Astronauts aboard the International Space Station are now able to access what’s been described as the ‘ultimate wireless connection,’ and took not time in swiftly despatching the world’s first ‘Space Tweet.’
A software upgrade means that astronauts can enjoy personal access to the Internet and the World Wide Web from the space station instead of having to relay messages down to ground crew.
Expedition 22 Flight Engineer T.J. Creamer was first to give the new system a go today, posting the first unassisted update to his Twitter account, @Astro_TJ, from the space station.
His message was short and sweet, but perhaps not quite as memorable as Neil Armstrong’s first words when he stood on the surface of the Moon:
Hello Twitterverse! We r now LIVE tweeting from the International Space Station — the 1st live tweet from Space! 🙂 More soon, send your ?s
Called the Crew Support LAN, the technology uses existing communication links to and from the station to give astronauts the ability to browse and use the Web.
Astronauts stuck on lengthy missions can now take advantage of direct private communications to friends and family, no doubt relieving some of the isolation they must feel sitting in a tin can, far above the world.
However, the astronauts will only be able to surf when the station is actively communicating with the ground using high-speed Ku-band communications, and are able to gain remote access to the Internet via a ground computer.
The crew will see the desktop of the ground computer using an onboard laptop and interact remotely with their keyboard touchpad.
Astronauts will be subject to the same computer use guidelines as government employees on Earth, so porno surfing and downloading WaReZ is strictly out of the question.
To follow Twitter updates from Creamer and two of his crewmates, ISS Commander Jeff Williams and Soichi Noguchi, visit: http://twitter.com/NASA_Astronauts.
For more information about the space station, nudge your browser thisaway: http://www.nasa.gov/station