Yesterday, What’s a TweetUp, and Should I Wear My Spacesuit? Twitip told you what it was like to attend a TweetUp at NASA Headquarters. Today, learn more about how NASA uses Twitter.
Why and when did NASA decide to use Twitter?
NASA always is looking for new ways to engage the public and spread the word about what we’re doing, so it was natural that we would look into using Twitter. The @NASA account really began its use in January 2009.
What are NASA’s goals for Twitter?
To connect and communicate with people interested in what NASA does.
Does NASA have a Twitter strategy?
NASA’s overall social Web strategy is to think about how to do our jobs as communicators differently. Services like Twitter give us an opportunity to speak directly to audiences who might otherwise not hear about what we do.
Are there any rules, restrictions, policies for using Twitter at NASA?
There are several rules and regulations that govern the release of government information. The rules that existed before Twitter are much the same as they are today. The only difference is the media being used to communicate. That said, there is an agency-wide social Web policy that is working its way through the system. In the meantime, employees have been encouraged to treat Twitter commenting as we do any other release of public information, following NASA’s existing communication policies.
How many people at NASA use Twitter?
NASA has nearly 50 Twitter accounts for NASA centers, programs and projects. In addition, several NASA astronauts tweet. Several people often tweet for different center, program and project accounts, so probably more than 100 NASA employees are tweeting. In addition, many NASA employees have their own Twitter accounts from which they often tweet about NASA’s work. You can find links to all of NASA’s Twitter accounts here.
Who was the first astronaut to tweet from space?
NASA astronaut Mike Massimino (Astro_Mike) began tweeting in early April 2009 and was the first person to tweet from space on May 12, 2009.
The First Tweet from Space
How many astronauts tweet and when did they start?
Nine NASA astronauts have set up Twitter accounts. You can follow them individually or through the NASA Astronauts Twitter account or click on the @ links below.
Who will be next?
Where can I find a list of all of NASA’s Twitter accounts?
How does the tweeting process work from the shuttle or International Space Station? In other words, how does one Tweet from space?
Astronauts in space have a minimum of two downlinks a day, during which they can send and receive their e-mail. They write their tweet and e-mail it to Mission Control on the ground which then tweets the message.
What has been the public reaction to NASA Tweeting?
The response has been excellent.
Can you describe NASA’s Twitter Control?
There really isn’t a “NASA Twitter Control” per se. Twitter activities are shared by lots of people in lots of different places.
When did NASA decide to hold a TweetUp?
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory held the first NASA Tweetup on January 21, 2009. NASA Headquarters held its first Tweetup on July 21. The September 24 event is the second Tweetup from NASA Headquarters. NASA is planning others in the near future at various agency locations. TweetUps are announced at http://www.nasa.gov/tweetup and on the @NASA.
Why did NASA decide to hold a TweetUp?
NASA had a great response on Twitter and always experiences strong interest for people to meet astronauts. So when the STS-125 crew, which includes the first astronaut to tweet from space, was coming to Washington, D.C., it was a good time to hold the first Tweetup.
Who’s behind the TweetUp? Is it a specific department or can any NASA employee have one?
The two Headquarters TweetUps have been held in coordination with many offices at NASA, including the Astronaut Office, the Space Operations Mission Directorate, and the Office of Public Affairs. Any official NASA TweetUps need to be coordinated with other offices. Any NASA employee can host a Tweetup, but if it’s not coordinated, they need to make it clear that they are speaking on behalf of themselves and not the agency.
Is there a specific format for the TweetUp?
The two TweetUps with the astronaut crews follow a format that works well with their schedule and activities, i.e. an opening mingle time for the Tweetup participants to talk and get to know each other, followed by the crew presentation during which the astronauts introduce themselves, show a video from their mission and explain what they did while in space. Then the Tweetup participants can ask questions of the astronauts. After about an hour, the presentation and Q&A portion ends and Tweetup participants can talk with the astronauts and each other. TweetUps do not have to follow this format, but it works well with the astronaut crews.
Do other NASA centers/programs host TweetUps?
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory hosted the first NASA Tweetup, and we are planning others around the agency.
Is the public invited (i.e. how can my readers “score” invitations)?
Yes. Anyone 18 or older with a valid government-issued photo ID can register for the Tweetup when registration opens (at a set date and time that is advertised in advance). Registration is at http://www.nasa.gov/tweetup. Registrants must show a photo ID that matches the name on the registration upon arrival. We’ve had Tweetup participants come from Spain, California, Arizona, Canada, etc. For this Tweetup, we know of at least one attendee coming from Venezuela.
Will NASA hold a TweetUp in space? Can I come?
What tools do you use to manage Twitter?
No one tool is universally used. Each tweeting employee can use the tools that work best for them.
What other Social Media tools/platforms/services does NASA use (have to ask)?
Facebook, YouTube, UStream, mySpace, Flickr. You can find links to these pages here.
Are there any Facebook Fan pages for the various astronauts and missions?
Yes; it’s a mix of profile pages, fan pages and groups. You can see one of the fan pages here.
What is Twitter’s (and Social Media’s) future with NASA?
Social media evolves. What was widely accepted yesterday is forgotten today. We will need to evolve with the social media environment.
Will anyone tweet from the Moon?
It’s certainly possible. However, no country currently is sending people to the moon. The space shuttle travels only to low Earth orbit (about 220 miles in altitude compared to about 240,000 miles to get to the moon).
Can I have a moon rock (maybe just a small one)?
NASA’s Lunar Sample Laboratory Facility at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston allocates about 300 samples from the 842 pound collection each year for scientific research and engineering studies. Today, about 90 active lunar principal investigators worldwide, mainly from the university community, have 4 percent of the collection on loan for their studies. NASA also provides a limited number of lunar rock samples to be used for either short-term or long-term displays at museums, planetariums, expositions, or professional events that are open to the public.
Which NASA employee/astronaut has the most followers?
Astro_Mike had more than 1 million followers as of Sept. 23.
Btw; the folks at NASA are really interested to get your feedback and seeing how far this post spreads, so be sure to leave a Comment, and please Retweet.
Thanks again to Stephanie Schierholz, Michael Curie and the rest of the crew at NASA’s Public Affairs Office (follow them @NASA) for being so helpful during the preparation of this post, and especially the crew of STS-127 (not to mention all of our astronauts) who risk their lives so that we can not only learn more about the Universe, but our home as well.