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How a space travel fan and social media addict ended up at Kennedy for a shuttle launch

I am a social media addict.

I have a Twitter publishing platform called TweetDeck running on my second computer monitor at all times. I am active on the friends networks Facebook and Foursquare, by computer and cell phone.

About a month ago, a tweet (or text message) arrived from NASA inviting followers to register for a chance to attend the space agency's STS-132 Tweetup. (Translation: A Tweetup is an organized gathering of people who use Twitter.)

Space enthusiasts would get a behind-the-scenes tour Thursday of the Kennedy Space Center and watch the space shuttle launch Friday from the countdown clock.

Whoa!

The registration window was tight. I figured the odds of me being chosen were slim to none. I'd be competing for one of 150 spots with maybe thousands of people.

Well, I won.

The first day of the Tweetup will include presentations from NASA engineers, astronauts and a close-up view of space shuttle Atlantis on launch pad 39A.

Friday will be Atlantis' final launch. The shuttle will be retired after its 12-day mission to the International Space Station.

(A personal note: Atlantis was the first shuttle launch I ever photographed, so it's pretty cool that I get to photograph Atlantis' sendoff from the best seat in the house.)

On both days, I will be tweeting and sending Twitpics (photos) of my Space Center experiences. A photo gallery will appear on www.tampabay.com. Follow me on Twitter @tbtphotog.

How a space travel fan and social media addict ended up at Kennedy for a shuttle launch 05/12/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, May 12, 2010 3:18pm]
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