Social networking sites have become a vital part of the modern technological age. Never before has “staying connected” or “updated” been this easy; the process is almost instantaneous. Now social media has stepped it up a notch with Friends in Space, the first-ever application that lets you communicate with an astronaut.
The Web app, developed by Milan and New York-based data visualization firm, Accurat, comes at the perfect time. Just yesterday, space history was made when Samantha Cristoforetti, Italy’s first female astronaut of the European Space Agency, was launched into orbit via the Russian Soyuz capsule. Accompanied by Terry Virts of NASA and Anton Shkaplerov of the Russian Federal Space Agency, Cristoforetti is set to spend the next six-months in the International Space Station (ISS).
If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to travel in a microgravity environment, it’s now possible to befriend Cristoforetti – or as she likes to be called, “Sam.” Friends in Space provides users with an exclusive look at life aboard the ISS. The online platform features live images and HD video feeds taken from inside the station. The homepage – aka, the “Control Room” – functions as a real-time update of the ISS orbits. Here you can discover what Cristoforetti is doing, what she’s looking at and who else is “out in space” with you.
In this way, it’s easy to connect with other space enthusiasts from around the world – including Sam from space. By letting the application access your position, you can say “Hello” to Sam as soon as she’s nearby during orbit. No worries if you miss her the first, second or third time. The ISS and its crew fly around the Earth 15 times a day – that’s 15 opportunities to talk to an astronaut! Also, the closer you are to her, the louder and more prominent your “hello” will be.
Friends in Space is just one way social media has been utilized to change the course of celestial history. Just recently, NASA released several 3D videos that detail life onboard the ISS – all in an attempt to garner public interest in space travel. Also, we can’t forget astronaut Chris Hadfield’s Twitter updates from orbit.
Check out Friends in Space here: http://app.friendsinspace.org