Friday, February 19, 2010

Blast Off!


Finally, sorting and labeling all my pictures and videos from the amazing Tweetup at Johnson Space Center... I still cannot believe I filled three memory cards, and tore through all three of my camera batteries. I always carry them "just in case"... but it was first time I'd ever actually used them all!

The day started out with a bang for all the SpaceTweeps. We were given bags 'o swag full of NASA goodies, and herded into the lobby of the Blast Off Theatre at Space Center Houston, where we got to play with spacesuit components.

I had never worn space gloves or helmets before. I am not claustrophobic by nature, but I couldn't help thinking, Yeah, there's no way I could wear this for hours on end during a spacewalk! Tight spot!

Space Helmet
Trying on a space helmet with help from Rosana...

in mah spiffy new Space Shuttle shirt

Once we were all seated in the Blast Off Theatre, which had been decorated with Mission Control console mockups, we were treated to a nerdtastic introduction speech by Expedition 22 now currently on the International Space Station!

These three accomplished gentleman are quite famous in the Twitterverse, being among the first batch of astronauts to have internet access and to tweet regularly. Given such ease, they also answer a fair amount of their Twitter followers.

Soichi Noguchi (JAXA), Commander Jeff Williams,
and Timothy "TJ" Creamer (NASA)

What a treat! They reminded us to mark everything with #nasatweetup, so anyone can search on that hash-tag if you wish to see all our banter throughout the course of the event. They are @Astro_Soichi, @Astro_Jeff and @Astro_TJ for anyone who wishes to follow their feeds.

Soichi in particular is very dedicated, continually releases amazing aerial photographs. My favorite was the Golden Gate Bridge, but he has also sent breath-taking shots of the Arabian desert dunes, New Zealand's richly blue Lake Pukaki, Bejing's Forbidden City, the Grand Canyon and many varied views of Japan.

Check out his full Earth's landscape collection on TwitPic!