When space shuttle Atlantis touched down for the last time ever July 21, NASA was concurrently trying something for the first time ever. A group of 50 people watched Atlantis hit the runway in the agency’s first tweet-up for a shuttle landing.
The landing tweet-up was an opportunity to give a few more people the chance to experience the end of the space shuttle era. In 24 hours, about 5,500 people registered for the 150 tweet-up slots for the July 8 shuttle launch. That number was up from the 4,100 who registered to see Endeavour’s last launch in May.
“That is a fairly consistent uptick we saw between each shuttle launch tweet-up,” says Stephanie Schierholz, social media manager at NASA. “I don’t know if it was because it was the end. I suspect it was a combination of that with just more people hearing about it.”
Though the shuttles are now a part of history, NASA’s tweet-up program is just getting into gear, as lots of Twitter users continue to register to attend launches for unmanned missions.
End of an era