Tag Archives: NASAtweetup

NASA includes Social Media with Traditional Media for Budget Briefing

There we sat. Twitter users. No special badges saying we were “tweeps,” No special seating gallery. No instructions to just “observe” the “real” media.

The New Media Corp

NASA decided that this time, from the get-to of the FY2013 budget briefing at NASA HQ (2/13/2012), everyone in the room was media and was important. From the podium, Bob Jacobs (@bnjacobs), NASA’s deputy associate administrator for Communications and the moderator for the event, explained:

This year we’re trying something a little different, as well as traditional media representatives, for the first time we have invited members of the social media community to be a part of today’s presentation and we’ll be taking questions via Twitter using the hashtag #askNASA.

NASA's Bob Jacobs

Bob Jacobs (@bnjacobs), NASA's deputy associate administrator for Communications tweets a pic of the Media Corp at beginning of the Budget Briefing.

NASA acknowledged that social media is a valid means of media communication and should be included in briefings alongside the AP, Nature, Orlando Sentinel, and the other traditional media outlets represented. We were allowed to ask questions, to talk to Administrator Charles Bolden, Chief Financial Officer Elizabeth Robinson, and the other NASA officials just like anyone else in the room. In short: no second-class citizens in the media corp.

It was a very special time–not just for those of us in the room–but for the army of social media journalists who have waited for recognition and validation of their status as “real” media.


Lindsey Mastis recorded Bob Jacobs’ thoughts on the relationship between NASA and social media. You can read her report of the briefing here.

Ice, Rockets, and Steam

Check out this photo from Chase Clark. He’s got a series of photos from the initial 1.6 seconds of the Atlas V rocket launch (Nov 26, 2011) that is propelling the Mars Curiosity rover to Mars.

Notice the ice on the rocket. Why is there ice? Why does it break off like that? What happens after it breaks off? Be curious and find out!

Why this NASA photo of Atlas V rocket should make you Curious

I am always trying to encourage people to Stay Curious. Sure, I can give you information (and will be happy to), but often it is better for people to be curious about something and discover answers for themselves. However, many folks are out of the habit of being curious, so I will help prod you a bit. I ask you, why should this NASA photo of the Atlas V rocket which launched on Sat., 11/26, make you curious?

Curiosity Rover Lifts Off for Mars (Image Credit: NASA)

  1. What are those billowy clouds coming out from the rocket? It’s not smoke!
  2. Why are the booster rockets on the side asymetrical? There are four. Why aren’t they evenly placed around the main rocket?
  3. What are those towers around the rocket? Why are they taller than the rocket?
  4. What is that “train” track in the foreground?
  5. Do you know what is inside the rocket? Where is the payload? How does it get out?

Hints to help you:
This rocket launched off SLC 41 (that may help you get information about the launchpad configurations)
The group responsible for the rocket was the United Launch Alliance

Here’s a link to the Astronomy Picture of the Day, where the photo was highlighted on Wed, Nov 30th. Read the caption there and you will find links to several aspects of the launch and mission.

Now, go get curious. And stay that way!

First posts from Mars Curiosity NASATweetup

We’re still in Cocoa Beach, FL after spending several days with folks from around the world who participated in the Mars Curiosity NASATweetup. Here’s a quick taste of the events. More to come!

Video of the Pre-Tweetup dinner at Dixie Crossroads restaurant in Titusville, FL.

Mars Curiosity Tweetup dinner from Braga on Vimeo.

Video of Bill Nye, The Science Guy, speaking to the NASATweetup tweeps in the twent on Saturday right before the launch.

Video of Bill Nye, The Science Guy, and Astronaut Doug Wheelock handling Q & A.

Video of will.i.am (!) speaking to the tweeps about making science cool and communicating enthusiasm to kids so they will reach for the stars (literally).

I am a Scientific American (Guest Blogger)!

I am very excited to have been asked to do a post on the Scientific American Guest Blog about my recent participation in the #GRAIL #NASATweetup. It went live yesterday (9/21/2011). Click on the screen capture below to go to the original location to read the entire post!

#GRAIL #NASATweetup Part I

I’m back, and it hardly seems fair that over a week has transpired since I left Florida and Kennedy Space Center. This is the first of several posts that will be a photo travelogue of my adventures during the #GRAIL #NASATweetup (for some background info about the NASATweetup and my participation, go here). My traveling companion is Gnoome, the stuffed (or plush, if you prefer) Moon. He is a traveling gnome wanna-be, hence, his name (which, pronounced in reverse is the object of the GRAIL mission).

If you want details of the science and rocketry (which are really pretty amazing), you should check out the references page on the wiki that I helped to administrate for our tweetup group. NASA does a wonderful job explaining the mission and, frankly, I couldn’t do it better.

The #GRAIL #NASATweetup was scheduled to begin on the morning of September 7, 2011. In order to arrive in time (and pick up my credentials early), I left at 2:30 AM on Tuesday, September 6th.

Gnoome and I headed out in the dark of night, armed with snack food, map, and plenty of coffee for the 10+ hour drive.

Our trip progressed quite well. No other travelers in the car, so we could just keep moving along (read: no extra long rest stops, food stops, etc). Before we knew it, we were in Florida. It's hard to tell from this photo, but it was actually raining. An ironic greeting to the Sunshine State!


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GRAIL NASATweetup Group Photo

This is the group photo for our #GRAIL #NASATweetup. It was supposed to be taken out in the Rocket Garden at the Kennedy Space Center, BUT there was a torrential rainstorm at the time scheduled for the photo shoot, so it was shot in the lobby of the Debus Center. We still haven’t seen the launch yet (the Thur launch windows were scrubbed due to high upper winds and Friday’s opportunity was also scrubbed). Can you find me?



Link to larger image.

If you poke around the NASAHQphoto photostream, you’ll see some other photos of the GRAIL launch.

My iPhone pics of the #GRAIL #NASATweetup are here. My “real” pictures haven’t been edited and uploaded yet, but I’ll let you know when they are!