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SXSW Interactive 2013

Ask NASA Astronauts Live From Space

Ask the astronauts via a live video downlink directly from the International Space Station about using technology to communicate with us down here on Earth. The nation's space agency has embraced the use of social media to reach out, engaging new audiences in new ways and giving people behind-the-scenes access to areas rarely seen by the public. Communicating from space is no exception to this pattern of openness. By using tweets, blog posts and streamed video interviews with groups across the world, the astronauts living and working on orbit have a unique vantage point in which to conduct science-altering experiments, encourage the next generation to study STEM in school and to open a door that rekindles the dreamer in all of us. Communicate directly with some of the astronauts aboard the space station during this panel and explore all the ways that you can connect with what's going on way up there from all the way down here.

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  1. Technically, how are astronauts able to use new media tools to communicate?
  2. What kind of science is being work on the space station that could potentially impact us here on Earth?
  3. How long does it take to send a tweet or other electronic post from space?
  4. Does the interaction via new mediums, such as Twitter, help astronauts feel more connected to the world 240 miles below?
  5. How has communicating directly with the public changed people’s perception of astronauts, NASA, inspiring the next generation in STEM and the work the agency is doing aboard the space station?


  • Ron Garan, astronaut, nasa
  • space station astronaut, astronaut, NASA


John Yembrick, social media manager, NASA

Meta Information:

  • Tags: space, social media
  • Event: Interactive
  • Format: Core Conversation
  • Track: Science and Space Exploration
  • Level: Beginning
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