Tag Archives: tracy caldwell dyson

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


Filed under Earth, NASA, OpenNASA, social media

Hashtag Pics Spark World Cup Obsession

It’s the little things, really, when you get right down to it. Little things like #hashtag-generated soccer balls and flags inside tweets. That’s all it takes to spark a World Cup obsession.

South Africa World Cup

All you brand guys out there: Learn a lesson from this!

I’m not a soccer fan. I admit it. I had my eye on the World Cup because of where it’s being held: South Africa. I’m a South Africa-holic after visiting there last summer with my mother and daughter.

The home of World Cup 2010 will be home to my daughter for the next year or more.

Reason enough for me to take interest, don’t you think? But my interest caught fire when I noticed the cute little soccer ball showing up on tweets after the hashtagged #WorldCup.  World Cup

I first noticed it after our NASA Earth Observing guys posted a twitpic of the World Cup stadium from space.

World Cup stadium from space. Credit: NASA

World Cup stadium from space. Credit: NASA

World Cup Joberg Stadium Tweet

SOOOOO cute. SOOOOOO fun. What a cute little World Cup soccer ball!!

World Cup #nasa tweet
A simple little picture of a soccer ball grabbed my attention enough that I came home and turned on ESPN to watch the World Cup overview. So unlike me. But my NASA world keeps colliding with my life. As I’m watching ESPN, they air an interview of Astronaut Tracy Caldwell Dyson talking from Space Station about the World Cup.

World Cup Tweet

Astronaut Tracy Caldwell Dyson on Space Station. Credit: NASA

Astronaut Tracy Caldwell Dyson on Space Station. Credit: NASA

Ok, now I can’t help myself. I have to tweet about it. Next I notice little hashtag-generated flags for the countries of the teams playing in the World Cup. Oh I’m so totally addicted now!

World Cup Flag Tweet

Then I get busted by this tweet:

World Cup Busted Tweet@Bongobeardy was right…to a certain extent. But by this time, I actually had the World Cup South Africa vs. Mexico game on in the background at work. I could only find a Spanish channel carrying the game, which made the concept of the World Cup even more “worldly” with Spanish sports announcers giving play-by-play. Now, I’m following on the web.

World Cup Addiction Tweet

I’ve even found my new posterboy: heartthrob Danish Nicklas Bendtner. (To be honest, I looked up the Danish team because Mikkell Vestergaard of my previous post is heading down to the World Cup to watch the match.)

Nicklas Bendtner: Denmark

Nicklas Bendtner: Denmark. Credit: AFP

He SO looks like actor Clive Owen here.

I post this story as a testament to simple brand strategies with huge payoffs. Adorable little images inserted into tweets fueled several new passions for me. So easy. Very little effort. Ripple effects far-outreaching the initial idea, I imagine.

What I’d love to see? Little NASA logos hashtag-generated in tweets.

How cool would that be?!? I’d tweet even MORE (if that’s possible) just to see those cute little pics. Wouldn’t it be amazing to have a space helmet for #astronaut, a rocket for #space, an Earth for….well, you get my drift.

Hey Twitter, you’re sitting on a gold mine in advertising — not that I want to pay for NASA logo pics. But still, I could see brand managers lining up to pay per click, etc. Just sayin’…..


Filed under Africa, NASA, social media, space

Women of the World. Literally!

STS-131 Space Shuttle Discovery lit up the dawn sky this morning as she broke free from gravity’s grip to reach low Earth orbit on her way to the International Space Station.

Lift off! STS-131 Space Shuttle Discovery. Photo: NASA TV

Lift off! STS-131 Space Shuttle Discovery. Photo: NASA TV

Onboard Discovery, three female astronauts: NASA’s Dottie Metcalf-Lindenburger and Stephanie Wilson and Naoko Yamazaki of Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency. They will join Space Station Expedition 23 crewmember Tracy Caldwell Dyson.

Four women in space at the same time! How cool is that?!?

Tracy, Dottie, Stephanie, Naoko

Tracy, Dottie, Stephanie, Naoko

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Naoko will tweet during the mission. You can follow @Astro_Naoko in English AND Japanese. Space Station is like our Space United Nations (S.U.N) with multiple nationalities and languages. 😉

Tweet from @astro_Naoko

Tweet from @Astro_Naoko

Not only did we launch three female astronauts into space onboard a rocketship this morning to join the fourth on Space Station, but we also launched our NASA Deputy Lori Garver into the Twittersphere with her first tweet from launch at the Kennedy Space Center. You can follow her tweets @Lori_Garver.

In fact, one of Lori’s first tweets inspired this blogpost.

NASA's Deputy Lori Garver. Photo: NASA

NASA's Deputy Lori Garver. Photo: NASA

Lori also launched her Facebook fan page this morning. NASA’s social media presence ROCKets!

So, girls out there in the universe: Take hope. Aim high. Work hard. Never let a little “no” stop you. Your WORLD awaits you, as we have proof today.

4 females in space. April 7, 2010

4 females in space. April 7, 2010

Crosspost on GovLoop and OpenNASA.


Filed under astronaut, Earth, leadership, NASA, social media, space