The ESA astronaut class of 2009. Photo: ESA.

The ESA astronaut class of 2009. Photo: ESA.

In May 2009 ESA, the European Space Agency, announced a new class of six astronauts, who later named their group the Shenanigans. They are Samantha Cristoforetti, Alexander Gerst, Andreas Mogensen, Luca Parmitano, Timothy Peake, and Thomas Pesquet. Although two of them, Luca Parmitano and Alexander Gerst, are scheduled to fly to the International Space Station in 2013 and 2014 respectively, none of them has flown into space yet. But they already made history, at least the history of social media.

The Shenanigans are the astronaut class with the most Twitter users. No ESA, NASA or other space agency astronaut group has ever had so many Twitter users. Five out of the six astronauts of the ESA class of 2009 have Twitter accounts, and engage the public telling about their training and experiences. In a few years, they will tell their adventures in space. The first to start tweeting was Luca Parmitano, soon followed by Samantha Cristoforetti. Then came three more of their colleagues. You can find them on Twitter here:

The only Shenanigans astronaut still resisting Twitter is Timothy Peake. But he will be assimilated,