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Science: 

The world’s first social network in space

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New social networks are born every week and, let’s face it, the majority don’t offer anything new. The latest, though, is a little different, connecting you with a single person 250 miles above the Earth’s surface.

That person is Samantha Cristoforetti, an Italian astronaut docked at the International Space Station who will spend the next six months communicating with space enthusiasts in real-time through a web app. By visiting Friends in Space you can track her travels, see what she sees and even say “Hello” when you are part of her orbit. The website also visualises Samantha’s past and future orbits, giving you a daily log of her activities complete with audio and video direct from the ISS.

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A social network with one just friend could get pretty lonely – even if that friend is in space – so you’ll be joined on the app by the other users trying to connect to Samantha. People can send ‘Hello’ to eachother when Samantha is out of orbit, and track how many space friends they made from the control room. These friends will create constellations across the world map, which Samantha will pass through as she moves around the earth 15 times a day.

Samantha is the first female Italian to make it to the ISS, and also takes a keen interest in social media. Tweeting from her account @AstroSamantha she has attracted 144,000 followers, and she also posts regular updates to Google Plus.

Friends in Space is a huge project that’s packed with information from the mission. As we continue to get to grips with it, check out the web app for yourself and let us know what you think.

/ Via Wired.

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