This Friday July 8th marks a historic moment in both U.S. History and the story of Humanity when the Space Shuttle Atlantis launches to carry supplies to the ISS-Station in orbit around Earth. NASA’s space shuttle program will conclude with mission STS-135.
I am super excited to have the opportunity to view the launch from Kennedy Space Center Friday morning. For those of you who cannot make the trip – there are a number of awesome online outlets including twitter, NASA TV, Facebook and more to hear updates, watch the countdown and launch, and hear directly from the astronauts as they prepare to launch into space.
Follow the launch on Twitter!
First, if you are relatively new to twitter or want a quick refresher course, check out Schipul’s Twitter Speak Help File.
Next, here are just a few of the official NASA twitter accounts to follow:
@NASA – official NASA twitter account
@NASAtweetup – official “tweetup” account for NASA
@NASA_Astronauts – NASA twitter account that retweets all of the astronauts tweets
The four Astronauts that will be flying Atlantis for STS-135 each have twitter accounts as well and have been tweeting actively about their mission preparations and thoughts. You can follow them in the “Twitter-verse” here:
Christopher Ferguson: @Astro_Ferg
Douglas Hurley: @Astro_Doug
Sandy Magnus: @Astro_Sandy
Rex J Walheim: @Astro_Rex
Hashtags to follow on twitter: #NASATweetup and #STS135
Other NASA-friendly social networks to follow
If you want more than just 140 character updates, you can head to NASA Connect to find dozens of other official NASA social networking sites including the official NASA Facebook Page, and NASA Headquarters Flickr account including a collection devoted to the Space Shuttle program as well as many other social sites.
Then, on Friday morning watch the shuttle launch live online on NASA TV. The launch is currently scheduled for 11:28 AM EST. That’s 10:28 AM CST for those of you in Houston and 8:28 AM PST for all of you in California.
Finally, I want to include a couple of great non-NASA organizations that will be tweeting and uploading photos and video from the launch site in Florida too. Both of these organizations are focused on sharing the excitement of space exploration and all things space with others and are extremely active on the web.
The Space Tweep Society is an organization whose mission is to connect those inside the space industry with those on the outside looking in and generate enthusiasm for all things space. You can find the Space Tweep’s on twitter, Facebook, and Flickr.
SpaceUp is a new organization that hosts “un-conferences” focused on space-related topics all over the country including Houston, Los Angeles, San Diego, Washington DC and Minneapolis. You will find a number of organizers and volunteers from the different SpaceUp cities in Florida this week for STS-135.
Want a play-by-play? You can follow me on twitter: @SarahMWorthy as I tweet throughout the events leading up to the launch with all the other Space Geeks.
Before the launch, I urge you to go check out TEDxNASA in Silicon Valley and register for FREE if you can attend. This official TEDx event will be August 17th, 2011 in San Francisco, California. I was honored to attend the recent TEDx Houston event last month and definitely want to see all of you at TEDxNASA if you can make the trip to San Francisco next month!
Great launch photo up top thanks to Flickr user Stuck in Customs