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Juno where I’ll be next week?

Juno will reach Jupiter in 2016. Credit: NASA/JPL

…at the launch of NASA’s Juno spacecraft, that’s where! 🙂

NASA is holding yet another Tweetup event at Kennedy Space Center next week, focusing on the launch of the long-awaited Juno mission to Jupiter. Even before I left for the Tweetup for the Atlantis flight I had put my name in the hat for the Juno event, and although I was put on a waiting list initially, I ended up getting onto the list some days afterward! So this will be two major launches in less than a month for me. Unbelievable.

I can’t wait!

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Reflections on a Tweetup

NASA Tweetup participants stand at the launch clock, Friday, July 8, 2011. © NASA HQ Photo

It’s been over a week since the NASA Tweetup (note: these are now called “NASA Socials”) and I’m still thinking about it. For good reason, of course… it was awesome.

Over the course of two days I saw a capsule that had been to space and back, talked with five astronauts (one currently in orbit!), toured Kennedy Space Center, met a muppet, touched a piece of the Moon, made dozens of new friends and, of course, watched, heard and felt the launch of the last space shuttle to leave Earth. (And managed to talk my way into a delicious barbecue sandwich inside the Vehicle Assembly Building.) All with less than six hours of sleep.

Not too shabby. 😉

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The Final Countdown: A #NASATweetup Journal

Part 4: Fueling the Anticipation

The world will be watching - and tweeting! – when Atlantis launches on July 8

The launch of the space shuttle Atlantis is less than a week away, and with it the NASA Tweetup event of a lifetime. (Well, my lifetime anyway!) But it’s not just me who’s been having visions of shuttle plumes dancing in his head… there’s 149 other space tweeps (yes, that’s what we call ourselves) who are eagerly counting the days, hours and minutes until then.

Here’s what some of them are saying…

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The Final Countdown: A #NASATweetup Journal

#2: My video inroduction

So the folks over at The Space Crowd  are working on a video project and asked for some video submissions from the Tweetup attendees. I’m no videographer by any means but they just wanted a quick who-are-you introduction, where you tell everyone about your feelings regarding being chosen for the event. I figured, easy enough.

About twenty takes later, this is what I had.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

It’s surprisingly difficult (for me anyway) to talk coherently for several minutes straight with nobody else there. Talking to a person about a topic is one thing, but I usually don’t talk to my computer (not counting the colorful speech reserved for when my Illustrator crashes and I forgot to save.) So it felt a bit unnatural, but it’s real, and I think that’s what they were looking for. For better or worse, it’s reality – and that’s what is so cool about the Tweetup events: it will be 150 real people, from all over the world, coming together to witness an amazing and historic event that will be remembered forever.

I tried to get that point across at some part of the video but my writer’s on strike so I did the best I could. 🙂

Check out more videos from other Tweeps at

The Final Countdown: A #NASATweetup Journal

#1: I made it!

The last space shuttle: Atlantis awaits its final launch.

On July 8, less than a month from now, the last remaining space shuttle is slated to launch from Cape Canaveral. The STS-135 mission will bring supplies and parts up to the International Space Station and will be the historic conclusion of the 30-year-long shuttle program.

Unless otherwise rescheduled, at 11:40am on Friday, July 8, the big clock will count down, the rocket boosters will ignite, the steam will billow and the shuttle Atlantis will roar into the sky for one final, glorious time.

And I’ll be there.


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