Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Cold Weather, Hot NASA

Yes, another rainy, cold, damp day in The Hundred Acre Woods By The Inland Sea! It seems that Mother Nature has decided, in her infinite wisdom, to keep our little corner of the globe to be completely free of any and all aspects of Global Warming. In fact, we're due for more snow, sleet and ice. Welcome home Snow Birds...

So throw another log on the fire and snuggle in, it's gonna be awhile till we thaw out.

And there is no better way to thaw out, inside and out than traveling to warm destination, with a group of great friends, and participate in a NASA Social! This time, I will go to Huntsville Alabama, for an event that will take place over three consecutive days! You can click on the above link to find out the details of what is going to be an incredible time. This is going to be one for the history books in many ways.

Rather than concentrating on those (worthy as they are) details, I want to share about a more personal side of a NASA Social. As soon as the initial Selection (and Wait List) emails are received, you get an incredible rush of near hysteria and excitement! I usually run around inside the house a few times, scaring the cats and dog, and sometimes even the wife! Happily WunderWife is used to these outbursts by now, and she does share in my unbridled joy. Or at least puts up with it. The dog just woofs and wags his tail, and the kitties scatter and really don't seem to be all that excited.

The next step is to join the freshly minted Facebook Group for the Social. We #SpaceTweeps use FB as a place to gather beforehand, and get to know each other, arrange for transportation and lodging, and generally let the #NASAsocial buzz abound! We'll share stories of previous Socials (or Tweetups) that we have been to, and get to know each other. You might think that using Social Media isn't really a good way to get to know people. But, dear reader, this no ordinary group of people! And we positively thrive on Social Media!! And yes, we can, and DO get to know each other quite well. You hafta remember that not only are we Social Media savvy, but we also are certifiable Space Exploration Fans For Life. Combine those two aspects our our dynamics, and aye yup, you get a great bunch of folks that cuts across all demographics. 

And not just any old group of folks, no siree, no how. These people are smart. Especially when it comes to our shared passion or obsession regarding space exploration. For the first time in my life, I have landed inside a group of people that talk the same language as me?! We share stories about different missions, and the more personal history of the various astronauts, scientists and engineers involved. And we even talk with those same people (major squeeze!!) and at some point each of realizes that Oh... My... Gawd... I (yes, me) am carrying on a conversation with these icons of space exploration, and I'm holding up my end! Even better, each and every time I have gone to a Tweetup, or Social, all those science types of people have (to a person) expressed their gratitude, and even admiration for us. Umm... huh? Astronauts in orbit on the ISS have actually thanked us for asking them questions. Charlie Bolden, the head of NASA has called us out and  personally thanked us as well. 

This, my friends is just a part of a much a larger, more dynamic, hopefully never-ending learning and sharing of space exploration party that is a NASA Social.

This is truly a life affirming event.  This is how I, and every other #SpaceTweep lives like a rock star. Because we keep looking to those stars, where one day our species will walk, and work and live. And because, The Grand Old Lady: that is NASA, has welcomed us into her family. Maybe because we've already given her our heart. And now we get to share with the rest of you!