Wednesday, December 29, 2010

ISS Wave - Show your Love

I learned about this choreographed grassroot Twitter campaign several weeks ago and I loved the idea. It's simple. The week between Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve wave at the International Space Station and let others know about it. So simple but with so much power!


See, the International Space Station is now so big that it is easily visible by the naked eye. All you have to do is figure out when it will fly over your area. And there are plenty of ways to figure this out. If you are on Twitter you can follow @Twisst and it will notify you. Or there are iPhone Apps such as FlyBy or you can just go online to the NASA or ESA website and look up the information on your computer:

NASA ISS Tracking

ESA ISS Tracking

We all need some excitement in our lives. And why not do something like this? Why not get your child excited about science and engineering? Why not get you excited about the Why and What behind space exploration? Inspiration can lead to great things. Just look at 1957 and after the Soviet Union launched Sputnik - how many kids, young adults and grown ups where inspired and motivated to out-do what the Soviet Union just did. Granted, it might have been more on a competitive basis, but nevertheless, great things followed. Only 12 years later man set foot on the Moon! I see similarities between Sputnik and the ISS:

On October 4, 1957 the Soviet Union launched Sputnik, the first Earth-orbiting artificial satellite. Amateur radio operators monitored and followed Sputnik around the world (20.005 and 40.002 MHz) until 22 days later the transmitter batteries ran out. That was 53 years ago. Today we have a chance to watch the largest human-made object ever built in Space - by just looking into the clear night sky. And this structure has been occupied for the last 10 years!

It's not too late. There are still a few days left to not only observe the ISS, but to join ISSWave and all who have already waved in this expression of human solidarity during the Holidays. So, go look up the next ISS pass over your town, then go out, watch for it. Tell your family, your friends, your co-workers. Get excited!

ISS Wave Map - see where the ISS currently is and all the places which have waived at the 6 crew members on board the ISS.
World Map of all the ISS Waves

And here are my two waives:

December 26, 2010


December 27, 2010

Monday, December 20, 2010

Why Me? - Lisa with the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics

Lisa has been an important friend to me and the SDO mission! Even before we met in person, Lisa had supported our outreach ideas and given me good feedback. Then she invited me to come to the Education Alley, which is the ultimate field trip for students! They got to meet scientists, engineers, researchers and astronauts as they shared their passion for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM). 

It was at that annual event in Southern California where Lisa introduced me to many wonderful people and helped me increase my circle of friends. Lisa has continued to be a true friend. Her passion for STEM has inspired me to do more outreach events and we are thinking about joining Education Alley in 2011 with a SDO Team and help Lisa and her team with education, inspiration and motivation! 


When you are not enjoying Social Media, what do you do as a profession?
I am the STEM K-12 Program Manager for the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA). I work with teachers and students, helping them learn that not all math and science is irrelevant, but that the applications of math and science can lead you to places that you never could have imagined.

What has made space exploration such an interesting subject for you?
When I was little, I remember the thrill of watching a launch( yep, it was on TV live because it was such an event) and thinking how exciting it was. When we went to the moon, I was amazed that pictures could come from so far away. All my life, astronauts were my heroes because they dared to do the things that no one had ever attempted before- and they were not afraid to fail.

In your opinion what are the 3 most amazing achievements/results of space exploration?
Neal Armstrong’s one small step for mankind, the amazing Spirit and Opportunity rovers that never say never and keep providing us with windows to other worlds, the Hubble telescope for providing the most beautiful pictures of worlds beyond imagination. The rovers and Hubble are amazing because they prove every day that something or someone never outlives their usefulness, even when they have far exceeded the mission that they were sent to perform. It is a good life lesson.

Is there a current mission (or missions) you follow regularly? If so, what mission(s)?
Well, I must admit that I only knew about the Sun from school days. I have gotten caught up in the magic of following the SDO mission through my new friends and have actually learned a new appreciation of the mission and found that the education that I’m getting is FUN! I also will say that any shuttle launch and its mission are exciting to me- that little girl with her nose pressed against the TV screen has never really grown up. I still think that it is amazing that people live and work above my head every day doing vital things that are so important- like growing crystals for new medicines, doing research on plant growth that can solve problems here on planet earth.

Why are you friends of this Not-Every-Day-Run-Of-The-Mill rubber chicken?
First of all,  Camilla, anyone who says that you are ordinary will have to answer to me. The whimsy that you have created about space exploration and igniting interest  of every day people gives me lots of hope. Right now, you are giving the perfect “chicken eye” view of all kinds of places within NASA that regular folks never have access to. You relate to kids....and after all, they are our future. Who could not smile when looking at pictures of Camilla on her next adventure? In all seriousness, I have witnessed first-hand the impression that a rubber chicken can make on a child or an adult......and dare them to ask questions and to find answers for themselves in the space program.

What is your advice to today's youth?
Dream big...the future is bright. The job that you will be doing tomorrow has not been created yet....and you can be the master of your own destiny. Ask questions, be curious, take things apart...and put them back together in a way no one has imagined.


Facebook Name: Lisa Warner Bacon
Twitter Name: n/a
Blog: n/a


Enjoy a short video about the 2010 Education Alley



At the Education Alley Astro Clay sent this picture for me! 

Friday, December 10, 2010

Astronaut John Grunsfeld - The Hubble Hugger

Yesterday I had the pleasure of meeting Astronaut Dr. John Mace Grunsfeld! I was extremely looking forward to this meeting and his lecture. As you know, both Little SDO and I adore Hubble and its science.  If you followed the amazing STS-125 mission to upgrade our dear friend Hubble, then you are familiar with John Grunsfeld, Mike Massimino, Michael Good, Greg Johnson, Scott Altman, Megan McArthuer and Andrew Feustel. The crew of Atlantis repaired and upgraded the Hubble Space Telescope, conducting five spacewalks during that amazing mission to extend the life of the orbiting observatory. If you haven't seen the IMAX or 3D movie, go find a place and take it in!


Astronaut John Grunsfeld STS-125 mission specialist positioned on a foot restraint on the end of Atlantis remote manipulator system RMS, participates in the mission fifth and final session of extravehicular activity.


The other reason why I was looking forward to meeting John is that he flew with Swiss Astronaut Claude Nicollier on STS-103. Claude Nicollier was the very first Astronaut I got to meet and ever since, I have had a very special interest in Space Travel and Switzerland! (plus the chocolate and cheese made me like Switzerland even more!). So getting to meet Mr. Hubble Hugger was a great event for me. Why the nickname Hubble Hugger? Well, John visited Hubble three times and performed many important repair works, making the telescope even better!

In one of my earlier posts I talked about how small this Astro community is. Here is another example. John was part of the NASA Astronaut Group 14, which was nicknamed "The Hogs". Here are some of his class mates:

Scott Horowitz
Scott's first flight was on STS-75 also with Claude Nicollier and Scott's 2nd Flight was also the 2nd Hubble Servicing Mission.

Cady Coleman
I met Cady a couple of months ago at JSC and she is about to launch from Russia next week to join Expedition 26 aboard the International Space Station.

Scott Parazynski
Scott I have now met a couple of times and his stories are plain amazing! Not only has Scott been to Space and done some amazing repair work on the ISS solar panels, but he has also climbed Mt. Everest. And he flew with John Glenn!

Chris Hadfield
I also got to meet the first Canadian Astronaut in Space and the first soon-to-be Canadian ISS Commander. Chris and Scott actually few together on STS-100 to install the robotic arm Canadarm2 to the ISS.

It is enjoyable to see these connections and it just shows me again how important team-work is for these Astronauts and all of us.


Anyway, let's not loose our focus here. John asked a very good question - Why do we study astronomy? And after a few moments he answered his own question with two simple points:

Because it is Fun and Exciting

Because it answers Fundamental Questions
- How did the Universe form
- Where did we come from?
- Are we alone?

It got me thinking of how much we had already discovered before Hubble launched in 1990 and how much Hubble has taught us ever since. Hubble has provided us answers to How the Universe has been formed, given us an idea of where we came from and still let's us dream if we are really alone!

In regards to Hubble, I would make the claim that the Hubble Space Telescope is the most well known telescope there is. We all have seen at least one of its images, read about its successes and issues or heard somebody talk about the challenges with Hubble. Just a couple of weeks ago Little SDO and I introduced this amazing Hubble video



But what's next? John has retired from NASA and is a Deputy Director at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore. STScI is the home of public outreach activities for Hubble and is also the science and operations center for the James Webb Space Telescope. When JWST launches and gets into position, 1,500,000 km away from Earth, it will become the most powerful scientific tool, looking even further into the Universe and back in time! Will JWST find answers to “Are we alone”? Only time will tell…

The JWST scale model on the lawn at NASA Goddard - takes some creative origami
to get it folded into the Ariane 5 fearing.
As for me, I left yesterday’s meeting with John fulfilled with joy, and amazement. I am thankful to the many people who make all of this possible. From the engineers who design and build these amazing instruments, the people who get them ready to fly, prepare the launch vehicles, guide and train the crews, to the actual heroes who strap themselves to the top of a burning rocket and perform the most dangerous spacewalks and repair works with such grace, it should become an Olympic event! But I am also thankful to the people who show interest, who attend lectures, listen to what scientists and astronauts have to say, who teach in schools, mentor our kids and the leaders of tomorrow and support space travel and exploration!

One final note – we are one blue marble in an endless sea of stars, planets, comets, meteorites and other beautiful things. But we only have this one blue planet and you and I can do so much to keep it blue, to keep it healthy. But we can also influence others, including corporations and Governments to improve processes and procedures, to create laws and to enforce them – we need to take care of mother Earth! Astronaut John Grunsfeld responded to the question of the future of manned space flight:

“It is our destiny to go and explore! Single planet species do not survive!”


Monday, December 6, 2010

A very special "Why Me?" Cindi, the Android Spacegirl

Friends, I am so excited to introduce you one amazing Spacegirl! Not only that, but Cindi and I will get to meet each other this Sunday at Exploration Station in San Francisco! It's a free and very fun event for young and young at hearts, giving you a chance to learn about today's science, meet scientists, NASA people and two awesome chicks; Cindi and Camilla! Plus there is also free cool stuff to collect there. So, without any more selfish promotion about this family event - let's meet her! The one-and-only Android Spacegirl Cindi! 


Cindi, I am so happy to talk about you! Please tell my friends more about yourself and what you do?

Oh, I'm just an ordinary android spacegirl who works as a dogcatcher. It's not the most glamorous job around, but the pay is good. Plus, the view is fantastic and I get to work outside and get lots of sun!


How did you become involved in this?

Back in 2004 Dr. Marc Hairston and Dr. Mary Urquhart at the University of Texas at Dallas were trying to think of ways to let people know about NASA's CINDI mission and they needed a mascot.  I just happen to live up here in space and it turned out my dogcatching ability is a lot like what the CINDI instruments do.  And by a *really* strange coincidence, I also spell my name the same way they spell their mission's name!  They contacted me and the rest is history. My android spacegirl friends Dawn, Calipso, Mini-RF, and Sofia are very annoyed that no one from *those* NASA missions ever contacted *them* about being mascots.



You are a superhero with two comic books. What kind of adventures do you go through in your comic book and how does this relate to real life?

In the comic books I show folks what I do as a space dogcatcher.  I have these two nets, one that catches dogs with tails and one that catches dogs without tails.  Like me, the CINDI instrument has two detectors, one that catches atoms with all their electrons (neutrals) and one that catches atoms that are missing an electron (ions).  I help explain to people how these
ions in the upper atmosphere create the Earth's ionosphere. I also explain why those ions matter by sometimes interfering with radio signals between satellites and technology on the ground. Just like storms down there on Earth can mess up things in your life, space weather storms in the ionosphere can mess up your GPS navigation and other satellite communications.


A third book is coming up and I hear it's a little bit related to what Little SDO is doing up there. Can you give me some hints?

We started out explaining the ionosphere (which is the part of the atmosphere between 80 km to 1000 km) since that's the part of space that CINDI studies. But that's just part of space weather that's out there.  To understand it completely you need to see all the other parts too, and it all starts with the sun and the solar wind.  So our next book will be "Cindi in the Solar 
Wind" and we're going to put Little SDO in there.  (Would you like to be in there too,
Camilla?)  I'd love a chance to do even more comics so I can talk about the Earth's magnetosphere and about all the other planets in our solar system. Besides, it's great to see my picture in print!



Oh Cindi - I know Little will be thrilled to hear that he is going to be in a comic book. As for me, I would love to be in a comic book someday. Yes, that is for sure. But I have so much work to do before I deserve to be in one with you and Little in it! 






Where can we find more information about you and where can teachers get their hands on your book?

The neat thing about our books is that they're *free*.  You can download them to your computer by going to our website at

Cindi's Website

And of course you can always become my fan on facebook.

Cindi's Facebook Fan Page


(I love having fans, don't you Camilla? ^_^ ) I post new stuff about space and science and comic books there a couple of times a week.



So anything exciting in your future?

As far as the CINDI mission goes, I'm really excited that NASA has approved a four-year extended mission for it, so I'm excited about that.  We should be going into solar max, which means a lot more space dogs to catch for me, and a lot of good science for CINDI.  I'm hoping for some great solar storms, too!

By far the biggest excitement for me is that I'm going to be coming to visit you on Earth soon. I'll at the Exploration Station in San Francisco on December 12 and I'll finally get to meet you in person there!!




I'm so looking forward to it!  Family-friendly science demos, a rubber space chicken, and a cartoon android spacegirl.  No place but San Francisco!

And the week after that will be the *big* American Geophysical Union meeting there in San Francisco.  Over 17,000 scientist from around the world will be talking about everything from oceanography, to volcanoes, to weather and climate, to plate tectonics, to space studies, to the sun, to the latest from all the NASA missions to all the planets (and Pluto too!), to the very edge of the solar system where the solar wind stops. Mary and Marc and all the other CINDI scientists will be there giving talks and posters about all their scientific discoveries.  And NASA will actually be letting a space dogcatcher help out there!  I'll be making a guest appearance at the NASA booth during the meeting. I'll be there from 1 to 3 pm on Wednesday passing out comic books and postcards.  I bet all those scientists would just die to have an
autograph from a famous android spacegirl like me. Don't you think so?

Friday, November 26, 2010

"Why Me?" - Jim has seen it all!

Due to the Thanksgiving break and the fact that I am about to take my first real vacation next week, I am going to send this week's "Why Me?" out a littler earlier. Also, it is Jim's Birthday today - so, my little "Happy Birthday Jim" is right here. I am truly excited about this one because my friend Jim has seen and done some very interesting things. Jim and I occasionally talk and share our views. I quickly realized that Jim had a strong knowledge about our Sun and also knew a lot about the Space Shuttle program. So I enjoyed listening and learning from him and now I am excited to introduce him to you. Check out some of his pictures! They are just too cool. 


That's me under the white "bunny" suit! Chilly in there
that day I recall, but indeed a thrill of a lifetime seeing something
that landed on Mars some seven months later, and see it
move on another planet, Wow!
When you are not enjoying Social Media, what do you do as a profession?
Media. Since the 80’s in Miami, both print/electronic. Aviation News/Aerospace news publication, now defunct. Contributor to WPLG (ABC) Miami, space shuttle program. Consultant, freelance currently. Also heavily involved in NASA Outreach/informal EDU, for more than 25 years! Public, K-12, University-level, total, exceeds 100,000+…

The "Big Three", during the 20th anniversary at KSC 1989. I'll never forget that day there. They're dressed in suits and ties, temps that day were in the mid-90's, talk about hot!
 What has made space exploration such an interesting subject for you?
Always fascinated me since I was old enough to know what it was! One movie I seen that struck me, was Robinson Crusoe On Mars, that was it!


KSC Mars Pathfinder, Nov. 1996. Excellent detail of the "Sojourner" rover, first experimental rover to roam red planet!
In your opinion what are the 3 most amazing achievements/results of space exploration?
Growing up in the 60’s, I recall, seems as if everyone does who was old enough to remember, watching Apollo 11 on the Moon, I was in St.Louis. That would rank as number 1. Number 2, well, getting to meet and know the late Dr. Carl Sagan, and 3. Writing/reporting on the space shuttle program, and unmanned programs, including seeing Mars Pathfinder, and the Sojourner rover prior to leaving Earth and landing on Mars!

Myself, and former Astronaut Bob "Hoot" Gibson. Taken during a break in training. Was on mission STS-41B, which was the first check out of the Manned Maneuvering Unit (MMU). I interviewed astronaut Bruce McCandless II following the mission. Bob flew on five flights!

Is there a current mission (or missions) you follow regularly? If so, what mission(s)?
Actually all of them! My priority is of course the (heliophysics) aspect (Sun). I’ve also assisted in an art program (Sunworks) with Steele Hill, over at the Soho project, been very successful!
From the early 80's. WLRN TV, (PBS) Miami. Myself (right), and Don Webb (left) co-host of Something on Seventeen. Was a nightly, one hour "live" talk/variety program. We did space program updates on the show. No room for mistakes, in prime time!
Why are you friends of this Not-Every-Day-Run-Of-The-Mill rubber chicken?
It is good to have a mascot of a program, or a project! It creates a “connection” for people to follow!

Myself and STS-1 Astronaut Bob Crippen, taken during Space Congress on Cocoa Beach, Fl. A unique irony here, Crippen was selected to fly as commander of space shuttle mission STS-62A, which was to have launched from Vandenberg AFB, Calif, but was canceled following the space shuttle Challener accident. Vendenberg never used for shuttle launches! STS-62A, would have been "Discovery"!
What is your advice to today's youth?
Follow your dream, stay in school, and don’t let adversity get the best of you! I know three young people who I used to work with, while they were students, one is in D.C. (Congress), the other is aboard a U.S. Navy Submarine in the Pacific, while the third is a U.S. Army Medic, been in Iraq, now in Colorado Springs, Co.



Follow Jim on Facebook: www.facebook.com
Pic taken in late 2005 while on a school visit. Kristine Sigsbee, and Barbara Thompson (NASA/GSFC), selected it to appear on the cover of the United Nations' handbooklet for the International Heliophysical Year (IHY 2007-09). The booklet appropriately titled; Putting the "I" in IHY", the photo indeed fits the EDU theme, with Kara's "eye" at the telescope looking at the Sun


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Space Fair 2010 - Melaka Planetarium, Malaysia

Debbie and I with some of our new friends!
Opening day at Melaka Planetarium!!! There were hundreds and hundreds of people from all over Malaysia who came to see us today. Some of the school groups took over3 hours to get here. They must really love science.Today I got to learn about how big the solar system really is. The students working with us set up a giant balloon, complete with sunspots, to represent the Sun. The Earth was a23 mm marble. They had all the other planets there, the moon, the asteroids, even a model of the Kuiper Belt objects and Pluto.

I love their faces - this is what interest looks like!

Visitors had to figure out which Earth ball was the right size for the balloon Sun. Then they got to figure out how far away the tiny Earth marble should be placed from the balloon Sun. It was 270 meters – almost 3 football fields away! It made me feel like Earth was very small and fragile. They also had a map that showed where in the city the other planets would be in our model. The farthest one, Neptune, was WAY outside the city. That was hard enough to understand. Then they showed us a 360 mm (14”) ball,and said it was the scaled size of the nearest star. I asked how far away the nearest star would be from the Sun, on our scale. You won’t believe this – it would be 72,000km(40,000 miles) away!

The kids are learning about spectroscopes and about me!

Part of my local team! They are great!

And as you can see, it's hands-on science teaching!
Here the kids are learning about the scale sizes! They loved it.
Some of my new Malaysian friends! Thank you for your hospitality and interest!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

"Why Me?" - Meet your Virgin Galactic Space Travel Agent Bev!

Beverly and I have known each other for some time and I have enjoyed following her career as a Space Travel Agent for Virgin Galactic. Beverly has been a very supportive follower of not only NASA SDO, but also other NASA missions! 

But why don't you go and read for yourself...

When you are not enjoying Social Media, what do you do as a profession?


I work as a full service travel -and- space travel agent! I was selected to be 1 of only 76 people authorized in the America's to sell space travel with Virgin Galactic! An amazing honor!! It would be my pleasure to assist you with undersea lodging, to out of this world experiences - and everything in between! My travel agency, Sixth Star Travel in Plantation, FL is a part of the by invitation only Virtuoso luxury consortium - and Virtuoso has the exclusive agreement to sell space travel. Also, my owner is also an ASA (accredited space agent) so that makes it extra special for me. 


What has made space exploration such an interesting subject for you?
When I was in elementary school (yes, back in 1962) our class wrote a letter to John Glenn, asking for his autographed picture, after he went into space. I cherished that photo & after a flood, my Mom inadvertently threw it away. I was devestated! A few years ago, I wrote John Glenn a letter explaining the situation and he sent me his 2nd autographed photo of when, as a senator, he returned to space in 1998 for the 2nd time! It is now framed and one of my most cherished space items, next to my meteorites! Think how far they had to come to Earth & how long it took them to reach us! And of course, we all watched the Astronauts walk on the moon in 1969! How special that was/is! Then on December 7, 2009, I had the extreme privilege and pleasure of attending the Virgin Galactic unveiling of the VSS Enterprise with Sir Richard Branson, Burt Rutan, Governor(s) Schwarzenegger & Richardson. What an exciting adventure THAT was!! I am now also a part of creating a new South Florida Chapter of the National Space Society, as their 1st secretary, and can share my passions with like minded people! All are welcome to join us! And in my spare time, I write travel articles with the Airliner's Magazine (please check them out on facebook).

Spaceport America Runway Dedication in New Mexico today with Sir Richard Branson The event is part of Space Week in New Mexico and is another significant occasion for Virgin Galactic. A special flyover of Virgin Galactic's WhiteKnightTwo and SpaceShipTwo, the first long-distance capture-carry of the two aircraft, will form part of the runway dedication. Richard Branson has called the flyover a momentous development in the history of space and the commercialisation of space activity. More than 400 leaders in the commercial space industry have attended the 6th International Symposium for Personal and Commercial Spaceflight, with the runway dedication closing Space Week.
In your opinion what are the 3 most amazing achievements/results of space exploration?
All the amazing scientific and medical advancements we've made, thus far, by our being able to be in space*The astronauts who landed and walked on the moon and came safely back to Earth. * Viewing the incredible sights of our stars and universe from so far away*Virgin Galactic actually builidng a successful spacecraft to successfully take the everyday person up into suborbital space and being one of the pioneer's in space tourism. 

Is there a current mission (or missions) you follow regularly? If so, what mission(s)?
Each & every one that NASA has, as well as the Scaled Composites team testing of WK2 & SS2/Enterprise with Virgin Galactic!

View of the runway with VSS Enterprise! Space Tourism is here.
Why are you friends of this Not-Every-Day-Run-Of-The-Mill rubber chicken?
Why wouldn't I be? She is a darling chicken & THE mascot of NASA! She makes the subject of space & science so very interesting and entertaining. This chick has met more astronauts and famous people - that many people wish they were in her shoes! Plus, she is becoming a major fashion icon with her tin foil hats!! 

What is your advice to today's youth?
It is so important to study hard and do well in school. It's totally up to you to make yourself into someone who makes a difference in this world especially with your own family and friends to start. You must pay attention to all the advancements that are happening in this entire world and not limit yourselves in any way. Be open and receptive to new ideas, thoughts, beliefs and of all other people's customs & view points. And you must help preserve our planet and its resources for you and our future generations of our one planet earth.

Wishing everyone much health & happiness in their lives! Thank you so very much for this wonderful opportunity to share and introduce myself Camilla Sdo and our special facebook friends!

Twitter: n/a
Blog: n/a 

Runway dedication ceremony today of SpacePort America in New Mexico, USA with the arrival of VSS Enterprise!



Greetings from Maleka Planetarium, Malaysia

Today my team and I spent most of the day unpacking, counting, and organizing the amazing amount of materials that NASA has provided for this event. 

We counted 99,338 different give-aways for educational dissemination -- space weather posters, pizza Suns, Chandra gorgeous photos, books. Everyone who attends the event will get something! I think the kids will especially like this.

Attached is a photo of me checking out some of the boxes.

We also worked with the planetarium staff to finish all the large displays and posters we've brought. There is evidently a rule in Malaysia -- "Nothing gets done until the very last minute." They follow this religiously, but the results are quite fine. We'll have 6 giant 8'x10' displays, one of them, about the Sun, developed by Debbie at Stanford.

The lovely young woman in the photo with me is Gomathy Ramasamy. She likes me a lot, and giggles whenever she sees me. Gomathy has been the organizer at the planetarium who has been working with us. The planetarium staff already knew a lot about me, and have been reading my Facebook page. So I want to say a lot of good things about them.

Gomathy Ramasamy - my wonderful new friend
here at the Melaka Planetarium.
In the evening, we all went for a walk through Melaka, and saw Little India (with beautiful silk clothes), old buildings along the riverfront, and then walked down a place called (Jonker's Walk -- I need to check that) to eat. This place was 
full of vendors and stalls. And, guess what, I saw hundreds of other rubber chickens -- all sizes and shapes, some even like me. I even saw a rubber cow!!! I felt quite at home there. However, none of them were lucky enough to be wearing NASA clothes and walking with NASA scientists.




Today we are supposed to train 60 students from the local university to help us with our activities. I hope to meet some cool new people!

Love,
Camilla




Friday, November 19, 2010

Social Media - Experiences from the STS-133 NASA Tweetup

Social Media - the media for social interaction, using highly accessible, scalable and web-based publishing tools in order to turn communication into interactive dialogues. That's what it is!

#NASATweetup STS-133 (Nov 2010)

#NASATweetup STS-133 2.0 (Feb 2011)

I truly believe no other organization has utilized social media as successfully as NASA has. I was watching and reading as Mars Phoenix explored the Mars surface and I was present when our own mission SDO (Solar Dynamics Observatory) ventured into Social Media. At the time there were only a handful of NASA Twitter accounts and just a few Facebook sites discussing the amazing science behind what we do here. In fact, Little SDO started out as Little SDO HMI (HMI being one of the three instruments on SDO (the Helioseismic and Magnetic Imager - the instrument that kind of looks inside the Sun). The team quickly realized that we can really bring our mission closer to the people and get them more involved. And so Little SDO HMI became Little SDO and he convinced me to join the party and so I, Camilla SDO, got my own accounts!


But let's go back to our social media "mother" NASA. Thanks to the social media implementation, the creative ways of using the tools available, and the hard work of many people behind the scenes, NASA, via it's various missions/centers/astronauts social media accounts on Twitter, Facebook and other outlets, has been reaching a very wide variety of individuals all over the world. I am 100% positive that thanks to all of this Web 2.0+ efforts, more people have a better knowledge of Space Exploration than just 3 years ago. It's not just the die-hard fan, the one who loves sci-fi, rockets, astronomy, and everything there is to our Universe, it's now also the every day person, who can follow, learn and enjoy the discoveries, the knowledge and the plans for the future of Space Exploration! It's a new way of accessing knowledge, information, digesting and storing science, adventure and findings. And all it takes is a few minutes a day. And thanks to these Tweetups, a small army of everyday citizens got to experience a rocket launch up close! And not just the Space Shuttle - even Little SDO had a SDOisGO launch Tweet-up. The first unmanned mission to have a launch tweet-up!


In my capacity of assisting with Education and Public Outreach, I relay on social media. This is how my voice is being heard - unless you squeeze me and then you really hear me squawk. I have attended many Tweetups at various sites and I have met some really wonderful people. I have met some who hadn't really kept up with what NASA does, then attended a Tweetup, and became very interested in the subject. And I have also met people who knew NASA's history, rocket facts, astronaut information like they were a Wikipedia site! But they all walked away from these events with more knowledge, motivation, appreciation and understanding... (added on April 4, 2011: and with more inspiration!)

And I met people who thanks to a NASA Tweetup made new friends, new connections, and found new interests in life. At the latest NASA Tweetup for STS-133 at the Kennedy Space Center, I met people who housed together, who became tight and close, who will stay friends for years to come.


Here I am collecting their impressions, their words and thoughts. And no matter if you are using Social Media or not, if you are interested in NASA and Space - you should read these stories.

But one question did arise. Because we now spend more time behind a screen of some sorts, be it a computer monitor or a smart phone screen, could it be that we just get more excited about actually meeting people that are similar to us than before? Or are these new ways of meeting alikes really that powerful and life changing? You judge...

Here is a study you might want to review first:

L2, November 23, 2010

CNET News, November 23, 2010




NASA Sun-Earth Day Tweetup, March 19, 2011


Smithsonian Air and Space Museum

Chris

Aaron




NASA Ames Tweetup, February 11, 2011

Laura

Chris

Lyle

International Spacemission



NASA Tweetup STS-133, October/November 2010 
& February 2011 2.0



Raam Dev

Craft Lass

Tallulah

Joi
NASA Tweetup STS-132, May 2010

Arlo 

Beth



NASA Tweetup SDOisGO, February 2010


Aleya



NASA Tweetup STS-129, November 2009

Scott

Beth

SpaceFlight.com