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The Space Tweep Society European Branch

@SpaceTweepsIt’s been two years since the European Space Agency (ESA) first opened it’s doors to Space enthusiasts, and already the SpaceTweeps community has grown into a vibrant solid group in Europe, with new members joining everyday.  Inspired by some of the Society’s core U.S. members, who crossed the pond to attend the 1st SpaceTweetup on September 18, 2011 in Germany, the European SpaceTweeps have grabbed the torch and.. have been running ever since!

In the past two years, SpaceTweeps have been invited to more than ten Tweetups in Europe organised by numerous Space & Science Institutions such as ESA, DLR, CNES, OeWF, CERN, ISU etc., and they have spontaneously attended almost all major space related conferences and events on this planet, including the 2012 ISS Symposium in Berlin, Germany, SpaceFest V in Tucson, Arizona and the 64th International Astronautical Congress in Beijing, China. They have also  joined forces with scientists and space professionals in already organizing four SpaceUp un-conferences all over the continent.

While having tons of fun in the process, SpaceTweeps have been spreading their excitement and love for space exploration and scientific research to thousands of people, with their tweets, posts and blogs.  Happily, officials in Europe have not been shy in publicly acknowledging SpaceTweeps’ contribution to increasing outreach and public awareness of their activities on twitter or on their official websites.  ESA was even bold enough to host the second largest European SpaceUp in its Paris headquarters and to promote it on its official website.

The video below was produced, during last week’s ESA/DLR SocialSpace event, by Henning Krause of Helmholtz Association (CC-BY 3.0), who has been fascinated by the Society’s momentum and drive. Many claim that this says it all ;-)

SocialSpace interviews: The Space Tweeps Community

 

#LADEE #NASASocial 2013/09 5, 6

The LADEE social was a magical experience. This is us, Thursday, at the WFF Pad 0B with LADEE.

Space tweeps at Pad 0B

Space tweeps at Pad 0B @NASASocial

The Minotaur launch lit up Chicoteague Bay in a way that’s hard to describe. My visual post image (blind spot) lasted for a couple minutes. And then a few seconds later, the sound rushed over us like the mach boom from a flying Astrodome. Far beyond the sound of thunder.

After the launch, the NASA Social bus was humming with twitter like a twitter neural implant. Amazing.

NASA loves social media because it connects people with their science efforts in a way that’s more direct than conventional media. Charlie Bolden wants us all to know that we’re all a part of the NASA Team. I found this message to have far more force in person, than in video or print. In person it sinks in. It can wash over you like a flat spin. But that’s me.

The hard part about tweetups is matching names and faces and twitter handles in a day or two. If you’re twenty years old this is as natural as rain. But still not easy. Makes me think of a Space Tweep Face Book, but rather than write code I’ll just recommend Google plus. Tweeps on Google plus can share circles. A circle is a list of G+ people that can be used to select sharing and notifications, and can be used for privacy. Image tagging, though, is the thing. A G+ image has a URL, and the tagged image is the visual human – computer interface for matching names and faces and twitter handles and more. On G+ public sharing has ripples, a visual sharing graph, which can be seen for any shared post using the menu from the post’s top right corner.

The hard part about covering NASA is the volume of that space of information. It’s about 8.6 × 10^{38} cubic meters, or the volume of a sphere centered on the Sun and containing the orbit of Pluto.  In other words, it’s not possible to cover it all in any sense.  One approach is to get ahead of upcoming social events with topical material like this bit of homework.

To write that post I started from the LADEE pages and then found additional information using NSSDC and NTRS. NTRS has technical reports that reference science articles. I scan these pdfs for whatever I understand, and just try to remember the parts I do or don’t understand using the terms from each paper. This is enough to illuminate a subject roundly: to note the primary terms and some description of their meaning.

The search I use is a google expression like “ultraviolet visible ladee site:nasa.gov”. This covers everything, and knowing about the resource repositories just helps to sort the search results. The fun part is how useful and effective this work can be.

For me it’s interesting how twitter and g+ are complementary. The reader’s perspective in each of twitter, tweet deck, or g+ is unique in terms of information density. The diversity of topics available per pixel in twitter (tweet deck / columns) is far higher than in g+. The user experience in g+ is good for reading, unlike facebook which is exploiting visual human psychology for a less interesting business model. Google’s economy of scale is better for the user, and Google recognizes the relationship between “organizing the world’s information” and “public trust.”

Correction/ Update (10/10/2013): This writer appreciates this post as a personal one having no legal matter whatsoever to the persons and entities mentioned.  Specifically, when I wrote “Google recognizes” I had no objective or factual reason for saying so — but reached for the stars overhead to express an idea that is irrelevant to the legal world (at large) wherein the private sector entity commonly known as Google has no facility in the public sector.  I thought that was (in the neighborhood of) obvious, but I understand now that I crossed a line if misunderstood (misrepresented) to be a general statement in a larger world than the personal one that was intended.  This isn’t wikipedia, here.  Happy birthday, Peter.

LADEE, first flight to the moon from Wallops Flight Facility

Of course everyone reading this knows about the #NASASocial event for the launch of the LADEE mission to Lunar orbit happening this week on Thursday (9/5) and Friday (9/6).  Follow NASASocial/lists/ladee-launch-social plus @NASA_Wallops, @NASALADEE, @NASAAmes, @NASAGoddard, and also @LRO_NASA for updates.

A nice piece of Wallops history was raised by @TeresaR_WV: “Explorer 9 was the first spacecraft placed in orbit by an all-solid rocket and the first spacecraft successfully launched into orbit from Wallops Island.” (1961, NSSDC).

The LADEE social will be covering a huge range of subjects, including the following.

The LADEE mission will be collecting data on the Lunar Exosphere, specifically tightening the boundaries on gas and dust types and quantities found at altitudes under 50 km so that future work can develop an understanding of the surface boundary exospheric processes that occur on inert rocky bodies like the Moon and Mercury. And the LADEE mission will be flight qualifying the LLCD free space optical communications link. Data collection in the Lunar Exosphere will employ three instruments.

The Neutral Mass Spectrometer (NMS) determines captured (Lunar Exosphere) gas particle types (element) using a kind of electromagnetic filter called an RF Quadrupole or Quadrupole mass analyzer, or Mass Spectrometer. Instruments very similar to this one have flown on many deep space missions including CASSINI. In determining gas types with fairly high frequency (many per second), gas quantity and distribution can be determined over time.

The Ultraviolet – Visible Spectrometer (UVS) will determine observed (Lunar Exosphere) gas types by the characteristic electromagnetic emission spectra of gas particles impacted by solar radiation. It is also capable of a few additional modes (that I haven’t groked yet) that provide information about gas and dust processes in the exosphere.

The Lunar Dust Experiment (LDEX) captures larger “dust” particles to determine composition and distribution over time, not entirely unlike the NMS. Also not entirely unlike the NMS, it employs an electromagnetic process to do so.

The NMS and LDEX are forward facing, while the UVS is rearward facing, in LADEE’s direction of flight. That is, LADEE flies sideways relative to its Lunar Capture rocket engine which it points out of the way otherwise.

The NASA TV broadcast schedule includes events on Thursday and Friday.

September 5, Thursday

10 -11:30 a.m. – NASA Social for LADEE Mission Live from the Wallops Flight Facility – HQ/WFF (Education Channel)


3 p.m. – LADEE Prelaunch Mission Briefing – HQ/WFF (All Channels)

4 p.m. – LADEE Mission Science and Technology Demonstration Briefing – HQ/WFF (All Channels)

September 6, Friday

6-10 a.m. –Live Interviews on the LADEE Mission – HQ/WFF (All Channels)

4-6 p.m. – Live Interviews on LADEE Mission – HQ/WFF (All Channels)

9:30 p.m. – Live Launch Coverage and Commentary on LADEE Mission – HQ/GSFC/WFF (Public and Media Channels)

9:30 p.m. – Simulcast of NASA EDGE Live Webcast of LADEE Mission and Launch – LARC/HQ/WFF (Education Channel)

September 7, Saturday

2 a.m. – LADEE Post Launch News Conference –HQ/WFF (All Channels)

The LADEE Mission Pages have info for viewing the launch from the US East Coast, and most importantly how to get involved in citizen science!

World Space Week 2013 with MarsTweetup on 5th October 2013

World Space Week 2013 with MarsTweetup on 5th October 2013

This year’s World Space Week motto is: Exploring Mars. Discovering Earth.

From 4-10 October 2013, more than twenty organizations spread across four continents will be exploring Mars – and discovering more about Earth in the process. A campaign of networked Mars analog simulations, including a 4-day Mars simulation at the Desert Research Station (MDRS) in Utah (US), is being launched to celebrate World Space Week (WSW) 2013.
The Mission to Mars and all satellite events will be coordinated from the WSW 2013 Mission Control Center, located at the Headquarters of the Austrian Space Forum in Innsbruck, Austria.

Invitation for 2nd MarsTweetup #simulateMars

On 5th of October 2013 the Austrian Space Forum (OEWF) is inviting 20 Social Media followers to the World Space Week Mission Control Center (MCC) in Innsbruck. This is a unique opportunity for Social Media users get a behind-the-scenes look into Mars analog research, an operating Mars analog MCC and to meet other Social Media users sharing the same interest. Through the MCC in Innsbruck the activities in the Mars Desert Research Station as well as global satellite events will be coordinated.

Planned activities during the MarsTweetup:

  • Mars analogs and MARS2013 Morocco Mars Simulation 2013
  • “Failure is not an option”, the role of a Mission Control Center (Mars Simulation flight controllers share their experience first-hand!)
  • Mission Control Center tour – an intimate look-behind-the-scenes of Mars Analog Research
  • Extra-Vehicular-Activity with the Aouda.X Mars spacesuit simulator EVA
  • Live-Link to World Space Week satellite events

This MarsTweetup will be held in Innsbruck, Austria on 5th October 2013, 09:00 a.m – 6:00 p.m

Registration ends on Thursday, 7th of September 2013 at 12:00 pm CEST.

More information:

The future of space outreach

NASA announced yesterday that it would suspend all public outreach and education efforts per immediately, as an effect of the sequestration measures of the US government. The original internal NASA memo that was published by our friends at SpaceRef caused an immediate outburst of disbelief and disappointment on all (non-NASA) social media channels. Although the message is clearly not a hoax, it needs to be seen what the actual effect of this message will be to future NASA events and communication, but it sounds severe enough. The spacetweep community will definitely notice.

Immediately after this announcement several discussions about the future of space outreach arose on blogs, Twitter and Facebook. Most focused on whether or not this could be true, but all soon realized it is. Some then started to focus on the implications and possible solutions. How can the space enthusiast community jump in? How will this shift the focus to other countries? And what should the outreach message be anyway? Listen in to a rather philosophical conversation I had with my UK space outreach friend Amjad Zaidi on Facebook: (more…)

NASA’s new Social Media Credentials tweetup model

Social media is one of the fastest evolving new media in society. Tools and methods seem to success each other at ever increasing rates, making it difficult to stay on top of the latest, even for the social media savvy readers of this blog. In the space community this evolution has largely been driven by NASA. After organizing the first space-related tweetup at JPL in January of 2009, NASA continued to embrace and include the social media community in its public outreach and communication strategy.

Just before the first tweetup in 2009 NASA became active on several social media platforms. It is by far the industry leading space organization on Twitter and Facebook and has set the standard on many other platforms as well. NASA TV is probably the best known online TV channel in the world.

Since the first experimental #NASATweetup events in 2009 the concept proved very successful for NASA. And despite some initial internal doubts it quickly evolved into a key new communication channel to the general public. Opening doors of facilities and events to its Twitter followers created an increasingly large worldwide community of NASA ambassadors. In April 2012 the audience was enlarged to include followers on other platforms, and the event name changed into #NASASocial.

Less than three years after the first #NASATweetup and six months after switching to the #NASASocial model, NASA is now introducing the ‘Social Media Credentials’ model. This third ‘evolution’ brings the social media community in line with traditional media. There are a few changes though. Selection of social media users is no longer random. In order to be eligible, an applicant has to meet certain criteria. Active participation on multiple channels is now a clear prerequisite. In NASA’s own words:

“Social media credentials give users a chance to apply for the same access as journalists in an effort to align the access and experience of social media representatives with those of traditional media. People, who actively collect, report, analyze and disseminate news on social networking platforms are encouraged to apply for media credentials. Selection is not random. All social media accreditation applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Those chosen must prove through the registration process they meet specific engagement criteria.” (source)

The first time this new credentials principle was introduced was for the @SpaceX Dragon launch in October 2012. The NASA social media team explained the background of the new social media credentials as follows:

“Social media users selected to attend the SpaceX launch will be given the same access as journalists in an effort to align the access and experience of social media representatives with those of traditional media. “We look at this as a natural extension and an evolution of the NASA Social concept,” said Bob Jacobs [@BNJacobs], deputy associate administrator for the agency’s Office of Communications. “Just as radio, television, and other media expanded the definition of ‘the press,’ we’re going to open our doors to influential and interested people who engage in social media activities and invite them to work alongside traditional media.” (source)

This new concept is proof that for NASA – as for society in general – social media are becoming a mainstream communication channel, and no longer something subordinate to traditional media. This means that savvy social media users and bloggers are considered as important as traditional journalists. It will be interesting to see how NASA will manage and ensure the quality of the public outreach message through these ‘citizen reporters‘. Accreditation for these social media space ambassadors is great step in the right direction. A development that deserves our support and will keep NASA in the forefront of social media integration in public outreach. Hopefully others will follow suit…

Spacetweeps in the Arctic: Join #AuroraTweetup

One of the greatest benefits of being part of the #spacetweeps community are the great events that are organized. These events are the best way to turn a space passion into a true space ambassadorship and many new friends. When joining my first #NASATweetup in 2011 the other attendees told me it would change my life, which I politely laughed away. But wow, were they right! So after #NASATweetup followed ESA/DLR #SpaceTweetup, #CNESTweetup, #AndreTweetup, #SpaceKoelsch 1-3 and a few #SpaceUps. It is great to be in the heart of the best virtual and real life community in the world! (more…)

The First International Space Exploration Symposium in Japan

I will be attending a two day symposium organized by JAXA in Tokyo. The theme is Space Exploration for Humanity and the Future. It will open Tuesday October 30 at 1300, Japan time. The complete program can be found at the following address:

http://www.jaxa.jp/press/2012/09/20120928_sympo_e.html

I will try to cover the event live on Twitter with pictures. Even if it proves difficult (power supply problems, etc.) I will write about it here later in the week.

As you can see, the philosophical aspects of space exploration will be discussed but also its future. With the attendance of top executives from Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Mitsubishi HI, SpaceX among others, we can expect some interesting talks about the commercial aspects of space exploration.

I also intend to make use of the event to contact persons interested in starting a SpaceUp or Space Tweetup events in Japan in the near future.
Anyone interested can contact me through my Twitter account @ScienceInSpace
I am looking forward to having an active exchange with my fellow Spacetweeps from all around the world.

Philippe Valdois

@ScienceInSpace

The #NewSpaceTweetup is back!

The #NewSpaceTweetup, part of the NewSpace 2012 Conference, will be Friday, July 27th, from 8-10 pm at the Hyatt Regency Santa Clara.

It is a social event open to the space-loving  public and conference attendees. Come join us to geek out about commercial space and build LEGOS! Cosmically good music will be provided by In Space Media. There will also be goodies from Yuri’s Night, SpaceUp, Space Travelers Emporium and the Silicon Valley Space Center. If you’d like to donate something, bring a space display or provide a space activity, please email marimikel.charrier@spacefrontier.org.

This event is free (donations welcome). More details will be posted soon. Follow @NewSpaceTweetup for the latest updates!

New #Penny4NASA video “We stopped Dreaming”

Fellow #Spacetweeps :

Just wanted to bring the #Penny4NASA effort to your attention. I discovered really fast at the #NASATweetup at @NASAJPL a little over a year ago (May 2011) that #Spacetweeps are an exceptional bunch of people. I thought I was alone in knowing that the exploration of space, and the passion it inspires, is crucial to the long-term survival of humanity. I had always assumed that everyone else was ignorant of NASA’s importance to the United States and the world. Then, I went to a #NASATweetup. It changed my world. To meet all of these people, and the passion they carry for our collective well-being…it humbled me. I met the greatest people. A #NasaTweetup does something immeasurable to you; it gets in your blood.

And so, with this new perspective I plugged in as far as I could go into this new sub-culture. I was already earning degrees, moving to become connected to exobiological research, a field close to my heart. But after that #NASATWeetup I became an advocate for NASA. I helped launched the #SaveJWST campaign to raise awareness for the troubled budget of the James Webb Space Telescope (savethistelescope.blogspot.com). In part, we were successful and it was a thrill, for once, to see NASA and Space Exploration championed like that. I know the JWST is controversial to some, but I cannot wait to see it fly. It will open up a whole new paradigm of questions about the universe and our place in it. One single #NASATweetup influenced me to get involved, to take a stand for our collective future.

And now, there is a new movement I have just connected with. A new, broader direction for championing the good that NASA represents. #Penny4NASA is a grassroots effort to influence the Federal Government to double NASA’s current budget, from half a penny on every Federal dollar spent to one whole penny per dollar. A humble, small request…especially if you consider that NASA’s entire budget is tiny considering the whole Federal Budget. The $850 billion bailout, spent in one go, is bigger than that entire 50 year NASA budget.

But, of course, many of you know this. Many of you have heard of #Penny4NASA , too. I am, after all, speaking to the choir =) So, I just want to leave you with this: the new #Penny4NASA video “We stopped Dreaming.” Share it. Sign the petition.
Presenting new #Penny4NASA video:

#NASA is the key to the future. It is our greatest investment.
Thank you very much for your attention. I look forward to seeing you at the next #NASATweetup (#NASASocial).

@neoteotihuacan
K. Sullivan

#OV101toNYC Tweetup

Sign up now

New York area residents: We are about to get the coolest new neighbor to ever arrive in this area. I am, of course, talking about the prototype orbiter Enterprise, the vehicle that started the wonderful long-running Shuttle Transportation System program by proving you could actually glide back to the surface of the Earth in what’s lovingly dubbed a “flying brick”.

Last week I was lucky enough to be at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center of the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum to see Discovery (my favorite orbiter) arrive and Enterprise move out of the home where she has delighted visitors for many years. They are things of beauty beyond words, both of them, and I’m still marveling that one will be easily accessible right in the heart of the Hudson side of Manhattan.

In Virginia, NASA hosted a #NASASocial for that event but the incredible part was how many Space Tweeps showed up for what was dubbed the “Rogue Tweetup”. Approximately 200 tweeps (from what I can gather) joined in the celebrations and had a wonderful time meeting each other or seeing friends from previous tweetups, launches, and other gatherings.

The best part of the week, in my opinion, was not the day of the transfer of Discovery to the Smithsonian, but the day she flew over both her new home and the city of DC. Images of the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft with her precious cargo over the Capitol, the Washington Monument, and other landmarks are stunning and oh, so poignant.

So, think about it: What’s the one backdrop even cooler than those landmarks? The New York City skyline!

As of now, the most accurate plans I’ve heard include flying up the Hudson River past our local landmarks like the Statue of Liberty and her future home on the Intrepid. With this in mind, tweetup ideas have been flying around and it’s time to make them official. As one tweep said, “You can either be in Manhattan and get New Jersey as the backdrop or you can be in New Jersey and get the skyline.” That made it obvious that the ideal location would be Pier A in Hoboken, easily reachable by PATH train from the city, is a major NJ Transit hub, and lacking in city tolls for anyone driving in from the suburbs and beyond (with big parking garages near the site).

The flight has been postponed several times already and is now planned for Friday, April 27th. The timing isn’t exact but I’ve been hearing it should be around 10 am – 1 pm, but Discovery was a half-hour early in DC, so I would plan to arrive between 9 and 9:30 to set up cameras and such. I will keep updating this page if things change again and with more plans as they are formed, so keep an eye on this or follow me or the hashtag #OV101toNYC on Twitter.

Let’s show this bird that New York is thrilled to have her! Sign up here so we can have a ballpark headcount and join the Facebook group if you want to discuss any further ideas. I’d like to do something to celebrate every stage of her arrival, so I will keep the group active until she is installed in her permanent home this fall, at least.

  • What: OV-101 Enterprise NYC Flyover Tweetup
  • When: Friday, April 27th at 9:30 AM
  • Where: Pier A Park in Hoboken, NJ
  • Sign up now

Zoo calling space

Space events are everywhere. But even the more seasoned space enthusiast will not easily end up at a zoo. Yesterday Artis Amsterdam Zoo organized a live inflight call with ESA astronaut André Kuipers. As it happens, André Kuipers is a fan and  ambassador of the zoo. He even took the zoo mascotte ‘Artis de Marsis’ up into the ISS with him. To honor this good relationship between the zoo and ‘its’ astronaut, the zoo organized a live connection with ISS for zoo friends and local schools. (more…)