I’m continually amazed by social media and how it can connect people across the globe. Today, I had a couple of experiences which showed me just how connected the world is.
In May, I attended a NASA Tweetup at Johnson Space Center in Houston during STS-132, which was an amazing experience. During our Q&A with Astronaut Jeff Williams (@Astro_jeff), who has spent almost a year on the ISS, one of my fellow tweeps attending the event (@KateKligman) asked one of the best questions put to an astronaut that I’ve ever heard. She asked, “What SciFi invention would you like to have had with you during your time on the ISS?” Jeff’s answer was, “Beam me home for the weekend, Scotty.” Since then, that question has rattled around my head.
NASA held tweetup today (on its 58th birthday) in Washington, D.C. Astronaut TJ Creamer (@astro_tj) attended and gave a great presentation. Incidentally, I was watching the tweetup on my iPhone via a live stream. During the Q&A, Kate’s question popped into my head and I wanted to get it asked to TJ. So, I sent an Twitter DM to Beth Beck (@bethbeck) who was one of our NASA hosts at JSC asking her if she would ask the question for me. She did and TJ’s response, after telling us his impressive SciFi credentials was a Star-Trek like communicator.
So,using my cell phone, I was watching an event that was taking place 3000 miles away and was able ta ask a question and hear the response. How awesome is that?
This evening, I was watching Spacevidcast during an interview with James Dewar, who just wrote a book about the US Nuclear space program and how it could be applied today. I had a question (whether the radiation from a nuclear spacecraft would interfere with communication) and posted it in the chat room, several other people indicated they thought it was a good question, and the hosts put it to Mr. Dewar. He rephrased my question much more elegantly than I put it in the first place and answered it. It was awesome…
Why do I mention these experiences? Because they would not have been possible without social media and the internet. It’s a chain link effect, which I won’t list out here, but without social media I wouldn’t have event know about either the tweetup or spacevidcast.