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sts129-s-002All going well the STS-129 Shuttle launch will occur on Monday 2.28 pm EST, USA (8.28 am Tuesday, NZ time).

Here’s a photograph of the crew for this mission.

What interests me, though, is that the number of astronauts using social media like Twitter is currently increasing markedly. It’s now quite common to get tweets from orbit. Two of the STS-129 crew and two currently on the International Space Station are using twitter

The STS-129 crew (in the photo) are  astronauts Charlie Hobaugh (left), commander; and Barry Wilmore, pilot. From the left (back row) are astronauts Leland Melvin (Astro_Flow), Mike Foreman, Robert Satcher (ZeroG_MD and Astro_Bones)and Randy Bresnik, all mission specialists. [The astro_ links are their twitter accounts].

Currently on the International Space Station are astronauts Nicole Stott (Astro_Nicole) and Jeff Williams (Astro_Jeff) who have been twittering regularly.

It’s fascinating to get these little messages from orbit. Like Nicole Stott’s “Saw my first shooting star from space tonight! Over Mongolia” or Jeff Williams’ “Progress 35 has docked to ISS. Fresh fruit and vegetables included. A few hours to go to get thru checks and hatch open.”If you are looking for people to follow on Twitter you could do a lot worse than following these astronauts. You will get tweets from out of thios world.

Here’s a video of the STS-129 mission profile

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VvkGSpB5i08

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