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Posts tagged "NASA"

From Vostok 1 to AlexTweetup.

April 12th 1961, early in the morning Yuri Gagarin blasts of at site No.1 in Baikonur. The birth of human space flight started at the same site Sputnik 1 launched in October 1957. Suffice to say that this place has a lot of history. From my birth as a “Space Tweep”, which was September 18 2011, Baikonur has always been a place on my bucketlist. While history in general isn’t so much my thing, the possibility of going to the birthplace of space exploration for sure is.

Most of you reading this have most likely read @timmermansr story about his trip in december 2011. History repeats thus. This time 16 people will be taking part in this trip. Most of us will arrive in Moscow a few days earlier and visit other space related sites around Moscow.

This trip has made me think a lot about our future as humanity. As a few have said before and Charles Bolden recently repeated, we must become a multi-planetary species. This is the story how it started, the red stuff, and no it is not Mars, yet. Different from the right stuff but no less important! People always says that it is this period of time, wanting to be first, that toke us to the moon. It for sure is a fact that can’t be denied. I just can’t help but wonder how we will get from that, to a united federation of planets, which is where my first love of space exploration started. The current state of affairs isn’t the most positive one, although it should not be dramatized. Luckily we have people like Ron Garan who keep their sight at the positive side of this international cooperation in space.

This will be my first rocket launch and what better place then where it all started. If you would like to know which other places we will visit in Moscow, do follow along on the #AlexTweeup hashtag that we will be using on our trip. While it is always the journey and not the destination. I do think Baikonur has never received so many #SpaceTweeps at once. And you can be sure we will be sharing our story’s.


New Media Professional Development Workshop—Future Exploration of the Moon and Small Bodies

The 2012 CCLDAS New Media Practitioners Professional Development Workshop will focus on future exploration of the Moon and other small bodies in the Solar System. Here, astronaut Buzz Aldrin walks on the Moon during Apollo 11. (Courtesy NASA)

About the workshop
July 20—22, 2012
The Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP)
Boulder, Colorado

The 2012 New Media Practitioners Professional Development Workshop will bring fifteen bloggers, podcasters, and other science communicators to LASP for a two-day intensive workshop with space scientists. The workshop will be a collaborative professional development opportunity for attendees to learn about current issues surrounding future exploration of the Moon and other small bodies in our Solar System.

Attendees will receive a stipend to defray travel and lodging expenses. The Colorado Center for Lunar Dust and Atmospheric Studies (CCLDAS) is sponsoring the event.

For additional details and to register, visit:
2012 New Media Workshop

STS-135: The Last Shuttle

STS-135: The Last Shuttle

With the end of the shuttle era and for the foreseeable future, our nation’s maned space flight program, we wanted to have a place where tweeps can come and leave their thoughts, memories, experiences, etc involving the space shuttle program. Leave your comments below and we’ll archive them on a special page after landing / wheel stop.

Mention in the NASA News Summary

The society received a mention in the August 3, 2009 edition of the NASA News Summary, which is addressed to “The Administrator and Senior Officials.”

The segment read as follows:

Society Created To Unite Twitter Users.  In the Open NASA (8/2), Jen, senior aerospace technician at the Hypergolic Maintenance Facility on Kennedy Space Center, wrote, “There is a recent movement within NASA to be open and transparent and practice inclusion with our space program. …  My personal take on it is that inclusion” is “about giving people a voice and making them feel like they share a role in the mission.”  Jen wrote that there is now a “Space Tweep Society” that was “created as a way to unite Twittering space enthusiasts of every background, both inside and outside of the space industry. The society is only a small step in public outreach, but it was instantly well received.”  The group has a blog “where members can publish their thoughts about space exploration, astronomy, or any other aspect of space that they’d like to discuss- and start a dialog with the other members.”

Blogging “Assignment”

Okay, so it isn’t really an assignment, but more a suggestion of a topic to blog about, for those who are interested. I recently posted about the Space Tweep Society on openNASA where I discussed the challenges of reaching out to the public to generate enthusiasm for space exploration. 

I’d like to hear what suggestions or ideas you have about how NASA could reach out and engage even more people. After all, you know what makes you excited about space, so that makes you the experts. Let’s hear your best stuff, and please give it a unique title and preface it with a nice introduction to the topic so we’ll know what you are talking about. Each post should stand on its own in case people haven’t seen this post.


yesterday’s launch scrub for STS-127 due to weather, I was listening in
on some of NASA’s press conference on NASA TV. One of the reporters
asked about the weather criteria, if they were perhaps too strict now
that we have more advanced methods of assessing weather conditions than
we did when the criteria was developed, or something to that effect.

I don’t remember the answer Mike Moses gave, but the question made
me think. While it is very easy to get frustrated over strict weather
criteria when it hinders a launch and the weather is borderline, that
line has to be drawn somewhere. Pilots are all too familiar with the
concept of “get-there-itis,” which is used to describe the affliction
when someone is so fixated on getting where they are going that they
take unnecessary risks to get there. These risks might be with weather,
fatigue, or even mechanical issues.

I remember an experience many years ago as a student pilot flying
with my instructor from Pensacola back home to Tallahassee. We were
flying a 1966 Cessna 150 by VFR or visual flight rules, meaning we were
navigating by sight rather than instruments. The plane was not
certified for instrument flight, so that was our only option. VFR
flight requires certain weather and visibility conditions and we were
okay in Pensacola, but it didn’t look good in the direction we were
heading. We probably shouldn’t have left Pensacola when we did, but we
were anxious to get back so we took off and headed back home.

As we traveled, the clouds went from scattered to not-so-scattered
and by the time we got to Destin (about a quarter of the way home), we
were having to fly so low to stay beneath the ceiling we could
practically read the street signs. Fortunately, we were able to land at
Destin and wait out the weather, but many are not so lucky. So often
the desire to get somewhere overcomes rational decision making, leading
to the pilot’s demise. And pilots are only looking to get home or to
wherever they are going- imagine how much the get-there-itis is
amplified when the destination is a mission to space and people all
over the world are watching expectantly.

Just think- if the weather criteria for launch were not set so
firmly, it would be easy to rationalize launching when weather was just
a little beyond the guidelines.  If that works out without an issue,
then the next time it makes sense to allow weather that is a little
farther out of specifications, and so on. It is a slippery slope.
Without strict criteria, pretty soon we’d find ourselves taking
unnecessary risks. We can’t let get-there-itis cause us to make bad

I will admit that launch scrubs frustrate me just as much as
everyone else, and sometimes I want to yell, “Just light it off,
already!” But I also understand the reasoning behind it and that it is
the nature of our industry.  Ultimately, I think everyone would agree
that the safety of the crew is well worth the wait.

Space Tweeps, this is your blog

**I’ve made this post a sticky post so it will stay at the top for a few days until everyone gets a chance to read it.**

So, we’ve amassed a nice community of Space Twitterers, or Tweeps, and now we even have a blog. But we need writers. That’s where you come in.  Get yourself a WordPress username by going to the wordpress link in the sidebar, if you don’t already have one. Then DM me ( @flyingjenny ) the email address that you used to sign up or comment here including your email address in the form and I can add you as an author. Your email address will not be published. I’d like to have as many participants as possible so there is always something interesting to read here.

For the first round of posts, It would be nice to have some people that are not working in the space industry write posts on how Twitter has affected their enthusiasm for space. Tell us the types of things you most like to see tweeted about and why they are interesting to you. Or maybe there’s something else you have on your mind. Just remember the mission of the group is to promote space education and outreach.