Using Facebook Live, Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook, will be speaking with the three astronauts currently in residence on the ISS on Wednesday. The call will reportedly happen at 12:55 p.m. EDT on June 1, and the Earth-to-space Facebook Live event can be watched on NASA’s Facebook page.
The Facebook Live video streaming app has been in the news a lot lately, including the world-famous video of the “Chewbacca Mom” that went totally viral, with Candace Payne receiving an amazing number of views of her fun video, made while wearing a Chewbacca mask.
— NASA (@NASA) May 27, 2016
The Zuck might not go quite as viral as the Chewbacca Mom while speaking to astronauts on the ISS using the app, but it could be an interesting chat nevertheless. It might even inspire him to start up another social media platform, “Spacebook?”
During what will be a 20 minute Facebook Live video call, the head of the popular social media platform will ask questions of NASA astronauts Tim Kopra and Jeff Williams, as well as the European Space Agency astronaut, Tim Peake.
Reportedly, the general public can submit questions they would like Zuckerberg to ask, on NASA’s Facebook page, where the Facebook Live video call will also feature.
One question that may be of interest to ask is the success the astronauts are having with growing vegetables on the ISS, as shown by Peake on Twitter, with its reference to the SciFi film The Martian.
— Tim Peake (@astro_timpeake) May 27, 2016
On their website, NASA describes the International Space Station as “the world’s leading laboratory for conducting cutting-edge microgravity research,” and they state it is the primary platform for “technology development and testing in space to enable human and robotic exploration of destinations beyond low-Earth orbit, including asteroids and Mars.”
— Intl. Space Station (@Space_Station) May 27, 2016
In the meanwhile, it’s been a little busy on the International Space Station, with Astronaut Williams in charge of an operation on Thursday that attempted to inflate the ISS’s new room, BEAM, or the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module to give it its full name. Reportedly that experiment didn’t quite go as planned.
Reportedly BEAM was launched on April 8 aboard a SpaceX Dragon cargo vessel from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The BEAM project is co-sponsored by NASA’s Advanced Exploration Systems Division and Bigelow Aerospace and according to NASA, is an example of their increased commitment to partnering with the industry to enable the growth of a commercial use of space.
While during the initial operation on Thursday to expand BEAM, the module’s length and diameter did not increase, the team will make a second attempt on Saturday, May 28, at 9 a.m. EDT. Reportedly NASA Television coverage will begin at 8:45 a.m. EDT on Saturday.
NASA’s first expandable habitat test on the ISS defeated by friction https://t.co/JMnss8PdLd
— Philippe COUSPEYRE (@PhilippeAKT) May 28, 2016
Reportedly, the designers of the BEAM model need daylight and video communication to closely monitor the process and NASA astronaut Williams will again lead operations to expand the module, at a time when they are in position to work in the sunlight.
Once successfully expanded, a series of leak checks and other preparations will be run before the astronauts can enter the new habitat via the ISS’s Tranquility module. Reportedly, they will then re-enter the new module several times a year to retrieve data and assess the conditions inside BEAM.
NASA and Bigelow Aerospace are designing the expandable habitats in order to take up less space on spacecraft when moving them up to the ISS. However, once expanded, the new habitats will provide a greater volume for living and working in space.
[Photo ISS via NASA/Inset Mark Zuckerberg by David Ramos, Getty Images News]