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Nerd Alert: An Astronaut’s Twitter Images From Space

December 1, 2010
By

American astronaut Douglas H. Wheelock, who has been tweeting pictures from space, returned to Earth on Thanksgiving Day with fellow American Shannon Walker and Russian cosmonaut Fyodor Yurchikhin after a 163-day voyage in the International Space Station. Wheelock, who was the commander of the Space Station’s Expedition 25, was wildly successful in his Twitter endeavors, with 88,760 followers (as of this morning) observing as he posted poetic comments and enchanting pictures of both the astronauts floating gracefully in their tiny temporary home and flyover panoramics of Earth that provided the average viewer with unprecedented views of their beloved and beautiful planet.

Aside from the sheer awesomeness of sending pictures from a space station to a site like Twitter, my favorite parts of this endeavor are 1) the unprecedented opportunity for the layperson to become involved with normally impenetrable space missions, and 2) that laypeople actually cared. Every one of Wheelock’s photos, which were posted under the username @Astro_Wheels, garnered multitudes of comments from followers thanking Wheelock for taking the time to share Expedition 25′s experiences. People got involved, and everyone loved it, and, for the first time, a real-time relationship grew between a spaceman and those of us that are forever earthbound.

Oh, and if you like space pictures, check out National Geographic‘s Best Space Pictures of 2010, released yesterday.

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