Cleveland NASA Tweetup

Blog Date: 
Fri Mar 9th 2012
Author(s): 

Cleveland NASA Tweetup

We had an absolutely amazing day as part of the first (and we hope to be annual) Cleveland NASA Tweetup last Friday, March 2, 2012!  At 7:30 a.m., we arrived at the NASA Glenn Research Center to receive our official identification badges and swag bags full of NASA goodies! 

The NASA Tweetup attendees (see @NASAGlenn Twitter list here) then loaded into two buses to begin the first part of our space-themed day with a tour of NASA Glenn. At the first stop, we were warmly welcomed by the NASA Glenn Director and Deputy Director, and astronaut Greg “Astrobox” Johnson (@Astro_Box). This set the perfect tone for the day for us and the approximately 75 other Tweeters and their guests who were fortunate enough to be chosen by lottery to attend this unique event.

On Friday, March 2, 2012, people came from all over the USA to Cleveland, Ohio, to honor Senator John Glenn on the 50th anniversary of his orbital flight. To help in the celebration, the NASA Glenn Research Center organized a NASA Tweetup. The Tweetup attendees enjoyed a day of NASA tours, and learned to appreciate the NASA program here in Cleveland.

We were excited to be able to spend time at the NASA hangar seeing various types of research aircraft and talking to the NASA researchers. We also got our pictures taken for personalized “space theme” photos to commemorate the Tweetup, and had the chance to shop in the mini-gift shop NASA set up in the hangar especially for us! (online at: NASAGiftShop.com)

At the Exercise Countermeasures Lab, we cleaned our shoes and were given purple protective smocks to be able to enter a "clean" area where we watched a test subject who was suspended horizontally by various cables and harnesses from a device which could simulate different gravity conditions.  He ran on a vertical treadmill as we all listened in fascination while the researchers explained how they use this to study the ways different gravitational levels affect the movement and functioning of the bones and muscles.  This was only one of many ongoing research projects taking place in this particular area.

Two of our videos from the Exercise Countermeasures Lab, plus
an official NASA video about John Glenn which we saw that day.

Our last stop at the NASA Glenn Research Center was the Zero Gravity Research Facility.  We peered into a 500-foot deep cylindrical drop tower, where research is done for the development of space flight components and fluid systems in a zero gravity environment. In every area we visited, the NASA personnel went out of their way to explain their work and answer our questions.  It was a very exciting morning, and the day had only just begun!

Our next stop was the NASA Visitor Center at the Great Lakes Science Center @GLScienceCtr. Although we had only a short time, we saw many of the NASA exhibits there, including the pièce de résistance, the actual Skylab 3 Command Module that travelled to the Skylab Space Station! We are very lucky to have this NASA Visitor Center here in Cleveland. Also, thank you to the Science Center for the free tickets to return for another visit. We know that many of the out-of-state #NASATweetup attendees returned to this Cleveland treasure over the weekend. 

Enjoy this slide show of some of our  photos from the day!
View more photos below in sos_jr #NASATweetup tweets.

The final highlight of the day took place at our next destination, Cleveland State University’s Wolstein Center.  We had the honor of attending the 50th anniversary celebration of John Glenn’s historic flight as the first American to orbit the Earth.  It was amazing to hear of Glenn’s courage and his experiences.  

After the main celebratory event, the NASA Tweetup group was privileged to be part of a media briefing, where we asked questions of Senator Glenn and a panel of other current and former astronauts.  It was uplifting to hear them speak with such optimism of the future of space exploration and the importance of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) education. Stuart was one of the Tweetup attendees chosen to ask a question of the astronauts, and thus he appeared on NASA TV. Stuart was able to see himself on NASA TV when the show was replayed the next day.

Nobody wanted this incredible day to end, so we joined a number of members of the Tweetup group who met for socializing and dinner (and more tweeting) at  AMP 150 Restaurant & Bar (@AMP150Cleveland).  It was a wonderful end to a VERY special day!

 

Please join us in celebrating the day by sharing your thoughts in the comments section below. If you attended the event, and have posted a blog or photos online, please let us know, so we can share  them with others on this blog and via Twitter. Thank you.

 

How others covered the day to honor John Glenn:

sos_jr NASA Tweetup Tweets:

Here is how I shared photos and the excitement of the day with the Twitterverse:

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