This past week, I began to follow my first astronaut on twitter, and I must say, it has been exciting! NASA Astronaut Mark L. Polansky is sending twitter updates about the multiple aborted launches, the actual launch, burns, and the upcoming rendezvous with the International Space Station.
I can still remember the summer of 1969, standing in front of a black and white television watching Apollo 11 astronauts land on the moon. As a seven year old girl, I could sense the excitement in the room and recall that many of the questions I asked were “un-answerable” by the adults present. “How fast did they go? Is this like an airplane? Are there any girl astronauts? Is that like the sand on Lake Michigan? Why can’t they breathe the air? Do they sleep? How do the go to the bathroom?”
Today, parents can watch the launch with their children and have instant access to answers by visiting NASA, Wikipedia, and other sites. In addition, if you missed the launch, this can be viewed at anytime of the day or night on YouTube. For up to the minute information about the flight, you can follow Commander Polansky’s tweets as he navigates the Endeavor to the International Space Station. And, if this isn’t enough, you and your child can get a sense of who the astronauts are through Facebook and My Space — the ultimate social networking sites.
As I have said before, technology is an amazing tool for learning…and parents have easy, free and instant access to sources to answers about space, astronauts and much more!