10 things I'm thankful for this year

Thanksgiving shouldn’t be the only day you think about what you’re thankful for. But if that’s the day that prompts you, at least you do take the time to reflect. Here are my 10 things I’m thankful for, which is heavily space related this year!

NASA Social

If you haven’t heard of a NASA Tweetup, or nowadays, a NASA Social, head over to the NASA website and sign up for great opportunities to join other social media followers and get some awesome behind the scenes access of what NASA and other space partners are doing. Getting to see the Mars Curiosity Rover launch, seeing huge satellite dishes at Goldstone, and sharing the last shuttle rollover with fellow tweeps, these events are really great opportunities to connect with people with similar interests.



My local NASA center in the Bay Area continues to surprise me what’s behind the security gate. From Kepler to SOFIA to the wind tunnel, this place is full of science! Events including the Space Research Expo and Observe the Moon Night taught me new things about space! I am thankful to live so close to this awesome center and visit frequently.



Who else has awesome field trips to places like NASA Ames. I had the opportunity to see the vertical motion simulator , the FutureFlight Central facility, the super computing facility, and the hyperwall.  We met fascinating people who work with these toys everyday and learned the importance of the missions.


Space Camp

With two Space Camp tweetups under my belt, Space Camp and the US Rocket & Space Center are awesome places to visit. I am thankful for getting to experience the Multi-Axis Trainer, the helo dunker, and see behind the scenes.  Charity Stewart is an awesome friend and she totally rocks!


National Parks Service

Without the National Parks Service and their awesome rangers, my appreciation of nature wouldn’t be as strong as it is. The beautiful national parks like Arches, Bryce Canyon, Zion, and the Grand Canyon, to name just a few, bring the wonders of nature to everyone, young and old. And the evening ranger programs during the summer taught me how to preserve this history for future generations.


California Science Center

Volunteering during the three day Endeavour move through Los Angeles was by far the most memorable moment this year. With up close access to the orbiter and the opportunity to meet some great people, I cannot thank the California Science Center enough for the opportunity to be part of this historical moment.


Kennedy Space Center

I am still very thankful for the opportunities to see several space shuttle launches, but since that was totally last year, I have to thank the center for the opportunity to watch the Mars Curiosity Laboratory launch and being able to watch Space Shuttle Atlantis rollover to the center earlier this month. Feeling the rockets from miles away reverberate in your heart and stomach is an unbelievable feeling.  And seeing a huge orbiter under the evening’s fireworks is so beautiful.



Getting to see a test fire of the GEM-60 solid rocket motor and behind the scenes at ATK’s Promotory, Utah facility was another awesome moment.  I am thankful for the amazing access and getting to meet the people behind the process. Another moment when you feel and see the rocket’s power.


My #SpaceTweeps

Without the numerous Space Tweeps I’ve met online and offline at NASA tweetups and socials, I wouldn’t have half the knowledge of space related news happening across the country. A special thank you to Shannon Moore, our “Space mom,” who keeps NASATweet.com up to date with all the latest events happening!  To all the new friends I have made through this community, thank you!


Columbia Memorial Space Center

What better way to watch the Mars Curiosity rover land on Mars than to spend the evening at the Columbia Memorial Space Center in Downey, California watching a live stream.  Jared Head kept up the suspense until we received word of a successful landing.  And during my stay, I even got inside access to see the shuttle mockup that helped with designing the space shuttle.


I look forward to what happens next with NASA and the other groups I mentioned above and hope to be part of it.  Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!