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A Day at NASA Langley: 140 Characters at a Time
By: Denise Lineberry

NASA Langley Research Center's first tweet-up involved a diverse group of more than 40 that included an astronaut's daughter, a physics student from Wisconsin, one of NASA's newest space camp crew trainers, an actor and singer, a pilot, a kindergarten teacher and a medical museum worker.

All had at least two interests in common: NASA and Twitter.

On Tuesday, the tweetup participants drove through the gates of NASA Langley and followed Twitter bird signs to their parking spot. On their way into the NACA room of NASA Langley's cafeteria, they grabbed their smart phones, tablets, laptops, chargers and cameras for a day to learn -- and to tweet about -- all- things-NASA Langley.

After some introductions and a greeting from Charlie Harris, NASA Langley's Director of Research, the tweeters boarded a bus for a day filled with visits that included the Hangar, the lunar habitat, the National Transonic Facility and the Reid Center, where they met and got autographs from astronaut Susan Kilrain (STS-83 and STS-94). They also went to the Hydro Impact Basin Facility, where they witnessed a drop test of the Orion capsule.

"I came here on a dare," said Susan Thornton while at the luncheon with Kilrain. For dinner, she accompanied a different astronaut who issued the dare, her mother, Kathryn Thornton (STS-33, STS-49, STS-61, STS-73).

In 140 characters or less, the character limit set by Twitter, the tweeps shared photos, quotes and information about their Langley visit with their followers. Almost every tour stop included "tweetoids" or facts that could be used.

This wasn't just NASA Langley's first -- it was also a first for many participants. Others were considered Tweetup alumni, like Ching-Yao Yu. This was his fourth.

Each had his or her reasons for attending the tweet-up, and through the tweets, each offered a perspective of the Langley visit. A feed of the tweets [to the right] serves as narration for the day.


The Researcher News
NASA Langley Research Center
Editor & Curator: Denise Lineberry
Managing Editor: Jim Hodges
Executive Editor & Responsible NASA Official: Rob Wyman