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Houston, we have a problem

by Kiran on May 4, 2011 · 15 comments

in Travels

…literally. Endeavour’s journey has been postponed till May 10th. Mission STS-134 for April 29th was scrubbed. Launching human into space is no joke. Precautionary steps are put in place to safeguard lives and that is why space enthusiast like myself should expect launch delays. Let’s start from the beginning, shall we?

First up, the feeling of being selected to attend Nasa’s TweetUp was nothing short of AMAZING! I had to take a few days to process it all. The NASA family was amazingly gracious, hosting 150 selected tweeps from around the world to celebrate space exploration and the launch of Endeavour’s final voyage. Nasa TweetUp participants came from different parts of the world: District of Columbia, 43 States of U.S.A, Australia, Canada, Germany, San Juan, Switzerland, UK and me from MALAYSIA πŸ™‚ I love social media gathering as such that connects people with similar enthusiasm from around the world.

NASA not only hosts us, but arranged an array of programs for us to fully experience what space ingenuity is all about:

Thursday, April 28/L-1: Tweetup Day 1*

7:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. – Registration at the Kennedy Space Center Press Accreditation Badging Building; travel to the press site, set up, meet fellow participants

10:00 a.m. – Welcome by @NASA team members Stephanie Schierholz and John Yembrick

10:07 a.m. – Meet the tweeps

10:45 a.m. – Demo of Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) and Mark III spacesuits

11:00 a.m. – Lunch break

12:00 p.m.-1:40 p.m. — NASA TV starts for the formal #NASATweetup program, featuring:

1:45 p.m. – Board tour buses

2:00 p.m. – Tour of NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, including visits to the Apollo Saturn V Center, a drive by the Shuttle Landing Facility, Mate-Demate Device, Orbiter Processing Facility, Vehicle Assembly Building and Mobile Launcher Platforms, and viewing of the retraction of the Rotating Service Structure, scheduled for 7 p.m.

8:15 p.m. – Return to the press site

Pictures speaks thousand words, so without further ado, I present you my journey into NASA with tonnes of photos. Considered warned:

Day 1

NASA event organizer, Beth Beck πŸ™‚

Massive tent occupied by 150 space enthusiasts/tweeps

My social media buddy, Barbara Nixon

Demo of Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) and Mark III spacesuits

Rocking in a space suit πŸ˜‰

This space suit was assembled in our Twent! (TweetUp tent). How cool is that?

Me with Astronaut Clay Anderson, @Astro_Clay!

Legendary Star Trek actor, Levar Burton

We boarded the bus for a personal tour into Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB)!

Trey Ratcliff posing with VAB in the background

VAB is now used for housing Space Shuttle external fuel tanks and flight hardware, and is the location of space shuttle orbiter mating (stacking) with the solid rocket boosters and external fuel tank, that combined makes up the complete Space Transportation System, called the Space Shuttle for short – via Wikipedia.

VAB is seriously massive!

Fun fact: VAB is the largest single-story building in the world!

VAB is massive, don't let these photos fool you πŸ˜‰

That sweet lady behind me had a live-webcam on her hat! How cool is that πŸ˜‰

Shuttle mate-demate facility

Apollo 11 launch control mock-up

Apollo Saturn V Exhibits:

Made awesome new friends:

Trey holding salmonella sample for space research. Eww!

NASA's official press room and these were all of us Tweeps!

We were unable to view the retraction/rollback of the Rotating Service Structure due to bad weather and had to reassemble in Press Room. I felt a journalist vibe in there πŸ˜€

The iconic countdown clock - one of the most-watched timepieces in the world

It was an honor to be selected and receiving such dignified access into Nasa’s facility. Hats off to the Nasa team for pulling off such event with fun agenda to accommodate some of your space enthusiasts from around the world. More fun and adventurous details on Day 2, stay tuned πŸ™‚

psst: Some photos were taken with my iPhone – please excuse the grainy image quality.

Have you been to a tweet-up of such magnitude? What are your thoughts on Obama’s decision in ending space shuttle programs?

{ 14 comments }

1 Holli May 5, 2011 at 12:18 PM

This was really interesting to read about….. thank you for sharing!
Holli recently posted..stormy day

2 Kiran May 10, 2011 at 2:51 PM

Holli,
You are welcome. So glad you love reading NASA’s recap πŸ™‚

3 Destination Infinity May 5, 2011 at 12:52 PM

Lucky you πŸ™‚

Destination Infinity
Destination Infinity recently posted..Around the world in 60 seconds – spider this!

4 Kiran May 10, 2011 at 2:51 PM

DI,
Hahaha! Thank you, I’ve made new friends whom share similar interests πŸ™‚

5 dinu May 6, 2011 at 8:44 AM

looks like you had an awesome time .. can imagine how much is this to a spacegeek like you !!

6 Kiran May 10, 2011 at 2:52 PM

Dinu,
It was so awesome! Would be revisiting again next Monday for launch reattempt. Keeping fingers crossed for this one πŸ™‚

7 Rohit Sane May 6, 2011 at 11:27 AM

Those are amazing photos.. I wanted to ask you, how was the total experience of the NASA Tweetup, but I think I already know the answer after reading the Post and watching the Pics.. πŸ™‚
Rohit Sane recently posted..Blackberry’s Bold 9900 Touch Features and More

8 Kiran May 10, 2011 at 2:54 PM

Rohit,
Thanks a lot! Glad you got the story and experience through photos and a little conversation. I am still editing the videos I took. It would take some time to post those, to give you a much better perspective on the overall awesome experience πŸ™‚

9 Penelope May 6, 2011 at 6:00 PM

I used to work at NASA JSC before I got married! Times like this make me miss the excitement of it all! Lucky girl!

10 Kiran May 10, 2011 at 2:55 PM

Penelope,
Aahh! I would kill to work at NASA. So sad the shuttle programs are coming to an end πŸ™

11 Ameena May 7, 2011 at 11:28 PM

I am so behind on Twitter…I have never been invited to a Tweetup…nevermind one as awesome as this. I would have LOVED something like this! What a fantastic opportunity Kiran! I am kind of jealous (in a good way, of course).

Happy Mother’s Day my friend! I hope you have a lovely day tomorrow!
Ameena recently posted..and those are just her flats

12 Kiran May 11, 2011 at 3:08 PM

Ameena,
Thanks honey. I am sure you can set up a local tweetup where you are currently living. It begins in the community πŸ™‚ Happy Mothers Day to you my dear friend, I am off to read your wonderful MD post!

13 carolinaheartstrings May 8, 2011 at 9:54 AM

WE love this post and we love your blog. We have passed on the Versatile Blogger award to you Kiran. Congratulations. You do a great job. Pop over our site and pick up your award.

14 Kiran May 11, 2011 at 3:08 PM

CHS,
Thank you so much for the honor! I feel so humbled πŸ™‚

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