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When I Grow Up, I Want to Be An Astronaut

by Tara DeGeorges | 0 Comments

How do you know when STEM is cool enough to inspire a young person in your life? When it inspires an adult.

Recently, I was invited to attend a “Tweetup” at NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia -- the first home to NASA’s astronauts and the oldest branch of the agency. A “Tweetup” is an in-person meetup of Twitter users. It's a great opportunity for fans of a common interest --- in this case NASA -- to interact with one another outside the character-constrained walls of social media.

For a full day, myself and 49 other “Tweeters” – an eclectic crowd that included a pilot, a kindergarten teacher, a former planetarium director, an actor-singer and more – were given the chance to tour the NASA Langley campus and scope some out-of-this-world aeronautic and space goods. The tour included visits to NASA’s flight hangar, its legendary wind tunnels and simulated lunar habitats. The day ended on a high, wet note: a “Splash” test where NASA engineers tested the high-impact landing of the Orion space capsule on water.

Being on the NASA Langley campus took me back to my school days of boarding a big yellow bus and heading over to a local science attraction. As it turns out, field trips still make for some good memories. And what better way to make sure you save those memories than by taking a photo with a cardboard cut-out of a NASA flight suit?

Browse photos from our NASA Tweetup above, and visit NASA.gov for a video recap of the event. To learn more about when NASA Tweetups are scheduled and how to register, follow @NASATweetup on Twitter.

To find opportunities that can get the kids in your life as inspired by outer space as I was at NASA, visit our Connectory database. Search for programs and events near you by entering your zip code and the keyword 'Space.'