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Tweeting in a most peculiar way / And the stars look very different today
February 5, 2010 2:44 PM   Subscribe

Since late January of 2010, the International Space Station was able to access the Internet for personal use, leading to the first tweet from space. The previous tweets were e-mailed to the ground where support personnel posted them to the astronaut's Twitter account. Currently there are 17 active NASA astronauts and 6 internatual'nauts tweeting from on high. If their words aren't enough, they're also posting pictures, primarily from Soichi Noguchi (@Astro_Soichi) and José Hernández (@Astro_Jose, whose socio-political messages were covered previously). posted by filthy light thief (28 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite

 
But does it run space internet?
posted by GuyZero at 3:00 PM on February 5, 2010 [4 favorites]


About the only job where you can tweet about how high you are at work and not get fired.
posted by cjorgensen at 3:01 PM on February 5, 2010 [3 favorites]


I'm reading that link about the ISS access and it's hard to tell whether they have a real Internet link up there, or just some sort of proprietary thing with Web access. I'd love to know if there's an IP route all the way into the ISS. For that matter, are there any devices in orbit that are running routed TCP/IP?
posted by Nelson at 3:04 PM on February 5, 2010


This reminds me of the old days (1988-ish) when I discovered I could ping a server at McMurdo Station. The round-trip time was SLOW.
posted by The Tensor at 3:10 PM on February 5, 2010 [2 favorites]


The first indication we get of alien life is gonna be a new SSID showing up on the available WiFi networks when someone on the station refreshes networks.
posted by Babblesort at 3:12 PM on February 5, 2010 [8 favorites]


So finally, astronauts can download porn in space.
posted by dunkadunc at 3:17 PM on February 5, 2010


Or they can tweet pics from the new cupola. Man, what I wouldn't give to be able to stand in that thing for a few hours.
posted by Pragmatica at 3:22 PM on February 5, 2010


The ISS has internet access, and the most important thing people can talk about is the fact that they have access to twitter?
posted by deanc at 3:28 PM on February 5, 2010 [4 favorites]


Pragmatic, your link is borked, so here is the cupola on Wikipedia, and more images from NASA, plus an artist's rendition that looks wonderfully comic (like a comic book, not laughable).
posted by filthy light thief at 3:37 PM on February 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


Reading the linked article, they can sometimes use the equivalent of remote desktop to connect to a PC on the ground from the computer they have on the ISS. By sometimes, I mean whenever they have the direct ground link, as opposed to TDRSS or whatever.
posted by wierdo at 3:41 PM on February 5, 2010


Dangit, I swear it worked in preview. Ah, well. Sorry about that.
posted by Pragmatica at 3:41 PM on February 5, 2010


Wishing for three minutes, I mean "..ground link up and running"
posted by wierdo at 3:42 PM on February 5, 2010


dunkadunc: "So finally, astronauts can download porn in space."

POOOORN... IIIIN... SPAAAAACE...
posted by brundlefly at 3:59 PM on February 5, 2010 [3 favorites]


That's neat and all, but the medium kind of makes the first tweet... I don't know, underwhelming. Or less majestic than it deserves to be.

"@earth thats 1 step 4 man & 1 LEAP 4 men"
posted by Flunkie at 4:13 PM on February 5, 2010 [2 favorites]


Maldives, ISS style.
posted by yoga at 4:18 PM on February 5, 2010


That's neat and all, but the medium kind of makes the first tweet... I don't know, underwhelming.

I agree. I wasn't so interested in the first tweet from space, but I really liked the images posted via twitter, adding to the available imagery of Earth (and other things) from space. Considering how new the "internet access" is, I added it in to fill out the write-up.
posted by filthy light thief at 4:19 PM on February 5, 2010


Extra points for Maj. Tweet title.
posted by Burhanistan at 4:21 PM on February 5, 2010


Since reading about this, I can't help wonder why this space station - which has cost well over $100 billion - doesn't have a permanent IMAX Camera bolted to the exterior, continually sending down a digital video stream available to everyone. (or at least a compressed HDTV stream...)
posted by Auden at 4:25 PM on February 5, 2010


NASA: The Cupola, named after the raised observation deck on a railroad caboose

Eh?
posted by matthewr at 4:33 PM on February 5, 2010


Twitter recently launched a new Twitter Engineering blog, and to kick things off, one team member, Ben Sandofsky, decided to share a video he made representing Twitter’s development history. The video was made using Code Swarm, a software tool used to visualize data.
posted by netbros at 4:41 PM on February 5, 2010


Hmm. Molvides = Maldives?
posted by yoga at 4:44 PM on February 5, 2010


Since reading about this, I can't help wonder why this space station - which has cost well over $100 billion - doesn't have a permanent IMAX Camera bolted to the exterior, continually sending down a digital video stream available to everyone. (or at least a compressed HDTV stream...)

Uh, it does. (The HDTV thing, not IMAX.)

It's just kind of boring because it's usually just the same picture of the space station and space, with the light levels gradually varying. I'd rather see an inside view, personally.
posted by Xezlec at 6:54 PM on February 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


Thanks for the link, Xezlec, but that's not really what I meant... I mean, I would have expected - or would have liked - a high definition video camera pointed down at the planet that they were orbiting above - or at the horizon that they were hurtling towards - in IMAX (or, at worst, HDTV) quality. I want to see the Earth from their perspective, the mountains and clouds and islands and so on that are fleetingly captured in these twitter photos, not "the same picture of the space station and space, with the light levels gradually varying."
posted by Auden at 7:33 PM on February 5, 2010


Oh. Well, it's not live, but will this tide you over for a while? :)
posted by Xezlec at 7:58 PM on February 5, 2010


Since reading about this, I can't help wonder why this space station - which has cost well over $100 billion - doesn't have a permanent IMAX Camera bolted to the exterior, continually sending down a digital video stream available to everyone. (or at least a compressed HDTV stream...)
Well, maybe because IMAX is a film format?

These are what IMAX cameras look like. The 3D camera weighs 215 pounds. According to Wikipedia, they're working on a 3D digital camera but it won't be released until 2011. The lightest camera mentioned on Gizmodo was 46 pounds and held about 1.5 minutes of film.
posted by delmoi at 9:46 PM on February 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


Tweets in space tell you everything that you really don't need to know, in a shortform manner that seems virtually designed to guarantee that you never get the true experience of being in space.

Looking forward to the first LJ post from the ISS...

"Can't sleep. Meh. It's like trying to rest when you have a flu messing with your stomach and balance... only with a sadistic nurse who ties you up and then proceeds to torture you with bright, flickering lights and the occasional strange noise.

It's all the harder because the atmosphere here is as silent as a crypt most of the time, aside from the surprisingly quiet air ventilation... it makes the occasional chatter all the more glaring. After a few weeks up here, we've all settled into a mood of hating each other in the most quiet, precise, and professional manner possible. It's like someone decided to convert the padded room in the funny farm into an office, with all the employees perpetually facing the walls, trying to ignore each other as much as possible.

I am *sooo* tired of spending an endless day/night/day/night, going around in circles with these assholes. The Japanese guy stinks of rotten fishpaste, while the Russian farts like a cabbage factory without so much as an embarrassed look on his face. I swear that he aims his farts at me when he floats by, too... and farts do not dissipate in space in as friendly a manner as they do on the earth.

The redneck got on my case while I was listening to Radiohead on my iPod, complaining that it was *still* too loud through the headphones... but somehow, Miley Cyrus blaring through the comm speakers at 7am -- whatever that means up here -- is a good thing.

Oh... and the woman? Tried making small talk, simply because I'm lonely and she's the only thing on this trip that doesn't smell like ass. Completely shot down. Again. She's brooding in front of the best window, taking photos and pretending like her English is bad, when everyone knows she studied at MIT."

posted by markkraft at 5:33 AM on February 6, 2010 [3 favorites]


In space, no one knows you're an astronaut. On the internet, no one knows if you're a dog named Astro or not.

Sounds fair to me.
posted by fourcheesemac at 8:34 AM on February 6, 2010


My desire to hijack the ISS grows stronger with every day. Where does one find a rag-tag team of space pirates these days? Atlantic City?
posted by The Whelk at 8:44 AM on February 6, 2010


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