Tag Archive for space station

Ground control to Major Tim

Like many people, I’ve been fascinated by Tim Peake’s journey into space, and I’ve learnt so much in the last few days.

As a family we have enjoyed researching the space station and life as an astronaut. The things my boys wanted to know were the popular things; two of the top four google search suggestions for ‘how do astro…’ are toilet related!
How do astronauts
Our journey highlights the way many of us now consume news and information. We don’t use one newspaper, website, or TV news programme.  Between us we used a wide range of sites and sources, including traditional books, but more often than not a computer, tablets, TV programmes watched on demand, and social media.

For today’s launch while I was at home I watched BBC News, while I was out and about I relied on Twitter to keep me up to date.  Tonight, when we realised our recording of the BBC special had ended before the big moment when the hatch opened and the astronauts entered the space station, we were saved by a tweet from @space_station with a video clip of history in the making.

Twitter is brilliant for live news and updates. This evening BBC News were using posts from the @space_station account for their live programme. So much easier for NASA than having to issue updates and images to journalists in any other way.

I’d urge Twitter to leave well alone with their ideas for changing news feeds. Live updates like this wouldn’t have worked on Facebook where the posts wouldn’t have gone to everyone and wouldn’t necessarily have been in chronological order. I haven’t had time to explore Twitter’s new moments tab yet but I haven’t seen much to encourage me so far.


One of the other things I love about Twitter is the ease with which people can connect. Tim Peake has had good luck messages from a huge variety of tweeters including @duranduran @JamesBlunt and @TheWho. Pre-Twitter it would have been much harder for those people to get in touch and have those conversations.


My favourite interaction has to be this one, only on Twitter could Simon Le Bon chat to NASA:


One of the key aims of Tim Peake’s mission is to inspire kids to want to become astronauts and so far I can say it has been hugely successful in our house, helped in no small part by some great tweeting. I’m looking forward to @astro_timpeake’s tweets from the Space Station.