I can’t recall when I first became interested in space. It wasn’t an obvious interest when I was a child… I never made my parents dress me up as an astronaut, I never asked to go to any space museums. But the little things– the fact that I loved science class even though I lacked the talent, always making sure I had lots of glow-in-the-dark stars on my bedroom ceiling, always looking up at the sky at night– are what I look back on now, and I see that I’ve loved space all along. But nothing like I have lately.

During my last two years of high school, something snapped. I was set on going to college for Film and Creative writing, until I took my first Physics class… and that was all it took. Astronomy followed the next semester. I was hooked.

Late 2008, I joined Twitter, probably out of curiosity. After browsing around, I saw that NASA had an account. Hm, cool. Then some employees. I thought it was pretty neat that I could follow people that actually worked for NASA. Then I found other people interested in space in general.

As I kept following more and more of those people (“space tweeps,” they called themselves), I found that their enthusiasm was the most contagious thing I’ve experienced. It swept me away. With the help of these folks, I was more informed about astronomy and the space program than I ever imagined I could be.

The more I got to know these tweeps, the more I realized what an extraordinary group of people it was. I started watching NASA TV regularly, calling all my friends to watch shuttle launches, and I can probably say that all this excitement was the catalyst that led me to apply to work at my local Science Center’s Planetarium and Observatory.

Then in the fall, I was presented an opportunity that I would have NEVER imagined I would get. I was able to attend the STS-129 #nasatweetup launch event. Needless to say, that was pretty much the point of no return… I had experienced such a life-changing event with the most amazing people who were all just as excited about space as I was. I got to meet Spacetweeps that I had always talked to, but never met. I made friendships that will probably last forever. There aren’t any words to express just how big of an impact those few days had on my life.

So, what keeps me interested? I think it’s pretty clear. Ever since I got involved with the Space Tweep Society, or Twitter in general, I’ve had experiences that absolutely would have not been possible otherwise. Talking on a daily basis to people who share the passion has increased my love for space exponentially. So thanks, Tweeps, for getting me where I am today. You are more inspiring than you could ever imagine.