Saturday, September 26, 2009

NASA, Shuttle Crew Host DC Tweetup

Astronauts discuss the retirement of the space shuttle program and NASA's plans for a new spacecraft

Twitter users fascinated with space gathered at NASA Headquarters in Washington on Thursday to ask the crew of space shuttle Endeavour STS-127 candid questions about the future of NASA and space exploration.

This was the second Tweetup organized by NASA, the first one was held in July after the crew of Atlantis STS-125 successfully completed the final repair mission to the Hubble Space Telescope. On that mission, astronaut Mike Massimino, or Astro_Mike, became the first person to send a tweet from space. The message, sent to his 247,000 followers, said: "From orbit: Launch was awesome!! I am feeling great, working hard, & enjoying the magnificent views, the adventure of a lifetime has begun!"

During Thursday's Tweetup -- the term users of the social networking service Twitter use to describe an in-person meeting -- participants asked the STS-127 crew questions that ranged from their religious views to if they would volunteer for a one-way mission to Mars.

"I think that's a case-by-case question," Mission Specialist Christopher Cassidy said of a no-return trip to the Red Planet. "It's an interesting concept to think about it, and all of us are astronauts because we enjoy training for and operating in space. But there is certainly a human aspect to it, and we all have families, and to take a one-way trip to Mars with our families would be one thing, but take a one-way trip to Mars without our families is entirely different."

Video and more details: http://www.insidescience.org/current_affairs/nasa_shuttle_crew_host_dc_tweetup
Courtesy: Inside Science News Service

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