Astronaut and Statesville native Tom Marshburn is tweeting pictures from outer space, taking his nearly 14,000 followers on a free tour of Earth.
Was greeted this AM by some spectacular hues, Marshburn tweeted from his @AstroMarshburn Twitter account Tuesday morning. U can always tell ur over Australia by the brilliant brick red color.
Marshburn and two fellow flight engineers launched aboard their Soyuz TMA-07M spacecraft in December from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan for a two-day journey to the International Space Station, where theyll remain for four more months.
Our lifeboats sitting at the ready, Marshburn tweeted Wednesday morning with an accompanying photo of space capsules. Not planning to get in ours until May.
Are you really tweeting from space? asked one astonished follower.
Wow (: tweeted another.
He had 13,877 followers as of 6 p.m. Wednesday.
Marshburn, 52, graduated from Davidson College in 1982 with a bachelors degree in physics and from Wake Forest University in 1989 with a doctorate in medicine.
He joined NASA in 1994 as a flight surgeon assigned to Space Shuttle Medical Operations and to the joint U.S./Russian Space Program.
He made his first space walk on July 20, 2009, when he stepped out of the International Space Stations hatch and stayed out most of the afternoon.
Marshburn also is big in the Twitter universe. Hes tweeted 319 times since October 2011 about his work as an astronaut, according to his Twitter page.
His tweeting is part of a massive social media effort by NASA that earned the agency a Shorty Award, which honors the best people and organizations on social media. The agencys social media presence includes blogs, tweets, podcasts and vodcasts.
Social media offers a new vehicle for NASA to interact with nontraditional audiences in a dynamic, viral conversation about space, the merits of exploring the unknown, and its relevance to everyday life here on our home planet, the agency says on www.nasa.gov.
Marshburn tweeted the day before takeoff in December with a shot of the Cosmodrome at sunrise and has since tweeted pictures of such far-flung locales as the Gobi desert region of Asia and the northern Tasmanian coast. He tweeted a photo of Crater Lake in Oregon just as breathtaking from above as it is from its shores.
On Jan. 6: Taking pix while wearing hardware for a cardiovascular experiment always busy on the #ISS!
He tweeted another picture of a place he intends to visit when he returns: Glorious shoreline on the Red Sea we keep lists of post-flight places to visit!
On Jan. 5 he tweeted one for the locals: Just saw NC last night. Davidson tough to pick out due to the forest we love so much. Ill try again during night.
Marusak: 704-987-3670; Twitter: @ jmarusak.
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