Today was day one of the NASA Tweetup at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. For those of us lucky enough to have been invited by NASA to come down for the Tweetup, it was an experience of a lifetime! We got to go to the NASA media area, share an airconditioned tent that was set up with lots of electrical outlets and wireless internet, and share the company of a diverse population of people. I guess you can call us all geeks of some sort, but all I can say is WOW.
We started the day with introductions. We learned where everyone was from which included about 47 states and several countries. At noon NASA TV broadcast the happenings and we had several speakers including a scientist involved in design/2 young ladies who are in charge of the space suites the astronauts wear, someone who works with some of the experiments that are going up on the STS-134, and Astronaut Clay who really was fun to listen to. One of the things that really made an impact on me was how enthusiastic each speaker was about his/her job. It was just amazing. I know that for many people working for NASA would be a dream job and these people are living that dream. It is great to see their enthusiasm for their job, and I think they know how lucky they are to be doing what they are doing.
During the lunch break I found a representative from ThinkGeek who gave me a mini Timmy, their mascot. I also got the chance to get my photo taken with Levar Burton (whom some know as Jordi LaForge from Star Trek, or from Reading Rainbow, or even from Roots) and Seth Green. They were both very friendly and down to earth. Seth was VERY enthusiastic and enjoyed every moment of the day, even going on the tour with us. He wanted OUR signatures and I got my monkey from ThinkGeek signed by him. I’d asked Levar Burton, but his signature was a little too complex. Levar did give me an extra signature for a friend. 🙂
After the speakers we got a great tour, getting to see the landing strip for the shuttles, and even getting to go into the VAB (which is something few previous Tweetup attendees…if any had the opportunity to do. Then we went to the Saturn Center and got to explore there. Tonight we were supposed to go watch the retraction of the RSS, but alas, a couple storms came through preventing that because of how late it got. The problem was the bus drivers who were to take us over…some couldn’t stay out late, some were volunteers who have other jobs to go to in the morning. It was a huge disappointment, but as long as the launch is a go, I guess I can watch it on NASA TV and try to be content with that.
Tomorrow we’ll see where the rest of this adventure goes. Posted a few pictures here, to see the rest, go to my flickr site. 🙂