So Excited to be part of #NASATweetup – Space Shuttle Endeavour Launch

Mar 30, 2011   //   by Karen Lopez   //   Blog, Fun, Social Networking, Space, Travel  //  2 Comments

Just in case you don’t follow me on Twitter, I received great news last week that I have been selected to attend the most amazing event, the NASA Tweetup, an invitation-only in-person meeting of space aficionados on Twitter.  The meeting takes place in the same area where traditional media hangs out.  There will be about 150 of us space geeks converging in Florida to watch one of the last shuttle launches.  This is officially the last funded launch, but NASA has stated that they will have one more launch to do some maintenance work on the Space Station.

Someone from a former NASA Tweetup crowd made the following image to show just why this meetup is special:

Map of KSC


The Tweetup is planned for 2 days, although it is all based on the when the Shuttle Endeavour will actually launch (currently scheduled for 19 April 2011).  During those two days there will be socializing, chatting, special speakers, interviews, a ton of picture taking, more socializing…and watching the launch.  I hope.  It’s nice that I can stay the whole week if I have to.  Some other launches have been delayed — one for over 4 months. 

In preparation for this once-in-a-lifetime event for me, I’ve been trying to study up on the Shuttle program.  Early in my career I worked at Space Division in Los Angeles and in Washington, DC. The projects I worked on involved space initiatives, including shuttle missions.  I remember heading down to the officers club every time there was a launch or landing.  It was so exciting being in that environment, where people work working on efforts that truly expanded our knowledge of the universe.

I was also lucky in that I had a meeting in Washington, DC this past Monday, so I was able to spend a couple of hours at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum. In a following post, I’ll share some of the photos I captured there.  I also watched Hubble 3D, an IMAX film about repairs made to the Hubble telescope during a previous mission.  What was interesting was that Astronaut Drew Feustel, who appeared in the film, will also be a crew member of STS-134, the Shuttle mission for this NASA Tweetup.  Drew is also a Boilermaker, attending Purdue about the same time I did.

As some other Tweetup attendees have said, I feel as if I have won a golden ticket to a most amazing experience.  I will be writing about this event over the next couple of weeks, but I promise to tie it all back to data and information.  Think of it as a DataChick view of space data.



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