I realize my mind was focused on homecoming preparations a lot the past weekend, but I am wondering how I missed the fact that astronaut, Douglas H. Wheelock, unlocked a new badge on Foursquare from space.
First of all, though these astronauts have been traveling in space all summer, I had no idea they were able to use their phones and tweet along their journey! According to Mashable, astronauts have been tweeting since 2009, so clearly my social media knowledge is not as great as I had hoped.
While I understand there are satellites in the sky, I still find it amazing that they are even able to do anything with his cell phone. The important question is, who will become the next mayor of space? According to an article on Mashable, soon non-astronauts can unlock the badge as well by visiting and checking in at NASSA related locations listed at their Foursquare page.
Wheelock and his team of astronauts are continuing to tweet about what they are doing and what they see. A couple of other astronauts have chosen to share their experience via social media as well. Shannon Walker keeps a blog and Scott Kelly tweets about their mission and daily tasks (@stationcdrkelly).
In times past, information about what our astronauts were doing up in space wasn’t streamed to us as quickly as it is today and we definitely were never able to see photos in real time. Here is one of my favorite photos from Douglas (@Astro_Wheels):
Douglas has also created a game with his pictures as he uploads a new picture every so often and has viewers guess what city or landmark the shuttle is orbiting above. Viewers have a lot of fun trying to guess where he is and watching the pictures. There were 37 comments on the photo above and they trickle in long after the initial post.
This seems like an extremely effective use of social media for NASSA. Most likely these astronauts were trained before entering space as to how to utilize social media. The instant communication we have with someone in outer space is a genius way to promote the space program.
I learned so much more from this discovery than I ever would have if I had relied on traditional media outlets.
Did you know that astronauts were tweeting from space? Thanks for your thougths!