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#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!

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…

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).

K. Sullivan

Best Social Media Manager Shorty Industry Award Nomination

Stephanie L. Schierholz, Social Media Manager Photo Credit: NASA

Stephanie L. Schierholz, Social Media Manager Photo Credit: NASA

SpaceTweeps for Schierholz!

Stephanie L. Schierholz (@Schierholz) is the Social Media Manager for NASA, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, where she leads many of the agency’s innovative social media activities. Stephanie manages the agency’s @NASA Twitter account, with its 1.7 million followers, and primary Facebook page, with more than 700,00 fans. She coordinates the efforts of NASA public affairs teams to maintain these accounts. Stephanie ensures NASA remains engaged with its followers, including occasional Q&A sessions with astronauts, project specialists, scientists, and even NASA’s Deputy Administrator (@Lori_Garver).

Stephanie also coordinates with the social media managers and staff at NASA centers across the country. She leads ongoing and long-term planning efforts for NASA social media, supporting the challenging quest for resources to maximize the agency’s reach across multiple services.

Stephanie’s skill with emerging communication technologies has led NASA to establish strategic partnerships with services such as Gowalla, Foursquare, and SlideShare. Through Stephanie’s negotiation of these partnerships, she blazed a pioneer trail for NASA as the first government agency to use these platforms. Of particular note is the partnership with Foursquare, which NASA kicked off when astronaut Doug Wheelock (@Astro_Wheels), more than 220 miles above Earth, checked in to Foursquare aboard the International Space Station, unlocking the NASA Explorer badge that Earthlings now can earn by following NASA and checking in on Foursquare.

Although it cannot advertise, the space agency is legally bound by the 1958 National Aeronautics Space Act to seek the “widest practicable & appropriate dissemination of information concerning its activities and the results thereof.” Social media has proven to be a ideal tool for NASA, helping it meet the Act’s strict communication requirements. According to the L2 Digital IQ® Index: Public Sector, “NASA is the clear leader and is innovating on every platform.” As the agency’s strategic manager for social media initiatives, Stephanie charts the agency’s course and holds routine conference calls with the cadre of individuals responsible for public outreach within the agency.

Astronaut Doug Wheelock discusses his experiences living on the International Space Station during a tweetup at NASA HQ in Washington, D.C. (March 2011). Photo Credit: NASA/Paul E. Alers

Stephanie’s leadership and dedication have been instrumental to the growth and continuing success of NASA’s public outreach endeavors, in particular its @NASATweetup events. In January 2009, NASA began hosting “tweetups” for users of the social media service Twitter to provide them with VIP access to NASA facilities, speakers, and activities. Since 2010, Stephanie has taken the helm of these events at several locations across the agency, including space mission launches. To date, NASA has hosted 31 of these unique and inspiring public outreach events. Registration is open to anyone with a Twitter account, and each NASA Tweetup draws significant interest.

NASA held an incredible 17 NASA Tweetups, an average of more than one per month, in 2011. Stephanie directly supported at least one dozen of these tweetups as the primary liaison, on-site coordinator, and public point of contact. This is no small feat, considering most of the 2011 NASA Tweetup events supported spacecraft launches–logistically complex, multi-day events with a high probability of weather or other scheduling delays. The year also marked NASA’s “longest-ever tweetup” of 115 days–after repeated launch delays, the majority of the tweetup’s participants returned to see the Shuttle launch four months later. While the agency only planned to invite participants for the original launch opportunity, Stephanie advocated for their continual involvement that enabled many to see the launch from the historic press site.

NASA Tweetup participants stand at the launch clock, Thursday, Feb. 24, 2011, prior to the launch of space shuttle Discovery (STS-133) at Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. Photo Credit: NASA/Paul E. Alers

Invited to Germany in September 2011 by DLR and the European Space Agency (ESA), Stephanie led a presentation with NASA’s Space Operations Outreach Program Manager Beth Beck (@BethBeck); the presentation shares the origin of social media at NASA, where it is going, and some of the challenges:

More than 2,500 people from across the globe have attended a NASA Tweetup and shared the experience in real-time with their co-workers, friends, family members, and other followers. An entire community of NASA Tweetup alumni has formed around these events, establishing FacebookLinkedIn, and Google+ groups and a community-owned and managed wiki for documenting and sharing tips, photos, videos, blog posts, and news media reports about NASA Tweetup activities.

The enthusiasm and dedication Stephanie brings to her communication and outreach activities, coupled with the inspirational nature of NASA Tweetup events, has led many alumni to seek opportunities to be more involved in public outreach, themselves. Alumni routinely hold speaking engagements at local schools to talk about STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) topics, organize or attend aerospace-related conferences (ISDC, SpaceUp, etc.) and workshops, or become more politically active; a few alumni have even changed careers as a result of their involvement with NASA’s incredible social media and outreach activities.

I can personally attest to the level of commitment, professionalism, enthusiasm, and genuine concern Stephanie brings to bear in all her work. She has been instrumental in reaching out and embracing the public through NASA Tweetup events, numerous public speaking engagements (SxSW, L2 Social Graph, Ragan, and more) and other outreach activities. You don’t just have to take my word for it, though — here’s what some of my fellow SpaceTweeps have to say about Stephanie’s work in 2011:

@cygnusx112: Tom attended the MSL NASATweetup in late November for the launch of the Mars Science Laboratory, witnessing the start of the Mars Curiosity rover’s odyssey first-hand. The rover will land on Mars in August 2012.

Stephanie Schierholz deserves this [Best Social Media Manager] award. She does such a wonderful job and has impacted all of us so much….I was part of the Mars Curiosity Tweetup. Stephanie and her team gave up their Thanksgiving Holiday so that we could have the experience of a lifetime. When the launch date slipped a day, she had to reschedule all of the speakers and tour stops, which is no small feat. Even six weeks later I’m still a little overwhelmed at all that we got to see and experience and still processing it. The Tweetup ran smoothly and we were treated like royalty. I can never fully repay NASA and Stephanie and her team, but I can sure try by spreading the word to the world about all of the cool things that NASA is still doing.

@starlingLX: Alex attended the STS-135 Crew at NASA HQ tweetup in Washington D.C. in October.

Stephanie is a very exceptional individual and I owe one of the most exciting days of my life to her! […] Although it was only a one hour event, it was worth the trip from Germany.

@AllanManangan: Allan joined the NASATweetup family in 2011 and has now attended 3 tweetups, including the Mars Science Laboratory launch from Florida and the NASA NPP launch from California. —

The 2011 JPL Tweetup was my first NASA Tweetup experience. I met Stephanie during one of the tours, but it was just a quick introduction, because I could tell how busy she was—if Stephanie was not on her mobile tweeting, then she was gently keeping us on course as we walked about JPL’s campus. On that day I began to understand her incredible work ethic.

The rest of the year supported and strengthened my respect for Stephanie. […] NASA’s social media teams have truly taken steps towards making space more accessible for so many of us. They are just as important as NASA’s administrators, astronauts, and scientists. Stephanie Schierholz is one of the best and I support her nomination all the way.

@MTClemente: Mark also joined the NASATweetup family in 2011 and has logged a total of 3 tweetups. You may be sensing a trend here–NASATweetups are so unique and inspiring, they’re habit-forming!

I have attended three NASATweetups. The first one was for Mars Curiosity at JPL [2011 JPL Tweetup] – AWESOME! The second one would never have happened without Stephanie. I was an alternate for the final Shuttle launch – STS-135. On launch day, Stephanie allowed the alternates that made the trip down to Florida to attend. It was my first Shuttle launch and my very last chance to see one. I can never thank her enough for allowing me that opportunity and I will be forever grateful to her for it. My third tweetup was the launch of Mars Science Laboratory and Curiosity. It was a wonderful opportunity (haha) to see the launch of the rover that I was able to visit while still in the clean room. I will never be able to express in words how grateful I am to everyone on the NASATweetup teams that made these opportunities possible for me and so many others. But I’m especially grateful to Stephanie for giving me that once in a life time chance to see the final shuttle launch.

@BigE54: Elliot attended the GRAIL NASATweetup for the launch of the twin lunar-bound spacecraft in September. NASATweetup participants viewed the launch near Kennedy Space Center in Florida. —

I have some mobility issues that really acted up while I was there. Stephanie went well up and beyond in helping me out. She actually drove me back from the first launch attempt in her own car, which turned into quite a memorable ride, as Neil deGrasse Tyson (@NeilTyson) was also a passenger. She also arranged for me to drive to the next launch attempt in my own car, rather than the bus. Her extraordinary efforts on my behalf shows her level of caring on a personal level for the participants of these tweetups, and shows to me just the kind of person she is.

@therealDJflux: Andy’s first NASATweetup was NASA’s longest, but I’ll let him tell the story. He’s also a veteran of the GRAIL and STS-135 Crew at NASA HQ tweetups, both of which were also in 2011.

I am an alumnus of the STS-133 NASA Tweetup– The Never-ending Tweetup. 115 days of pure joy. If any Tweetup shows Stephanie’s commitment, hard work, and dedication as NASA’s Social Media Manager and to making NASA Tweetup a success, I believe it’s 133. Adjusting schedules and guests for us Tweeps for over 6 days for the first launch attempt in November 2010 and then inviting us to return in February 2011 with more speakers and tours and the final launch of [Space Shuttle] Discovery.  It was just amazing work. 133 changed my life.  I have, what have become, some lifelong friends as a result and I start class this coming Tuesday to complete my Bachelors degree in hopes of becoming an Astronaut Candidate and being selected to the Astronaut Corps someday soonish. 🙂

@And_Tonic: “Gin” joined the NASATweetup family in August, attending the launch of the Jupiter-bound Juno spacecraft at the Juno Tweetup.

It is hard to imagine the logistics power it takes for Stephanie and her team to get everything and everyone moving forward, especially for something as flexible as a launch.  Also, she keeps us all engaged well after our individual tweet ups. I also think Stephanie is amazing at sharing her best practices with others, whether it be other countries’ space agencies or other U.S. federal agencies looking at improving their social media presence.  She is not only a leader in space and science but also in government communication and openness.

@MaryBethHunt: Mary attended the STS-134 NASATweetup for the final launch of Space Shuttle Endeavour. The launch was scheduled for April 29, but was delayed to May 16 due to inclement weather and a subsequent mechanical problem.

We had a tornado siren and many of us were “stuck” in the press room. Stephanie was in there, too, and talked to us about how the Tweet-up worked, etc. I was very impressed with the whole Tweet-up experience, and by supporting Stephanie, I feel like I’m supporting NASA, too. We met so many fabulous people who worked there. It was such a special and memorable experience for me.

Stephanie exemplifies what it means to be the best in social media–she consistently goes above and beyond to serve NASA and the SpaceTweep community in everything she does. It is our honor to nominate Stephanie Schierholz for the Best Social Media Manager Shorty Industry Award.

PostScript (February 5, 2012):
If you still need convincing, just take a look at @Storify of the incredible community response to Stephanie’s announcement on January 30, 2012, that she is seeking a new adventure–leaving @NASA and moving to Boston to work at @Raytheon.


Supporting Materials

A Few Social Media Presentations by Stephanie:

See Also:

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.

NASA Langley Tweetup – Register Oct 11-13

NASA Tweetup badges

NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, VA, has announced a #NASATweetup for 50 social media guests that will take place on Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2011 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. EDT.


This NASA Tweetup is only open to US citizens due to access restrictions at the Langley facility. 


Registration opens at 10 am EDT on Tuesday, Oct. 11,

and closes at 5 pm EDT on Thursday, Oct. 13


The Tweetup will give participants the chance to have lunch with an astronaut, interact with NASA experts, and tour a wind tunnel, lunar habitat concept and the historic Landing and Impact Research Facility, where Neil Armstrong trained to land on the moon.

More info: http://www.nasa.gov/connect/tweetup/tweetup_langley_11-08-2011.html

Follow @NASA_Langley on Twitter for more details!


Image credit: NASA/JPL

Just returned home from the GRAIL Tweetup. I had the time of my life. I’m 49 years old so that’s a bit of a chunk of life to say you had the time of. The people, the tours, have changed me just like Apollo did when I was 7 years old.

Already thinking about my next Tweetup; maybe Curiosity’s launch in November? In the event I don’t make that launch; some space related event it will be! I look forward to posting and being part of the Space Tweep Society!

#NASATweetup Juno Launch

Today is the launch from the Kennedy Space Center to study Jupiter. Want to know about why Jupiter is important? Follow us with the hashtag #NASAtweetup

A magical journey inside the Johnson Space Center

Originally published http://absolutspaceguy.posterous.com.

(JOHNSON SPACE CENTER, Texas) — Lying on my back strapped in with a five-point harness preparing to lift-off in the space shuttle was the highlight of my second NASA tweetup at the Johnson Space Center this week.

After viewing over thirty space shuttle launches from the Kennedy Space Center I was ready to take the ride of a lifetime.

Strapped into the same space shuttle simulator in which every astronaut since STS-1 have used since 1981, the four of us waited for the countdown to reach zero as we rested on our backs and the excitement began to build.

Every space shuttle crew sat on the same flight deck in which I sat. And now it was my turn.

Minutes earlier, Michael Grabois — who has worked in the simulator operations for over a decade to support the space shuttle crews — gave us a detailed briefing on what to expect and what he and his team do during a sim.

As the final space shuttle flight soared over Johnson and the Houston landscape 240 miles above, I awaited my own launch as Mission Specialist 2 – the flight engineer.


Space Tweep Society, STS-135 NASA Tweetup receives mention on Canadian Radio

SpaceTweepSociety.org and the STS-135 Kennedy Space Center NASATweetup is reported on by Charles Atkeison (@AbsolutSpaceGuy) on Canada’s News Talk Radio in Saskatchewan – 980 AM Regina and 650 AM Saskatoon, on July 7, 2011, including an update on L-1 activities for space shuttle Atlantis.