A Twitter first: NASA astronaut sends first tweet from space

Mission Specialist Mike Massimino Twitters about 'magnificent' view from Atlantis shuttle

Twitter hit a new milestone today.

A NASA astronaut sent the first Twitter message from space with a post going up on the micro-blogging site at about 4:30 p.m. EDT today. The tweet came in the space shuttle Atlantis' first full day in space on a mission to repair and upgrade the Hubble Space Telescope.

"From orbit: Launch was awesome!! I am feeling great, working hard, & enjoying the magnificent views, the adventure of a lifetime has begun!" wrote Massimino, who has been Twittering about his mission training for the past month.

NASA's Atlantis craft blasted off Monday afternoon and reached orbit within 9 minutes. With the fiery liftoff, the seven-astronaut crew began its 11-day mission to repair and upgrade the Hubble telescope, which is orbiting about 350 miles above Earth. The shuttle mission -- the last one going to the Hubble -- is expected to give the orbiter at least another five years of life, according to the space agency.

The shuttle is scheduled to rendezvous with Hubble on Wednesday, when mission specialist and Twitterer Massimino will use the shuttle's robotic arm to reach out and grab the orbiter and pull it into the shuttle's payload bay. On Thursday, two astronauts will make the first of the mission's five spacewalks.

Massimino's Tweet didn't mention NASA's disclosure today that an examination found that the heat shield on Atlantis suffered some dsamage during the liftoff yesterday.

The inspection found multiple dings in Atlantis' critical outer tiles. The scratches were found on the forward part of the shuttle's right wing close to where it connects to the fuselage, according to NASA spokeswoman Katherine Trinidad. NASA said the damage, found on four different heat shield tiles, looks minor, but will continue to be evaluated while the craft is orbiting about 350 miles above the Earth.

The damage appears to be related to a debris impact that occurred about 104 seconds after the Atlantis lifted off the ground, NASA said.

NASA has been especially diligent about studying the heat shields since the space shuttle Columbia broke apart upon re-entry on Feb. 1, 2003. According to NASA, an investigation found that the disaster was caused by a hole in the heat-resistant panels that protected the wing from the high temperatures of re-entry.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags twitter

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Sharon Gaudin

Computerworld (US)
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?