#LucaTweetUp, I share my experience!

#LucaTweetUp, I share my experience!

In this article I'll tell you how I lived every moment of this amazing experience, from the day of registration to the event.

You do not know what is a Tweetup? Read the guide (available in English and Italian)
Leggi questo articolo in Italiano: #LucaTweetUp, vi racconto la mia esperienza!

March 11
, in the dead of night - As everyday, on that night of March eleven I was surfing the web when I accidentaly read this tweet from SocialSpace ‏(@social4space):

"Chance for 50 #Spacetweeps to meet @astro_luca, 11 April, ESA/ESRIN, Frascati, registration now open #LucaTweetUp"

A chance to meet Luca Parmitano? Hearing what he has done on the ISS live and sharing that knowledge with those 50 people? Is it a dream?

So I inevitabily clicked on that link and decided to sign up and send my candidacy, without thinking about it twice!
With few hopes of being chosen, since the high demand, I started writing on the form the motivations why I would have loved to meet Luca, and so to attend the #lucatweetup.
And I wrote that Luca represents the main reason why my website exists, that I followed every single step of his adventure up there and that I would have loved to continue writing pieces about him and his fantastic experiences.

After a bunch of days, without hoping for it, there was an e-mail in my inbox that literally made me jumping from my chair:

"Dear participant, The social media team at ESA is pleased to inform that you have been selected to attend this SocialSpace event. You are one of the 50 Spacetweeps invited to this event."

I couldn’t believe what I just read, and I read, read and reread until I figured I wasn’t dreaming: I WAS CHOSEN AS AN ATTENDANT!

Everything that happened after that e-mail was absolutely incredible: in a matter of days, all the Spacetweeps where connected with each other and were starting to know each other.
It was just the 20th of March and the LucaTweetUp had already begun: greetings, pictures, ideas and events; everyone shared in all the social networks every kind of information. All that was left was just to share, share and share with the hope that the 11th of April could arrive as soon as possible.


April 11 – All set, here we go.

The schedule of the day was really easy: meet the other SpaceTweeps at Termini Station, short walk tour from Colosseum to Piazza Venezia ( specifically organized for those that were in Rome for the first time), lunch and departure for Frascati, towards ESA.

15.30 - Exact as a clock, we reach ESA and after a quick check we’re brought inside a giant room specifically mounted for the event, with a big monitor which was projecting a live twitter feed of the #LucaTweetUp.

16.00 – After PC, Smartphone and tablet were all setted up, we were all ready to share the event in every social network. We were only waiting for HIS arrival.

After just a few moments he was there, about 20 meters, smiling and ready to take the stage. He was clearly happy in meeting his fans and while he was making his way to the center of the room he stopped for a few moments, saying hi to the closest tweeps.

Shortly after, Luca started to tell us his experience before and during his 166 days on the ISS, which is in Earth’s orbit since November 2000.

In his speech, which lasted only one hour, he switched many times from a serious attitude to a more informal one. All of this was associated with a nice video that summed up his mission. A very funny moment was when he was talking about one of the many days spent on the ISS:

We were on a break, talking about something and sometimes we gave a look outside and I was just thinking that perhaps a good sweet from Italy would have made things perfect, so I decided to take out tiramisù from my “Bonus Food”. Karen and Chris found it hard to believe. It was incredible! In just one night they devoured all of the italian food that I brought for my six months of staying at the ISS!

Please do not call me a hero. First, because in Italy the heroes are all dead, second, because I'm not a hero. I am a normal person, like you.
Then he returned serious and started to share with us the most difficult circumstances of his experience, especially during the preparation for the mission. With strenght of purpose he explained how important is giving yourself goals and to always give your best and believe in your dreams.

He even lingered himself on his Misadventure in Space, when during a space walk a malfunctioning of his coverall almost killed him for watery grave caused by a loss from the cooling system.

“I just had the time to tell what was happening to the base. And no, I didn’t say “Houston, we have a problem!”

Then he explained how he managed to keep his calm down thanks to his trainings:

“I told myself that it would have been better focusing on a solution and not on the problem. I hold my breath and went inside.”

But suddendly, Luca is interrupted: a gently woman reports him that he has just been nominated “Ambassador” of the semester of Italian presidency of the European Union Council, because “example of the talent and competence of Italy in Europe and the world, which the Italian presidency of the European Union Council wants to promote during its semester”.
Such a great news and emotion for us all!

After the short break Luca ended his presentation, leaving time for some Q&A, which included questions like the spirituality, the space food, his future plans etc.

The event ended with a little party and a great cake brought by one of the tweeps who was celebrating his birthday on April the 11th (perhaps one of the most unforgettable!). During the celebration, everyone had the chance to have a word directly with Luca and to take a picture with him, in order to have an indelible memory of that day.

Sadly Luca had to run away at 18:30 because of other schedules of his and all the SpaceTweeps went back to Roma for the #SpacePizza.

Every person met at this event spread to me allowed me to understand how much important is the communication and the sharing of your own experiences and knowledge!
Compare myself with people who shares your same hobbies, finding out how much important is working together sinergically and understanding that everyone, with perseverance and responsibility, can aim for the fullfillment of his/her dreams was really a beautiful life lesson!

Thanks to this experience I bring with me a renewed faith in my possibilities and a great will to believe in everything I do!


Si ringrazia l'Agenzia Spaziale Europea (@ESA), SocialSpace(@social4space), Luca Parmitano (@astro_luca), Erica Rolfe (@ericarolfe), Angie Kanellopoulou ‏(@akanel), Giammarco Forcella (@Gimmi94)Sam Triulzi (@SamTriulzi), Cindy Chin ( ), Stefano Giovanardi (), Rhiannon Pettitt ‏(@Ephemeralpanace), Marcello Barnaba (@vjte tutti gli altri Tweeps per i bei momenti passati insieme.

Collage Videos during LucaTweetUP

Credit by Renzo Pizzicaroli & Sam Triulzi

Credit by Rhiannon Pettitt


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