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Monthly archive November, 2011

PSA: NASATweetup Stories Needed

Attention on the Nets! 
JPL’s Veronica McGregor (@VeronicaMcG) will be on a NASA news conference Friday, November 25 at 1p.m. ET talking about social media efforts and tweetups. Veronica organized the very first NASA tweetup back in January 2009, and the news conference coincides with NASA’s 31st NASATweetup for the launch of Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) which will carry the Curiosity rover to Mars.

STS-129 NASA Tweetup Signed Poster

Photo credit: @bethbeck/NASA

The following was written by @VeronicaMcG and outlines how we NASA Tweetup alumni can assist her in making the news conference as successful and meaningful as possible:

…I want to do something to include you during the news conference — one thought is to as ask you to tweet what the experience meant to you, or something unexpected you learned, or an action you took (beyond tweeting) to spark the interest of others in space science and NASA. Many of you have done incredible things post-tweetup– letter writing campaigns to ask FIOS to carry NASA TV; creating the wiki; organizing a launch party at a local radio station or science museum. I know there are a lot of great stories out there! I want to mention some these actions plus ask you to tweet them (and I’ll explain to the audience how to view the tweets using the #NASATweetup hashtag). Other ideas? I’m open to hearing them! – Veronica McGregor

Please help get the word out about this #NASATweetup related news conference on November 25th. This is an excellent opportunity for all NASATweetup alumni to share the power and scope of the community that’s been created. Our goal is to provide live tweets during the news conference as we so often do during other live events of interest to SpaceTweeps and NASATweetup alumni.

1st European SpaceTweetup #Spacetacular!!

1st European SpaceTweetup #Spacetacular!!

On 18 September, the German Aerospace Centre (DLR, @dlr_en) and the European Space Agency (ESA, @esa) invited 60 lucky Twitter followers to the first European SpaceTweetup.  Among them some of our most prominent members, @flyingjenny, @herrea, @CraftLass, @travelholic, @amoroso, @marcozambi, @SpaceKate, @DrLucyRogers and @rocketman528. I (@akanel) was also lucky to be invited – and this was my first Tweetup ever!

The SpaceTweetup took place on German Aerospace Day at the joint DLR and European Astronaut Centre site in Cologne.  It was an amazing day, which not even the German grey and rainy weather could spoil!  …it did, of course, make our photographs a bit murky, but that’s about it!

The SpaceTweetup program was full and exciting.  So many thrills packed inside approx. 10 hours that could have easily been the object of two or more separate events.  For those who didn’t get to attend, a four hour (!) long selection of the best moments is available on ESA’s site.


Photo credit: @SimSullen

The day started very excitingly.  We visited and learned about the SOFIΑ Project (Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy), DLR and NASA’s impressive airborne telescope.  Mounted on a Boeing 747SP aircraft modified by L-3 Communications Integrated Systems, SOFIA has a 2.5 meter reflecting telescope, which makes measurements during flight!  High above the disturbances caused by Earth’s atmosphere, but also easily accessible for maintenance and modifications, SOFIA combines the advantages of space telescopes, like Herschel and Hubble, with the ease of ground based telescopes.

The science done on SOFIA is planned by the Universities Space Research Association (USRA) and the Deutsches SOFIA Institut (DSI) under the leadership of NASA Ames Research Centre.  Observing mostly in the far infrared, SOFIA will be used to study many different kinds of astronomical objects and phenomena, such as e.g. star birth and death, formation of new solar systems, identification of complex molecules in space (such as organic materials necessary for life), planets, comets and asteroids in our own solar system, nebulae and dust in galaxies and black holes at the centre of galaxies, helping to answer many fundamental questions about the creation and evolution of the Universe.

SOFIA Telescope. Photo credit: @Brigitte_Ba


The Future of the James Webb Space Telescope


Image credit: NASA

Greetings Space Tweeps,

I just wanted to drop a quick line for all to see concerning the fate of the James Webb Space Telescope. JWST promises much for the field of Astronomy and science in general. It will be able to see far earlier into the history of the universe than ever before, provide help in examining extrasolar planets, and bring humanity answers (and indeed more questions) about our reality. Most importantly, it will provide science jobs, research and inspiration right here in the US of A. While its goals are noble, there is controversy about its cost. NASA has addressed the budgeting issue and put JWST back on track. Nevertheless, on Nov 18 2011, the US House of Representatives will be voting on that funding.

If it is of interest to you to #saveJWST then please see this link for more information. Also check out #saveJWST, #3×10, and #write4flight hashtags on Twitter.

If you do not support the telescope, then feel free to ignore this post. I do not wish to discuss the merits of JWST here. This is just a friendly reminder that you can do something to #savethistelescope .

Science and space travel are humanity’s two most important assets. The more people know about what NASA does the better off humanity will become.

@neoteotihuacan (#NASATweetup @NASAJPL alum May 6 2011)