Those of us on Twitter will often use it to notify the world of our presence at a place or event of significance – in March I tweeted something to the effect of “At Twickenham with my Dad for England vs Scotland #6Nations #Guinness”. It’s a convenient way of telling your friends what you are up to or where you are. Much the same as the ‘Check-In’ feature on Facebook. But this practice is also becoming a bit of contest, a form of one-upmanship if you will, where people try to out do each other by checking in at more exciting and exclusive locations each time. But NASA have really gone and taken the biscuit…
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration currently runs over 100 twitter accounts, 20 of which belong to astronauts who share details of their day-to-day lives and experiences, which has proved to be a huge hit with their millions of followers. Astronaut Doug Wheelock kept in contact with us mere earth-dwellers by using social networks such as Foursquare and Twitter, and will have trumped everyone else with his check-in at the “International Space Station”. Sure as hell beats Buckingham Palace, The Empire State Building or the Taj Mahal.
But forgetting the fact that a few lines of text on a screen tell us that someone who we don’t personally know is somewhere we could only ever dream of going to, there are some perks to following these people on Twitter. The snippets of information they impart to us lesser mortals about their exploits in space are, to me at least, fascinating and wondrous. Maybe it’s just my inner space-geek coming to the surface, but I’ve always been fascinated by what lies beyond Earth’s immediate surroundings. Having an expert in this area drip-feed me information and images from space is quite an acceptable tonic to my own lack of understanding.
Some interesting Tweeps to follow:
Douglas Wheelock (Astronaut) – @Astro_Wheels
Scott Kelly (Astronaut) – @StationCDRKelly
NASA – @NASA