I posted this on my personal blog yesterday, but felt it would be well received here as its as much about me as saying thanks for everything so far
Well I am a bit of a ‘Johnny-Come-Lately’ to the whole Twitter scene. I had seen it, I know of others that use it, but never really bothered with it as it was just another password to remember and another internet thing to try and remember to write to…
Boy was I wrong!
Now I readily admit to being a geek of the computer persuasion, I am also a mad keen aviation buff (refer to my job title as well!) as well as a space-geek. The space-geek in me only ever surfaced every now and then. I would watch Shuttle launches on NASA TV when I remembered them being on, I would read the NASA site from time to time and I have plenty of books on my shelves at home I have collected since a kid.
My biggest dream (still is!) is to be an Astronaut, I still want to be the first Australian woman onto the ISS. Andy Thomas has already been up there, its time for the girls now, and I think that should be me…;)
So, back to Twitter…
I joined Twitter about 2-3 weeks prior to the NASA ‘Tweetup’. I had seen snippets of info about this event around the internet but really wasn’t following it closely. I turned on my Mac on the day of the ‘Tweetup’ and sat there in total amazement. I watched the first day of the ‘tweetup’ with speakers like @Rocky_Sci and @Astro_Mike and the 100 people that were there getting to TOUCH and HOLD parts of the Shuttle!!! Now, in my job (aircraft mechanic) I have had people say to me how cool it must be to play with expensive aircraft all day, and I guess after a while it does lose some of its gloss after 18 years. But I really understand why people get excited about such things now.
I get excited about the thought of getting to play with a real orbiter, I get excited about seeing real live rocket engines, I get a lump in my throat at the thought of watching STS-131 in person…I finally ‘get it’!
Through the NASA Tweetup event I experienced a launch and NASA all the way over here in Australia in a ‘real time’ like situation. I was totally hooked that Sunday night and found myself awake until the wee hours of the morning watching the live stream video. I was up again the following night watching the launch of STS-129 as well. For someone like me living all the way over here that was something truly amazing. Of course to have been there in person would have been something else – I think I would have been crying the entire time just about! (What price do you put on your dreams anyway?)
The NASA Tweetup led to my discovery of all these wonderful people calling themselves #spacetweeps. Now, I didn’t really understand too well as a Twitter ‘noob’ what the deal was so I did a search, found the site and signed up.
Oh gee…there are so many other people in this world with the same interests and passions its really blown my mind. I have ‘met’ people like @ageekmom – truly someone after my own heart. She has been very warm and welcoming, and as we have found out, we have many things in common. I am in awe though of her knowledge and passion for all things NASA and space.
@patimc – another wonderful woman I have been ‘talking’ with via Twitter, she has a great sense of humour and also shares the same passion as everyone else there vis a vis spaceflight and aviation.
@flyingjenny – well there is a lady who I think has my job – this lady is a Shuttle Technician, trust me when I say I have been gobsmacked to see that! How awesome is that?!
@catherineQ – a lady from NZ in the US who just happens to be an astrophysicist! Wow…there are very smart people here
Last but definately not least, @Astro_TJ – where do we start with this guy? ISS Expedition 22 and 23 Astronaut. A VERY cool guy who is more than happy to answer our questions via Twitter. He has a great sense of humour and I am completely awestruck to have the chance to be able to ‘talk’ to him. (He also has my job btw..)
There are many other #spacetweeps out there I have had the absolute pleasure of ‘conversing’ with over Twitter as well. There isnt a day that goes by now that I am not checking Seesmic on my G1 or having Destroy Twitter running there in the background watching this thing called Twitter and the #spacetweeps that are found there. Its a cool addiction to have though!
To wrap this all up I too would like to express my thanks to everyone that was involved with the #nasatweetup – for a girl over here in Australia it has been an amazing experience to watch it all over the internet. It has been a doorway to a thriving space community and has given me a renewed vigour and interest in something that I have sadly left dormant for a while now. It always been there, it just needed a little prodding and thanks to the #nasatweetup and the #spacetweeps its back….its big…its beautiful and its one of the best things to have come out of the internet for a long time!
See you all for my own ‘tweetup’ when I watch STS-131 launch from KSC in March