Tag Archives: astro_soichi

Space: @Astro_Wheels Point of View

Though many love to bash Twitter as meaningless chatter, I beg to differ. I think true character is revealed through a mere 140 characters — humor, anger, heart and soul. Meaningless chatter? Yes, that too. But I’m less inclined to follow a chatterhead…or TWatterhead, in Twitter-speak.

As an example of why Twitter matters, I want to introduce you to our new Twitternaut Doug Wheelock, better known as @Astro_Wheels to those of us in the Twittersphere. Doug just launched from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on June 15 with fellow NASA astronaut Shannon Walker and Russian cosmonaut Fyodor Yurchikhin to join the rest of the Expedition 24 crew on the International Space Station. Doug will stay on Space Station as Expedition 25 Commander with the next crew change-out via Soyuz.

Note: Using the Soyuz spacecraft as our Space Station transport, we launch and land three crewmembers at a time. With six crew inhabiting our Station at any given time, each crewmember serves on two Expedition missions during their 5-6 month orbital assignment.

The Right StuffWith the ever popular @Astro_Soichi Noguchi leaving Station, we needed someone tweeting in space. Doug agreed. And I’m so glad he did. I’m thoroughly enjoying his point of view and feel he’s “The Right Stuff” for the job of communicating the amazing story of humanity’s journey to space and back.

Doug is a natural. He’s not only sharing pictures with us, but adding quite poignant commentary. We can share his journey together. Here is how it starts…and we’ve only just begun. He’ll be on orbit for the next five+ months.


@Astro_Wheels Russian Sokol spacesuit. Astro_Wheels Expedition 24 Crewmates@Astro_Wheels posing next to Soyuz Hatch@Astro_Wheels takes Medal of Honor to orbit.@Astro_Wheels showing his Soyuz window seat.Soyuz spacecraft on the launchpadSoyuz spacecraft on the launch pad


@Astro_Wheels Sunrise@Astro_Wheels Aurora@Astro_Wheels: Cyprus from Space Station@Astro_Wheels: Egypt from Space StationI’m really looking forward to learning more about astronaut Doug Wheelock through his 140 character tweets. I hope you’re following him. If you’re not, you should.


Filed under astronaut, Earth, federal government, Gov 2.0, leadership, NASA, social media, space

Thank Space for Live Tsunami Watch.

Yesterday, social media network came alive with reports about a pending tsunami heading toward Hawaii. (Yes, I see the typo below. Sigh.)

Tsunami Warning

Tsunami Warning

Scientists predicted the waters would arrive at 11:19 a.m, after traveling 6000 miles from Chile’s earthquake. Their predictions proved correct. To the minute. From the comfort of my home in the D.C. region, I watched the waters surrounding the Hawaiian Islands via Skype cameras — along with 80,000 fellow citizens of Planet Earth.

Tsunami Watch.

U-streamed Skype view of Hilo Bay, Hawaii

U-streamed Skype view of Hilo Bay, Hawaii

What an amazing experience. Computer on my lap. Fox news on the TV. Tweets cascading so quickly I could barely read them — prayers, well-wishes, requests for more info, snarks about how newscasters didn’t know the difference between a tidal wave and a tsunami.

Even a tweeting buoy: @buoy51202! (Thanks for the heads-up, Jon Ostrower.)

Tsunami Tweeting Buoy

Tsunami Tweeting Buoy

We watched and waited. And waited and watched. We tweeted info, shared tidbits, and…we waited. I expected to see a wall of water like the 2004 tsunami that followed the Indian Ocean earthquake. But think about it. Scientists predicted ocean swells. We watched it live. How amazing, really!

What made it all possible? Space!

Concerned citizens of one planet connected through space.

Without the space program, I would never have watched the water rise and fall on the shores of Hilo Bay in Hawaii — no matter how small the waves appeared. I wouldn’t have heard about the Chilean earthquake until Monday, had I not seen reports on Twitter.

We’re connected to each other because we launched satellites into orbit high above our planet, that bounce data back and forth and back again. We have astronauts 220 miles over our heads traveling 17,500 mph around the Earth every 90 minutes who keep an eye on Earth from their unique vantage point. We can now communicate with them in real time via Twitter, as well. Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi is prolific in posting twitpics of Earth with pithy comments about what he sees — like this one of Chile after the earthquake.

Chile after earthquake: Soichi Noguchi's pic from space

Chile after earthquake: Soichi Noguchi's pic from space

When I think about how amazingly connected we are across the globe, I feel proud to see my NASA badge hanging by the front door.  We’ve helped transform Earth into a space-faring, interconnected planet.  Pretty cool, I think.

So, here’s my last screengrab of the third wave on Hilo Bay. Maybe you see the shoreline changes from the pic above — if you look closely. Thankfully, the water seemed tame, maximum 6-foot ocillations in sea swells. Soon after this pic, they cancelled the tsunami warning. I logged off U-stream and went about my business.

Hilo Bay: 3-ft swells in tsunami 3rd wave

Hilo Bay: 3-ft swells in tsunami 3rd wave

Thank you space pioneers: your off-planet work makes our on-planet connections possible.


Filed under Earth, federal government, NASA, social media, space

Twittersphere: Social Space Frontier

Non-twit-oholics always ask me, “What’s the point? Why Twitter?”

I’m sorry. That’s like asking me, “Why chocolate?”

My answer, “Take the first bite, then we’ll talk.”

But, some still need convincing. I mean really. You know those types. The ones who look at the chocolate cheesecake with swirls of whipped cream…and walk away. Yeah, those guys. They need a bit more convincing.

If you’re one of them, here ya’ go. Maybe you’ll see what NASA sees out in the social space frontier. Feel free to join us there.

Social media offers new ways for NASA to interact with non-traditional audiences in a dynamic, viral conversation about space, the merits of exploring the unknown, and its relevance to every day life here on our home planet. For the first time, citizens of this planet can talk to scientists, engineers, policy-makers, and space travelers.

Of all the new media tools available to us, Twitter offers the most intimate, immediate 24/7 access through mobile devices, laptops, and/or traditional keyboard access.

In 140 characters or less, breaking space news pings around the world and back again.

STS-125, the Space Shuttle mission to repair Hubble, marked the first NASA mission where we actively engaged global citizens through social media – Twitter, blogs, Facebook.

Mike @Astro_Mike Massimino became the first astronaut to use twitter before, during, and after his mission.

In four short months, he broke one million followers — making him a Massimillionaire! His willingness to tweet during the complex Hubble repair mission captivated media and non-media alike, and propelled @Astro-Mike to superstardom.

Name of the game: access. Through @Astro_Mike, NASA granted outsiders access into an elite insider circle.

Twitter offers us a simple new tool to help make space popular within the non-space crowd, and see traction on our goal to elevate “space” within pop culture. One measure of success: Twitter featured @Astro_Mike as one of Twitter’s top accounts on their front page, along with the likes of Hollywood’s Ashton @aplusk Kutcher who tops 3.9 million followers now.

NASA made it to Twitter’s Top 10 trending topics a number of times during the mission, and in subsequent missions. For the social media generation, @Astro_Mike gained hero-status akin to John Glenn or Neil Armstrong of the “Right Stuff” generation. Now others at NASA have followed his footsteps into the Twittersphere.

And you can too.

Here’s a list of current Astronaut Twitter Accounts (in no particular order): @NASA_Astronauts 10,238 followers

@StationCDRKelly: Scott Kelly 1,973

@ShuttleCDRKelly: Mark Kelly 1,844

@Astro_Jeff – Jeff Williams 3,447

@Astro_Nicole – Nicole Stott 6,253

@Astro_Sandy – Sandy Magnus 3,769 (no longer active)

@Astro_Jose – Jose Hernandez 59,241

@Astro_Tim – Tim Kopra 8,720

@Astro_Mike – Mike Massimino 1,157,551

@Astro_127 – Mark Polansky 40,581 (no longer active)

@Astro_Bones – Bobbie Satcher 1,761

@Astro_Flow – Leland Melvin 992

@CFugelsang – ESA/Christer Fuglesang 3,905

@Astro_RonRon Garan 1,197

@Astro_Soichi – JAXA/Soichi Noguchi 677

@Astro_TJ – TJ Creamer 58

STS-129 Mission will blast off the planet on Monday, November 16 with Twitternauts @Astro_Bones and @Astro_Flow. PLUS, we’re hosting our first Launch Tweet-Up at the Kennedy Space Center. More updates as time allows.

Learn more about the mission and NASA. You can fan UP on NASA’s facebook too.

Cross post on GovLoop.

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Filed under federal government, Gov 2.0, govloop, leadership, NASA, social media, space, tweet-up