Social Writing and a Space Shuttle – MSUPW at NASA

This is a re-print. The original post was co-written with Mike McLeod and is featured on the Writing, Rhetoric, & American Cultures webpage.

Mike and Alexandra with Atlantis

Yes, that’s two #msupw folks – Mike McLeod, faculty, and Alexandra White, alum – with a space shuttle. This happened because we were both selected to attend the NASA Social Atlantis – Celebrate the Journey event to see the Space Shuttle Atlantis be permanently retired from service and share that experience on social media. We attended this event first as unabashed space nerds, but we managed our nerdery well enough to strategize our writing to document the experience for ourselves and for our audiences. Here we’ll reflect on the rhetoric of the event, our social writing strategies, and shamelessly geek out over space. Read more

NASA Social: Day 2

It was another bright and early day for NASA Social, with our arrival at the rocket gardens at 9AM. The theme of the day was saying goodbye, having the last few moments to explore Kennedy Space Center and then spend some serious time with the shuttle. This time, however, we were joined by several thousand more people.

I could droll on and on about the logistics, but really it was a day spent with the shuttle. One great moment before we got to Exploration Park (where we could see the shuttle being moved) was a special appearance by NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden. He came aboard the NASA Social bus to say “Hello!” and answer a few questions. Read more

NASA Social: Day 1

It’s hard to come back at the end of the day and remember all of the awesomeness that was NASA Social. Even harder will be breaking it down to a blog post that not only makes sense, but has some value to you, the reader.

nasa-group

Warning: This WILL be full of geeking out and general nerdery.

At the start of the day, we introduced ourselves via Twitter handles, names, and an interesting fact. As last in the circle, my two stories had been told (the journey to Atlantis and the last shuttle launch). I declared that I am probably one of the luckiest people, and that I was so happy to be a part of a group of people as geeked about space, shuttles, and social media as I am. We quickly moved in towards the rocket garden for a group photo before we saw Kennedy Space Center, learned about NASA’s old and new programs, and had general nerd out sessions.

Read more

NASA Social Miracles

To say this weekend has been a doozy would definitely be an understatement. With Hurricane Sandy, I held little hope of being able to get out of NYC and to Orlando for my first NASA Social. My flight out of Laguardia was officially cancelled yesterday by 4:30PM, when they decided not to reopen it due to massive flooding. JetBlue eased the pain by writing a blog about the situation and sharing a few photos.

That looks like a place that no airplane wants to be. That being said, what’s a girl to do? No flights out of LGA, limited (and completely booked) flights out of JFK, and no busses out of the city to get to other airports in Philadelphia, Hartford, Boston, or Baltimore. Read more

Shuttle Launch

In eight days, I’ll be heading to Orlando, FL for the last shuttle launch… ever.

Ok, I probably am speaking too soon. Who knows what will happen in ten, fifteen, or a hundred years. Maybe another president will reinvigorate the shuttle program with NASA. For now, however, this shuttle is set to be the last. I get to watch from the Kennedy Space Center as it launches. Incredible. (Read about the launch plans here)

When I was a little girl, there was something called Space Camp. Perhaps you remember those commercials from the 90’s. A trip to Space Camp was always the prize on those Nickelodeon challenge shows, and I dreamed of winning. What kid didn’t want the chance to experience zero gravity?!

spacecamp1

A shuttle launch definitely doesn’t afford me those opportunities. However, I do get to be a part of history. I get to watch Space Shuttle Atlantis, who already has over 25 years of history, go to space for the last time. I will be there alongside professors from my department, and we can “geek out” together. It may be the last launch, but hopefully it will allow a friendship to form.

Most importantly, I suppose, I will be tweeting from the event. Follow me on Twitter to get the feed on July 8th. You can look forward to pictures of the space center and of the launch.