Tag Archives: nasa tweetup

NASA Tweetup: Rocket Star @Astro_Wheels

After seeing Doug Wheelock in action this week in Washington DC, I’d like to give him a new title: Space Ambassador! Doug, aka @Astro_Wheels, shared heartfelt stories of his time in space during our latest NASA Tweetup, March 16, 2011.

@Astro_Wheels Living the Dream

Doug and Tracy Caldwell Dyson came to DC to debrief NASA employees on their Space Station Expedition missions, visit with Members of Congress and Hill staffers, and talk with space tweeps. We haven’t convinced Tracy about tweeting yet, but we might just wear her down after all — now that Doug is a fervent social media convert.

Astronauts Tracy Caldwell Dyson & Doug Wheelock

Astronauts Tracy Caldwell Dyson & Doug Wheelock at Capitol Visitor Center.

Doug joined an auditorium-full of space tweeps at the NASA tweetup. He shared stories and answered questions for several hours. Then he stayed to sign autographs and pose for pictures until the last tweep left the building. Wow. What a guy!

Tweetup Crowd Surrounds Astro_Wheels

Space Tweeps Surrounds Astro_Wheels

Tweetup Line for Astro_Wheels autograph

Doug gave them reason to stand in a long line for one-on-one time. During the Tweetup, he shared his awe and wonder about the vastness of space and the beauty of our home planet. He said that if he’d lived on another planet in the universe, Earth would have been the place he would most want to travel to.

Astro_Wheels describes Earth's ColorIn order to share his experience with those of us who will never leave this planet, he asked Mission Control for a camera lens and setting that most mimics what the human eye can see — so that he could let us see space through his eyes.  But, he told us, no photo does the Cupola views any justice. The broad brush strokes of auroras captivated his attention, and many photos as well. I’m obsessed with auroras, so I’m glad he shared so many with us.

@Astro_Wheels describes Auroras

@Astro_Wheels describes Earth@Astro_Wheels describes EarthWe learned details about life in space, like the violent ride to space on the Space Shuttle and the explosive return from space inside a Russian Soyuz. He described the smells of space: a musty odor like a wine cellar in the Russian modules, sterile computer-fan smell of the U.S. modules, and the burnt match smell of space that lingers on spacesuits for days. When asked how he felt after coming back to a gravity-filled life, he said he felt it most in his neck — from having to hold his head up.

@Astro_Wheels describes space smell

@Astro_Wheels describes Soyuz landing

@Astro_Wheels describes sore neckThings break on Station, making life “interesting” off planet. Tracy told NASA employees earlier in the day that residents of Space Station don’t have the luxury of zipping over to Home Depot for supplies. Doug recounted the experience on July 31st when the Space Station ammonia pump shut down, and life slowly drained from the orbiting spacecraft. Working closely with Mission Control on a fix, Doug and Tracy saved Station through a series of unplanned space walks. Space walks are are extremely physically challenging. Even though everything floats in space, Newton’s Laws of Motion still apply. Doug told us the hardest part of working is space is learning to maneuver with a light touch, rather than a push.

@Astro_Wheels describes ammonia pump repair

@Astro_Wheels describes ammonia leakDoug told us how his dreams changed using social media. Twitter allowed him to enter into a global conversation about space. Though he can’t take us all with him to space, social media tools allow him to bring us along for the virtual ride.

@Astro_Wheels describes hugeness of space

Describing Space, Astro_Wheels is speechless

Doug encouraged all of us to nurture the dreams of our children. They are our future, after all.

@Astro_Wheels talking to a future Mars-onaut at the NASA tweetup

@Astro_Wheels talking to a future Mars-onaut at the NASA tweetup

Thanks Doug for caring enough to share your amazing experiences in space. You ROCKet!

Tweet stats from @astro_wheels tweetupLast thought: who thinks the Space Station Expedition patch looks like Darth Vader’s helmet? 😉

Expedition 24 Mission Patch

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Filed under Earth, NASA, OpenNASA, social media

Warning: I Tweet Alot!

During Space Shuttle missions or special events, I tweet alot.  I admit it. It’s true. Folks tease me about filling their pages with space tweets. I love sharing photos and inside scoop. Isn’t that what it’s all about? It’s just so much fun, I can’t stop myself.

I’ve said it before, I’m TWaddicted.

We have two tweetups in two weeks during the upcoming STS-132 mission. We’re hosting space tweeps down at the Kennedy Space Center for a tweetup at the press site on Thursday and Friday. Hopefully Space Shuttle Atlantis will lift off at 2:20 p.m. Friday as scheduled for picture-perfect end to the tweetup. So far, we have a 70% chance of good weather.

If you’re in the Kennedy Space Center area on Friday, please huff ‘n puff the clouds away!

STS-132 Mission Poster

STS-132 Mission Poster

The following week, we have a Johnson Space Center mission tweetup on Wednesday, May 19. This will be my first Houston tweetup. I was in Italy during the STS-130 tweetup. I saw enthusiastic tweets from those who attended, so I’m looking forward to this one.

Sadly, none of the STS-132 flyboys signed on to tweet about the mission. Each astronaut is given the choice:

To Tweet or Not to Tweet. That is the question…

STS-132 astronauts

STS-132 astronauts

They all declined the offer. (Can you imagine passing up the opportunity to tweet? Heresy, I say!)

Consolation: we still have Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi tweeting away from Space Station. He’ll tweet about the launch and docking and mission highlights. He posts the most amazing pics, like this one of “Planet Bahamas.”

Planet Bahamas by @Astro_Soichi

Great scoop for you! We have a new feature to offer this mission : BuzzRoom, a social media aggregator page to collect all the tweets, flickr images, video and more for the tweetups. I’ll post the link once it’s live. SOOO excited. Jess3 built it for us. Folks can be part of the tweetup conversation directly from the BuzzRoom webpage. You’re going to LOVE it!

So, for those of you following me on Twitter, brace yourselves.

So much to tweet. So little time.

ST-132 tweetSTS-132 tweetSTS-132 tweetsTS-132 tweet

BTW: Thanks to Brazil’s Manoel Balem for inspiring this post. He sent me this DM (direct message) after I uploaded a dozen or so STS-132 crew photos on Twitpic:

STS-132 twitter message

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

Eating Earth Dust (for NASA)

After two days on the National Mall with the NASA exhibit to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, I can literally say I’ve become a dust-of-the-Earth kinda’ gal. The saying “ashes to ashes” (volcano ash), “dust to dust” (dust tornados to be precise) holds new meaning for me this week. I feel Mother Earth trying to claim me as her own this week. Fitting, I guess, for Earth Day week.

Cold, sand-blasted, wind-whipped  — but great space conversations.

Planet Earth art sculpture on National Mall

Planet Earth art sculpture on National Mall

"Plant It" Earth art sculpture on National Mall

"Plant It" Earth art sculpture on National Mall

Capitol behind Earth sculpture.

Capitol behind Earth sculpture.

NASA participated in the Earth Day Network celebration with tents and activities on the Mall. We brought a flown Space Shuttle tire for visitors to sign and decorate. We’re recycling the tire to let folks touch something that’s actually flown in space, and leave their “mark on space” by signing/doodling on the tire.

Flown Shuttle tire on Saturday.

Flown Shuttle tire on Saturday.

Graffiti Tire AND Display on Sunday

Graffiti Tire AND Display on Sunday

Yep, we love to leave our mark on history — as you can see.

We also took our Spacesuit Photo Op display out to the Mall for visitors to step inside for a spacesuit portrait. Always fun for Earthlings of all ages.

(We can even show proof of space cooperation with the Chinese…Panda bears, that is.)

Even Panda Bears love space!

Even Panda Bears love space!

Space boy

Maybe he'll walk on Mars one day.

NASA's Vickie Walton staffs Photo Op Spacesuit.

NASA's Vickie Walton staffs Photo Op Spacesuit.

Hannah (in stripes) LOVES all things space! Girl power!

Hannah (in stripes) LOVES all things space! Girl power!

We held our first-ever Earth tweet-up yesterday. I don’t work in the Earth science program at NASA, but cool that I was working the Mall exhibit and had the chance to chat with Space Tweeps all day. Serendipity for me. Except that while I talked to Tweeps, people signed the Shuttle Tire DISPLAY holder, rather than the tire itself.

NASA's first Earth Day Tweet-up

NASA's first Earth Day Tweet-up

Space Tweep @astroIvy

Space Tweep @astroIvy

My space tweep buddy Glenn @zippyG2

My space tweep buddy Glenn @zippyG2

Space laughs with @cmaaarrr + @moonrangerlaura

Space laughs with @cmaaarrr + @moonrangerlaura

@oceanChick99 interviewing Maria-Jose @theAGU for UnanimousMovie.com

Tina @oceanChick99 interviewing Maria-Jose @theAGU for UnanimousMovie.com

Manoel Belem

Manoel Belem

I really enjoyed meeting Manoel Belem, astronaut-candidate in Brazil — back when they were partnering with us on the International Space Station. Manoel flew here from São Paulo JUST for the NASA Tweet-up. Manoel shared with us about Brazil’s first astronaut Marcos Pontes who trained with the astronauts in Houston, before his country made the decision to fly him to space through the Russian space tourist program. Marcos launch with the Expedition-13 crew from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on March 29, 2006 and spent eight days in space. Brazil shut down the astronaut program, leaving Manoel without a flight to space. He’s still dreaming of the day he fulfills his zero-g dream. In the meantime, he’s active in social media as @mlbelem.

Great conversations with all of you! But, I have to say, the highlight for me was holding @astroIvy’s iPad in my very own hands. I so SO want one!

Browse the Earth Day pics the Science Mission Directorate posted on Flickr. (The Earth dome in the Flickr pictures blew over. We’re hoping Mother Earth calms down during the week so we can pitch the tent again.)

We’ll be on the Mall all week through next weekend. Come learn more about NASA and space, if you’re in town. (And dress for winter!)

Hill staffer @KenMonroe shows off green NASA bag.

Hill staffer @KenMonroe shows off green NASA bag.

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Filed under artists, Earth, environment, federal government, NASA, social media, space, tweet-up