Wednesday, May 13, 2009

NASA astronaut sends Twitter messages from Hubble

Article from the

Twitter has broken through the final frontier: it has gone into outer space, thanks to one of the NASA astronauts servicing the Hubble Telescope.

John Grunsfeld, Drew Good, Mike Massimino, Andrew Feustel: NASA astronaut sends Twitter message from space
(L to R) Mike Massimino, Drew Good, Andrew Feustel, and Jon Grunsfeld

Mike Massimino, a member of the crew sent to Hubble, has become the first person to use Twitter from space.

His first tweet proclaimed: "From orbit: Launch was awesome!! I am feeling great, working hard, & enjoying the magnificent views, the adventure of a lifetime has begun!"

His second, sent via the computers on board the space shuttle Atlantis, said: "From orbit: Getting more accustomed to living in space today and getting ready for our big rendezvous with hubble."

Twitter, the popular micro-blogging service, has been used by thousands of people in unusual and controversial locations – including the Mumbai terrorist attacks, a child's funeral, and even inside the womb, thanks a pregnant woman wearing a belt with a sensor, which automatically tweeted when it felt the baby kick.

NASA, however, confirmed that this Mr Massimino – who goes by the Twitter nickname Astro_Mike – was the first man to have sent a Twitter message from out of space.

"Tweeting happens every day down here on earth, so why not take it to beyond Earth?" a spokesman at the Kennedy Space Centre.

Mr Massimino started using the blogging service in April and until recently had just a few hundred followers.

He now has in excess of quarter of a million people following his updates on Twitter, thanks to his regular messages in the lead up to launch day on Monday, which gave small details about his preparations and fitness regime.

Twitter, which allows people to post small messages, of no more than 140 characters, has taken off this year, with celebrities, politicians as well as about 15 million of ordinary people using the service.

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