Thanks to his unabashed enthusiasm for the job and his way with a tweet, Cockeysville's Reid Wiseman is becoming quite the Twitterverse celebrity as he orbits the Earth on the International Space Station.
Almost from the moment he arrived at the station May 29, Wiseman, 38, has been posting photographs and commentary to his Twitter feed (his handle is @astro_reid). Even before his Soyuz flight took off May 28, Wiseman was posting selfies, including some featuring his crew mates German astronaut Alexander Gerst and Russian cosmonaut Maxim Suraev.
The real fun began, however, once he arrived at the station, parts of which have been orbiting the Earth since 1998. Among his first tweets: a photo of the ship that brought him to the station. The caption read: "I can't stop looking outside!"
A series of photos of the Earth have followed, often accompanied by exclamations about how beautiful and amazing everything looks ("Solar arrays glisten approaching Australia"). There's even the occasional shot of Wiseman acclimating himself to life in space, often with self-deprecating commentary included. On a picture of him exercising on a treadmill, Wiseman noted, "First run done — heels were tingling, food bouncing in stomach. Yuck!"
Online space fans have been loving it. On May 1, Wiseman had 16,000 Twitter followers. A month later, that number had climbed to 30,800.
"Astronaut Reid Wiseman's open excitement about being in space is killing me," Mika McKinnon wrote on the website space.io9.com. "His tweets are full of such open delight, it's like getting a live feed of fanboyish squealing paired with the always-astounding view from the International Space Station."
David Wharton, in a post entitled "Astronaut Reid Wiseman is your new Twitter must-follow" on the website giantfreakinrobot.com, agreed. He praised Wiseman for "bleeding enthusiasm all over Twitter in a truly endearing way."
Of course, none of this should be coming as a surprise to those who know Wiseman. The Dulaney High grad has never made a secret of his enthusiasm for the space program.
"There are moments when the adrenaline just crushes you," the Cockeysville native said last month during an interview from Star City, Russia, where he trained for the May 28 launch aboard a Russian ship. "Holy smokes, I'm getting on that rocket in 21/2 weeks, and this time next month I'll be floating on the space station going 18,000 mph. It's still a little bit unbelievable."
Wiseman is scheduled to spend the next six months aboard the space station. The tweeting, no doubt, will continue.