Mary Robinette Kowal Profile picture
'Mary Robinette' like 'Mary Anne.' Nebula & Hugo-awarded author, puppeteer, & narrator (she/her)
Aug 12, 2018 13 tweets 8 min read
Good morning! Ready to try again for a rocket launch?

While you're waiting, remember that the Persiad meteor shower is also happening. You don't have to be in Florida to see it.

#NASAsocial #SolarProbe Granted, having written #thecalculatingstars there's a different resource to watching meteors while waiting for a rocket launch...

#NASAsocial #SolarProbe
Aug 11, 2018 22 tweets 13 min read
2am and the sky looks clear. Who's ready for a rocket launch?

Why is the Parker #SolarProbe launching at night?

Because during the day it would be too hot to visit the sun...

#NASAsocial We've arrived at the causeway and the rocket looks AMAZING lit up across the water. We're about 2.5 miles away.

#NASAsocial #SolarProbe
Aug 10, 2018 4 tweets 3 min read
Many thanks to @torybruno for stopping and talking to us.

I asked what he was excited about and he said "watching this big beautiful rocket launch and set new speed records."


#NASAsocial #SolarProbe This really is a beautiful rocket.

#NASAsocial #SolarProbe
Aug 10, 2018 5 tweets 4 min read
Heading until the 45th Space Wing

#NASAsocial #SolarProbe The MOC was built to consolidate range control into one location. Prior to this, Each SLC had a blockhouse to serve as mission control for the launch. They were only 100 yards from the rocket.

It was not...ideal safety conditions.

#NASAsocial #SolarProbe
Aug 10, 2018 10 tweets 6 min read
Don't mind me. I'm just hanging out on launch pad 39-b

#NASAsocial #SolarProbe The pad is covered with these metal tabs. They exist to bolt 3/4 ply to in order to cushion the concrete from the weight of the crawler.

On the road, they use gravel.

#NASAsocial #SolarProbe
Aug 10, 2018 6 tweets 4 min read
Learning more about the crawler from Dan Schultz, one of the drivers.

#NASAsocial #SolarProbe The hard part is that of the VAB driver's job is that they can't see everything. Parts of the path are built at the max turning radius, which is 6° so they have to hit their marks very precisely.

#NASAsocial #SolarProbe
Aug 10, 2018 5 tweets 3 min read
Good morning. I'm in the VAB. (vehicle assembly building) Any questions?

#NASAsocial #SolarProbe There are Apollo era parts of the VAB because they don't take anything apart without a reason. Disassembly costs money.

But when they do... The copper wire they pulled out of the VAB, when sold for scrap, paid for the fiber optics.

#NASAsocial #SolarProbe
Aug 9, 2018 17 tweets 10 min read
We're sitting down for a Q&A with Dr. Nicky Fox, @Dr_ThomasZ, and Dr. Eugene Parker about the Parker #SolarProbe

Dr. Z just did the mic check count with triangular numbers.

#NASASocial Dr. Z says he was at a conference and someone giving a talk said, "It's consistent with Parker's theory."
A voice. "Which one."
"Well-- I mean, the famous Eugene Paker."
Voice. "That's me. I wrote more than one paper. Which one are you citing?"

#NASASocial #SolarProbe
Aug 9, 2018 13 tweets 7 min read
If you want me, I'll be at #NASAsocial to watch the Parker #SolarProbe Apparently buzzards used to circle the launch pads and one bounced off the nose of the orbiter. So they started setting up a BBQ station for buzzards to draw them away.

Jul 27, 2018 8 tweets 2 min read
With the challenges surrounding @worldcon2018's programming, I offered to bring in a team to help reimagine the schedule. That team was chosen to address a range of identities, marginalizations, & stakeholders. We've spent the past 48 hours diving in. We'd like to note that there was an enormous amount of good work done by the existing programming team. We are not diminishing or dismissing the errors that were made or the harm that was caused and we are focused on building a stronger program that addresses those concerns.
Jul 23, 2018 9 tweets 2 min read
When I do programming, I start by defining the populations that the convention is serving. Each population should have an advocate from within that community. I try to make sure that each advocate occupies more than 1 seat AND It is desirable for each population to have more than 1 advocate. It's better if people occupy more than 1 because that intersections represents reality and offer a better cross-section of experiences.
Jun 14, 2018 65 tweets 16 min read
Remember when I got to go to @NASA to watch a dev run* in the NBL**? The crew on the @Space_Station are doing that spacewalk now. And you can watch it.

*dev run = developmental run = rehearsal
**NBL = Neutral Buoyancy Lab = giant swimming pool If you're an SF writer watching please note that they attach safety tethers AT ALL TIMES. When you hear "Gate closed, slider locked, black-on-black" that's them moving their safety tether. Those are the 3 steps to confirm that it's locked.

They are religious about tethers.
Mar 14, 2018 20 tweets 7 min read
I am offering a free narrative structure class to students participating in #NationalWalkoutDay

You are powerful. You have a story to tell. May I help you tell it?… Teachers who are supporting your students during #NationalWalkoutDay, if you want me to virtually pop into your classroom and do a mini-session on narrative structure, let me know.