What a thrilling experience to witness a Space Shuttle launch. Even better to share it with 150 space tweeps from across the U.S and overseas. We just wrapped our STS-132 launch tweetup at the Kennedy Space Center on Friday. Many are still in Florida or in the process of traveling back home.
So hard to leave newfound space buds to come back home. And, who has time to process all the pics and videos when we’re all still tweeting about the experience?
I finally finished downloading all my iPhone pics last night after flying home yesterday afternoon. Mine are no match for the amazing pics I’ve seen from space tweets with high quality lens cameras. I quit taking my camera once I got the iPhone. I can at least capture memories with a device that fits in my pocket.
So what IS a tweetup? What’s the point?
Two-part answer: For some, a tweetup is simply a time and place for digital colleagues to meet in flesh and blood. For NASA, a tweetup is an opportunity for us to grant space tweeps inside access to our aMAZing space people and projects.
You might consider it a Pay-It-Forward for tomorrow’s space endeavors.
We brought in a number of speakers to share insight into, expertise about, and EMOTIONS around the job we do at NASA. (Most notable for me: Chris Meinert, the last guy to shut the hatch on STS-132 crew. He choked up sharing thoughts about the STS-107 Columbia crew. Overwhelming moment for all of us in the tent.)
Speakers for L-1:
- Bobby Braun, NASA Chief Technologist
- Astronaut Janice Voss
- Jon Cowart @Rocky_Sci, NASA engineer
- Stephanie Stilson, Space Shuttle Orbiter Processing Director
- Ron Woods, NASA spacesuit designer
We toured the facilities at the Kennedy Space Center, capping L-1 with a trip to the Launch Pad for the Rotating Service Structure (RSS) rollback. What a thrill for all of us!
Launch day (or L-O) began with a group pic in front of the Countdown Clock. A number of tweeps missed the pic. Traffic is a bear on launch day. I made it just in time. Here’s another Where’s Waldo pic.
Speakers for L-0
- Lori Garver @Lori_Garver, NASA Deputy
- Patrick Barrett, Weather Officer
- Chris Meinert, STS-132 Closeout crew
- Madi Sengupta @msengupta, Johnson Space Center Space Station Robotics instructor
- …and Bobby Braun came back for round 2 questions. Yay!
We also debuted a cool new social media aggregation tool called NASA Buzzroom. You can be part of the space conversation whether or not you have a Twitter account. OR, you can sign in through Twitter to keep the discussion going. Try it. See what you think.
So, SO many tweeps asked how they could EVER repay NASA for the privilege of coming to the Tweetup.
For me, the answer is simple.
- Keep the buzz going.
- Share this amazing thing called space with all your friends, family, colleagues, neighbors, school kids, elders and people you meet on the street.
- Tell everyone who will listen about the stories you heard, what you saw, and how you felt during your visit to space wonderland, the Kennedy Space Center.
- Blog, tweet, facebook, youTube, twitpic, flickr your hearts out. (Yes, I use these brand names as verbs now….)
- Come back for MORE space events as we evolve the social media space community.
How cool is the space biz, after all? Not geeky cool. Just plain cool!
I mean, look at what we do for a living. We break the bonds of gravity each time we lift off Earth. We’re learning to live and work in peace with multiple cultures and languages onboard the International Space Station 24/7 as it orbits the Earth at 17,500 mph every 90 minutes.
We solve problems AGAINST ALL ODDS!
Here’s one example of the payback NASA receives for hosting tweetups: space art by John @Apollo1 in New Jersey, who attended the STS-129 tweetup in November. This is WHY we host tweetups! Check it out!
Here’s my little iPhone photo gallery from the tweetup. For those of you who attended, I had a great time meeting you (if we hadn’t already met)!!! You’re amazing! Thanks SO MUCH for caring enough to spend your own money to travel to Florida to spend two days with us. Godspeed as you journey home!