Astronaut Karen Nyberg looks through a window onboard the ISS while Space Shuttle Discovery docks with the station.
If, like me, you were absolutely captivated by Commander Chris Hadfield's tweets, pictures, and videos from space, then you’re probably also feeling a little sad that he's back on Earth. Obviously, I'm pleased he's back home safe and sound and reunited with his loved ones, but it was amazing to see his tweets pop up on my feed, showing the world from an entirely new perspective. I'm going to miss them.
But luckily for me and other space addicts, there are plenty of other astronauts/scientists/space people who are also tweeting, pinning and blogging–and many of them are amazing, inspirational women! Here are some of my favourites:
Karen will be joining the crew of the ISS on Tuesday, 28 May, so now is a really exciting time to follow her on Twitter. She’s been tweeting photos of their preparations, revealing the tiny space she will be sharing with two other astronauts on their way up to the ISS, as well as the beautiful landscape of the Baikonur desert from which the Soyuz shuttle will launch into space.
Where Karen’s social media profile really shines though is Pinterest. Her boards include "Simple Joys on Earth," "Prep for Spaceflight," and "Hair in Space." The subheading for this latter board is "When girls see pictures of ponytails, don't you think it stirs something inside them that says, that could be ME up there!", which just sums up how amazing it is that we can have such a close interaction with people like Karen.
Michelle now works in educational outreach with ISSET (International Space School Education Trust) after spending years working in Mission Control and as an astronaut trainer. Her blog gives more details about her work with schools on programs such as Mission Discovery and Message to the Moon, not to mention her work training astronauts. If you want to know about how astronauts become, well, astronauts, this is definitely one to read!
These three ladies are (in their words) the hive mind behind the Mars Rovers and Curiosity Twitter accounts. They recently won a Webby award for @MarsCuriosity, which tweets updates from NASA's robots currently gathering data from Mars. Just in case people tweeting from space wasn't enough for you, now you can find out what robots on Mars are up to–isn't technology amazing?! However, these ladies are worth following as well for behind the scenes news and updates.
If following Rover and Curiosity has whetted your appetite for all things Red Planet, another must-follow account is @nasa_nagin, who is part of the Curiosity Flight Team. She reveals the Earth story of Curiosity, showing that working in the space industry can be exciting and interesting without ever setting foot off the planet.
Once a planetary geologist and now a Planetary Society blogger, Emily is a fervent advocate for exploration of the solar system and uses blogs, images, videos, and podcasts to "share the adventure of space exploration with the world." She's a great source of all kinds of space information and a great person to follow if you’re just getting into space and/or science.
There are, of course, many other women sharing their space adventures and thoughts online–who are your favourites?
Girl Museum Inc.