NASA wows audience online and on the ground

The space shuttle Endeavour retired last week, offering many of us lessons in online buzz.

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As an encore to the Mars Rover mission that captured the world’s attention last month, the retired space orbiter “Endeavour”—flying piggyback on a 747 this week from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida to its new home in Southern California—is wowing an audience on the ground and online.

Endeavour made several stops and fly-overs on its journey west, swooping to just 1,000 feet above a crowd today at Moffett Field in Mountain View, Calif. Here’s what I saw:

For its Web audience, NASA is building excitement on everything from YouTube to Twitter, with Endeavour sightings being posted with hashtags such as #spottheshuttle.

When the Curiosity rover landed on Mars last month, its Twitter account @MarsCuriosity shot to stardom with thousands of followers. Three women at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., were the voices behind the tweets, writing in a lively, first-person style to break news and provide updates.

NASA’s online numbers speak for its success:

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