I used to turn
my nose up at Twitter. I did not understand it. I was a loyal
Facebooker. Then came space shuttle mission STS-125, the final mission
to service the Hubble Space Telescope.

Over at Twitter, I began to follow all sorts of Space Twitterers and
was inspired and sold on Twitter forever. It made my already exhaustive
following of missions all the more complete. I have since deactivated
my Facebook account.

I have always been an advocate of NASA, human spaceflight and space
in general. I have had launch parties going on 10+ years and followed
every mission across all international agencies since I was a child. I
make mission patches for my Urban Garden for crying out loud!

Twitter has affected my enthusiasm for space by making space even
more accessible to everyone. I am glad this is possible. I have been
inspired, educated and informed by Space Tweeps. Nothing made me more
giddy than following the people ‘on the ground’ and ‘in the trenches’
as they provided inside insight and photographs, in real time, during
the STS-125 mission, both before and after the mission.

Twitter is a valuable resource for the world entire. It shows, in
all its glory, that missions into space are more than just the launch
vehicle and the crew and the people in mission control. It shows the
hard work of the thousands of people on the ground who help make it
happen, from custodians to technicians to PR people to video editors to
weather reporters etc.

As a volunteer in the arena of “all things spacey,” I educate
children about the space program from Mercury to Gemini to Apollo to
Skylab to Mars to ESA to JAXA to everything else in between. I think
Twitter and NASA has the potential, if allowed, to fuel the
imaginations of the next generation of explorers and scientists.

As John F. Kennedy said in his 1962 speech at Rice University in
Houston, Texas, “Well, space is there, and we’re going to climb it, and
the moon and the planets are there, and new hopes for knowledge and
peace are there. And, therefore, as we set sail we ask God’s blessing
on the most hazardous and dangerous and greatest adventure on which man
has ever embarked.”

These are truly inspirational and extraordinary times to be
witnessing history first hand, especially with regards to science and
space exploration in low earth orbit and beyond to Mars and beyond and
beyond… …