To Twitter, and beyond!
In space, no-one can hear you scream. It’s just you, the cosmos, the infinite, and the half a million Twitter followers you’ve picked up en route.
Terry W Virts, who tweets as @AstroTerry, Samantha Cristoforetti (@AstroSamantha) and Anton Shkaplerov (@AntonAstrey) have developed a huge Twitter following as International Space Station (ISS) crew members. Nearly half a million followers have enjoyed watching Samantha attempt to build a tortilla with floating food
and explain the complicated workings of a space lavatory.
Their photographs have been a delight – from watching the world’s sunrises and sunsets, like this…
to enjoying an espresso in Samantha’s specially made zero-G force coffee cup. You can’t deprive an Italian woman of her coffee even if she is 200 miles above the earth.
And the voyage has been educational. The astronauts have helped us have fun spotting countries,
and by answering questions from children about how you go to the lavatory in space. Also improving our Italian: nice to find out the Italian for ‘leak check’ is ‘leak check’ (thankfully unconnected with the lavatory question, by the way).
And some of the most spectacular chemistry experiments you’ll ever see…
And that The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy was RIGHT about towels.
And what may possibly be the world’s first space vine of Canadarm, the Shuttle Remote Manipulator System.
So as the ISS voyage comes to an end, we see their somewhat cramped transport home. Are we nearly there yet?
And now we’ll sign off in traditional ISS social media style… ”Good night from #space. Buona notte dallo spazio.”
UPDATE: It turns out we weren't the only ones who enjoyed the International Space Station photographs, here's former NASA astronaut Jeffrey Hoffman speaking to PM's Eddie Mair: