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Working at a NASA Tweet-up

I had the fortune to be invited last minute to the Tweet-up with Astronaut Ron Garan at NASA Headquarters yesterday, in the place of a co-worker who couldn’t go. And then last minute, I got drafted to actually help out! Sara and I have been to several tweet-ups, but this was the first time I worked one. It was a really cool experience. I got to help check people in and then run around with the microphone for the Q&A which was a challenge since I wanted to stay out of the camera’s way, not block people, but be quick getting to those with questions. And then I felt bad for those who weren’t able to get their questions in. I tried!

Astronaut Ron Garan

I had a great time and I also was often able to get a great view of the speaker, Astronaut Ron Garan. “Astro_Ron”, as he is known on Twitter, was an F-16 pilot (how cool is that?!) who became an astronaut in 2000. He flew on STS-124 to the ISS and on his second mission, spent six months there as a member of Expedition 27. He’s ridden on both the Space Shuttle and the Soyuz. And he had a lot of great stories to tell. He really saw some amazing things like aurorae, sunrises, incoming orbiters, hurricanes, and meteor showers. (You can page through more of his amazing images from space on his Twitpic.)

During nearly an hour of Q&A, Astro Ron also showed us this gag video called “Space Station Blues – The Sequel” that they shot right before he left the Space Station. (He had been told he’d have to stay for two more months, though it only ended up being an extra week.)

Here are a few photos from the NASA HQ Flickr.

Astro Ron also took this pic of the audience and tweeted it!

Here are a few more of my photos from the Tweet-up!

Getting ready for Astro Ron to appear:

Tweet-up at NASA HQ

Tweet-up at NASA HQ

Astro Ron at the front answering questions:

Astronaut Ron Garan

Astronaut Ron Garan

Astronaut Ron Garan

Astro Ron with Stephanie Shierholz who was the social media coordinator for NASA. This is her last tweet-up as she’s changing jobs and leaving NASA. We wish her the best in her new position.

Astronaut Ron Garan and Stephanie Shierholz

If you were at the Tweet-up, share your pics with us! Link us in the comments or on Facebook.

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  • David Cohen (Fezman92) says:

    I didn’t know you guys were there. Well I guess that means I have to make sure that I get down to visit you guys during my spring break. ;) I found myself in one your photos. In the second to last one I am the curly hair guy in the front. Can’t wait to go down to Goddard this March.

  • outdoor products says:

    hope Stephanie Shierholz will do best in the future

  • Michael L. says:

    Wish I could have been there. Is this an invite only event? How does one get to go?

    • Maggie Masetti says:

      Keep an eye on #NASAtweet-up hashtag and on the NASA website. ( They announce tweet-ups occasionally and you generally have to apply to be selected to go!

  • Iain says:

    Just wondering what the people in the audience are doing on their PCs and smartphones? Do you submit questions via twitter? If not why are they messing around on their bits of tech instead of paying attention??

    • Maggie Masetti says:

      Excellent question. It is a little strange to be at one of these and see everyone with their noses in their laptops and phones. Generally those people are tweeting bits of information from the speaker and pictures to their twitter followings. Usually with the hashtag #NASAtweetup If you go on Twitter and search #NASAtweetup, you’ll see some of the tweets from people at the tweet-up. I always wonder what the speaker thinks, looking out an audience of people not looking back! Everyone was genuinely excited to be there though – we had lots of great questions for Ron Garan!

  • Medic says:

    Looks like a great expo. Nice to see the video too – gives us a bit of insight into what it’s like being an astronaut.
    Must be the worst news to be told you have to stay up there longer. No family, no new company. I couldn’t do it.

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