150 Twitter users were selected, from over 2,500 entries, to attend NASA's STS-133 Discovery shuttle launch, with special access at the press site, and two days of programmed events -- meeting crew, talking to astronauts, exploring NASA -- and to top it all off, to view the launch from the countdown clock.
We formed an instant community (within hours of being selected) via Twitter, created a Google group, FB group, email lists, and 15 of us who had never met before rented a house, and started sharing space knowledge, social media knowledge, etc. 4 other shared houses came together. Our house, the Big House, was the hub of all activities. Never having met meant nothing to us. Our first night there we gathered (over 70 of the 150) and formed our space tweeps family.
Astronomers, scientists, NASA workers, digital storytellers, educators (k-12 and higher ed), videographers, all passionate about space.
The shuttle never launched. The communities which were formed out of this experience are still going strong. The entire week was broadcast on JustinTV by one of our colleagues -- sharing the entire NASA learning experience with thousands of folks. We're invited back to watch the launch when she's scheduled to go in February.
This was an amazing use of Social Media, and a perfect example of the power of these tools, and how they can be used to market, share, teach, grow, explore, inspire.
This is a talk about winning the nerd lottery: The luckiest fanboy in fandom gets a shot to spend three months with unfettered access to mission control--that’s a journalistic first and potential NASA no-no. It’s just your average summer trying to capture the story of 130 of the world’s best planetary scientists exploring the north pole of Mars. It’s a warts-and-all look at the Phoenix Mars mission and NASA’s space narrative from a regular guy who once dreamed of leaving the planet. We’ll focus our space story on a Martian photographer. “Don’t call me that,” Peter Smith, the world’s greatest Martian Photographer says. “And don’t make me look like some wacko mad scientist.” Peter has a hard enough time with the mission’s image as it is. Peter is particular about image because he knows how getting it right has the potential to inspire the next generation of adventurers. More than half his team is here because they grew up watching Apollo and Viking missions. “What’s going to inspire the next generation?” He wants to know. We all want to know.
Author Andrew Kessler will be meeting fans and signing copies of his new book, Martian Summer: Robot Arms, Cowboy Spacemen, and My 90 Days with the Phoenix Mars Mission.
11th–15th March 2011