1 of the STS-134 tweetup! We started sunny and ended with a lightning storm.

Welcome Sign at NASA Tweetup Tent

Welcome Sign at NASA Tweetup Tent

Space tweeps arrived one by one, and two by two, and more. Mascots are popular at tweetups. We have @Flat Samantha, @VenusBarbie, and we even have @Space_Spider, who will be flying to space on STS-134. Her Earth-bound spider kin came to visit us at the tweetup. We have bunnies and bears, but no rubber chickens this tweetup.

Cynthia Foust @32Teeth

Cynthia Foust @32Teeth

@News_Barbie

@VenusBarbie

@FlatSamantha

@Space_Spider

We even have a few TWelebrities to sweeten the deal, as if coming to a Space Shuttle launch wasn’t sweet enough. :)

@LeVarBurton tweeting

@LeVarBurton tweeting

Note: our TWelebrities are gracious and warm. They eagerly take pictures with the tweeps. LeVar Burton rescued a lost tweetup badge, delivered it to its owner, and autographed it. Seth Green asked everyone to autograph his “It’s Hard To Tweet In A Spacesuit” poster. Clare is totally space-geeking OUT! Abe is a big sweetheart. And…Nicole, bless her heart, cleaned my iphone lens — since she noticed my Twitpics seemed blurry. You guys ROCKet!! Thanks for being a part of our tweetup community.

@SethGreen with @VenusBarbie @DataChick

@SethGreen with @VenusBarbie + @DataChick

@FlatSamantha tweet

@FlatSamantha tweet

We have an amazing group of 150 tweeters from around the world. Very few knew each other until today. The chatter in the room is evidence of how quickly the NASA tweetup experience bonds us together in community.

Tent full of tweeters!

Tent full of tweeters!

We’ve seen tweetup romances. Tweetup career changes. And perhaps, we’ll claim our first tweetup baby! Yes, today I learned that one of our tweeters may be pregnant. My lips are sealed until she gives me the thumbs up to share her good news. I promise I won’t say a word about it…outside this blog.

To enhance the tweetup experience, we brought our Photo Op Spacesuit (@DrLucyRogers modeling suit below), and Photo Op banners of Mission Control and the KSC Firing Room. Our JPL buddies brought 3D images of Mars, along with souvenir 3D glasses.

@DrLucyRogers

@DrLucyRogers

@Flashman

@neemaamini @pedramamini

@neemaamini @pedramamini

We had great lineup of speakers for the tweeps. And even more on Launch day!

NASA's Chief Scientist Waleed Abdalati

NASA's Chief Scientist Waleed Abdalati

NASA's Endeavour Flow Director Dana Hutcherson

NASA's Endeavour Flow Director Dana Hutcherson

NASA's Tara Ruttley @SpaceMama

@Astro_Clay Anderson

@Astro_Clay Anderson

@SethGreen tweeting @Astro_Clay-isms

@SethGreen tweeting @Astro_Clay-isms

After all the speakers, we loaded onto busses for our tour of the Shuttle Landing Facility, the Vehicle Assembly Building (where we saw STS-135 Atlantis tank and Solid Rocket Boosters), and the Saturn V facility. We returned for a short break before our planned visit to Launch Pad A for the retraction of the Rotating Service Structure from Endeavour. But Mother Nature intervened in a spectacular way — preventing our trip to the pad.

NASA's Bill Ingalls' Lightning photo

NASA's Bill Ingalls' Lightning photo

But, all is well. The storm passed. We’re still on track to launch at the regularly scheduled time: Friday at 3:47:55 p.m. EDT.

BBC's @JackDearLove tweet

BBC's @JackDearLove tweet

We start again early tomorrow morning. (And if I stay up any longer writing this post, I’ll be able to watch the royal wedding!)

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Filed under NASA, social media, space, tweet-up

STS-134 Tweetup: Ready! Set! GO!

STS-134 Space Shuttle Endeavour will launch into space for the very last time on Friday. This will be Endeavour‘s 25th flight, the 36th Space Shuttle flight to the International Space Station. Endeavour will carry her crew of six, as well as the primary cargo, the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer particle physics detector, to orbit.  Find out more about the mission timeline, crew, and payloads.

STS-134 crew

STS-134 crew

Just as exciting as the launch — our launch tweetup. Oh, the anticipation. I arrived today to help the team prep for our 150 space tweeps. They will descend on the Kennedy Space Center from 43 states and District of Columbia, Australia, Canada, Germany, San Juan, Switzerland, and the UK. (Do you think the Brits are escaping Royal Wedding fever…and replacing it with launch fever?)

STS-134 NASA tweetup badge

STS-134 NASA tweetup badge

Here’s a sneak peek of where we’ll host them — our TWent (as we affectionately call our Tweetup Tent). This is our largest TWent so far, and we finally got a REAL floor. WooHoo!

STS-134 Tweetup Tent

STS-134 Tweetup Tent (TWent)

View from inside the STS-134 Tweetup Tent

View from inside the STS-134 Tweetup Tent

Our first tweetup tent was on the press site parking lot (as @ageekmom reminded me). The press guys requested we move, to clear their camera view of launch. After we moved to the grassy site, we ordered a floor for the tent. The first time, the tent company didn’t have enough floor boards available when they set up (weddings took precedence, it seems) so we ended up with green grass shag carpet (and lots of ants). The next tweetup, we ordered the floor. Again, they didn’t have enough of what we ordered, so they brought rubber floor mats. A bit uneven, but better than the grassy shag experience. Voila! STS-134 floor. Ahhhhhh. So nice!

Inside View of the STS-134 Tweetup Tent

STS-134 Tweetup Tent floor!

@SeanHerron Floor Tweet@JohnMilleker tweet The tweeps are getting excited. They’ve been buzzing ever since they received Stephanie Schierholz’ official NASA notification of their coveted slot in the Tweetup. And now, they’re all enroute to the Kennedy Space Center. We’ll meet some of them tomorrow at early registration. The rest on Thursday, L-1, and Friday, L-0 for the launch itself.

@tombuchheim tweet@MCapp22 tweet

@claudiabia tweet@carsonskinner tweet@skrishna tweetLaunch tweetups are mind-blowing, life-altering, community-building events. I can’t wait to meet everyone, and hopefully we’ll all be cheering and hugging each other on Friday at 3:47 p.m. EDT for the last launch ever of Space Shuttle Endeavour.

@tombuchheim tweet

Out to Launch. Photo credit @carsonskinner

Photo credit @carsonskinner

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Filed under NASA, social media, space, tweet-up

Happy Easter, Space Peeps

I dearly love the Washington Post Peeps Diorama Contest each year. Personally, I like the TSA Peeps Show the best. Too funny!

TSA Peeps Show. Credit: Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post

TSA Peeps Show. Credit: Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post

Creators: LeElaine Comer, Kasey Wiedrich, Kristin Lawton, Ethan Geiling, Michelle Nguyuen, Kim Pate, Jane Hanley and Ida Rademacher.

For all you space enthusiasts, I’m resurrecting (good Easter word) a diorama created for the Washington Post contest a few years back by a group of NASA folks to celebrate the Apollo missions.

Apollo Peeps-tronaut on Moon

Apollo Peeps-tronaut on Moon. Created by NASA team

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I leave you with a few images of Peeps Art from the local Peeps Store at the Washington Harbor. How can you NOT smile at the adorable Peeps?

Peeps Art from Peeps Store

Peeps Art from Peeps Store

Peeps Art from Peeps Store

Peeps Art from Peeps Store

Peeps from Peeps Store

Peeps from Peeps Store

As much as I love bunnys and Easter eggs and Peeps, I celebrate for the real reason for Easter: Christ is RISEN.

Happy Easter to you and your family! 

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Ode to Spring

My mother celebrates her 80th birthday tomorrow. She’s in Zambia with my aunt and uncle. Before she left, she told me that, at 40, she could never have imagined she’d spend her 80th birthday in Africa.

Zambia: Even lions adore my Mother...

Zambia: Even lions adore my Mother...

Mother at the Cowboy Church in Livingstone, Zambi

Mother at the Cowboy Church in Livingstone, Zambia

I wonder where I’ll celebrate my 80th birthday? In a space tourist hotel? Hey, it could happen!

To honor my Mother, I want to share a poem I wrote for her 76th birthday.

Daffodils from my yard

Daffodils from my yard.

Ode to Spring

Grim, gloomy days. Bleary, bleary.

Barren landscapes. Dreary, dreary.

Frostbite on fingertips. Weary, weary.

Oh when, oh when

come warm tidings of Spring?

Compare the beauty of winter white,

reflecting the sun in brilliance bright,

glinting from mountain peaks in morning light.

Nowhere, nowhere better!

Green gardens of Spring.

Snowdrops, daffodils, and tulips. Jubilee!

Hyacinth and crocus. Fragrant potpourri.

Red bud, dogwood, and cherry blossom trees.

Oh joy, oh joy!

Sweet scents of Spring.

Take flight, old man winter! Harsh adversary.

Melt your frozen pathways. Wary, wary.

Be gone, you wretched nightmare. Scary, scary.

Oh now,  oh now!

Come fresh breath of Spring.

A rainbow of blossoms break winter’s rest,

unfurling new colors with unbridled zest.

Fledgelings eager to soar from the nest.

Rejoice, of rejoice!

New life of Spring.

New dawn awakens with birdsong sweet.

Goldfinch and chickadee twitter and tweet.

Fluttering their wings, early morning they greet.

Oh what, oh what?

Melodic offering of Spring.

Bouquets and butterflies. Giving, giving.

Rebirth. Fresh start. Forgiving, forgiving.

Filled with His Spirit! Living! Living!

Oh welcome, welcome!

Glad tidings of Spring.

Spring at Smithsonian Castle

Spring flowers at the Smithsonian Castle

Happy 80th birthday, Mother.

April flowers to you — from my continent to yours.

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@Astro_Ron Blasts Off @FragileOasis

Ron Garan is an incredible visionary. Not only is he an astronaut, he’s the force behind Manna Energy (one of our LAUNCH:Water innovations), and now his latest brainchild FragileOasis.org is nearly ready for its long-anticipated debut with new community interactive elements.

Ron, well known as @Astro_Ron to the tweetisphere, left planet Earth on top of a Soyuz TMA-21 rocket from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan yesterday, April 5, 2011 (Kazakh time, April 4th US time). He launched just one week shy of the 50th anniversary of the first human to leave this planet, Yuri Gagarin, who launched from the same launch pad April 12, 1961.

Ron Garan's Soyuz launch

Ron Garan's Soyuz launch. Credit: NASA/Carla Cioff

Ron is traveling to space for his first time on a Russian rocket, though he’s a space veteran with a previous Shuttle flight  and space walks under his belt during STS-124. His crewmates on this mission, Russian Cosmosnauts Alexander Samokutyaev and Andrey Borisenko are traveling in space for their maiden voyage.

Space Travelers leaving Earth

Space Travelers leaving Earth. Credit: NASA/Carla Cioffi

Their Soyuz was decorated to commemorate the 5oth milestone, and carries Yuri’s likeness. Here is a twitpic from @Astro_Nicole Stott, who attended the launch.

@Astro_Nicole's twitpic of Soyuz

@Astro_Nicole's twitpic of Soyuz

Ron and his crewmates dock with Space Station on Wednesday, April 6th at 7:18 p.m. EDT. They will join NASA’s @Astro_Cady Coleman, ESA’s @Astro_Paolo Nespoli, and Cosmonaut Dmitry Kondratyev already on orbit since December 2010.

Astro_Paolo's tweet

The hatch opening and welcome ceremony will start around 8:45 pm. You can watch all this live on NASA TV. Personally, I prefer the new HDtv Ustream version. Great images!

While Ron’s in space, you’ll hear more about Fragile Oasis. We created the Fragile Oasis website http://www.fragileoasis.org to share stories of life on and off planet Earth through the eyes of NASA astronauts. Our next phase of the website design adds community engagement which makes use of the latest social media tools to engage users in conversations about space, while inspiring them to take action toward making our home planet a better place – one project at a time. Our goal is to provide a vehicle for all organizations committed to improving life for the inhabitants of planet Earth to connect, collaborate and inspire each other in their common goals.

New Fragile Oasis site

New Fragile Oasis site. Stay tuned...

We’ve been scrambling for months to get the new community portion of the site ready for debut. We’re still working out the bugs, but we think you’ll LOVE it!

Preview of Fragile Oasis Bloggernaut page

Preview of Fragile Oasis Bloggernaut page

We have celebrity guest bloggers lined up and exciting partnerships with some amazing Earth-based organizations who share Ron’s vision of making this Fragile Oasis a better place for those of us who will never have the chance to leave Earth’s gravity.

NASA supports Fragile Oasis as an investment in tomorrow. We want space to inspire you to make a positive impact here on Earth. Let’s see what you can do!

Thanks Ron for letting us help make your vision a reality.

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Filed under astronaut, Earth, environment, humanitarian aid, innovation, LAUNCH, NASA, social media, space