Scott Kelly's use of digital tools is out of this world

Astronaut Scott Kelly posted this photo of giving himself a flu shot in the International Space Station last September. Kelly used various forms of social media to share his yearlong space mission. Photo credit: NASA

When I was growing up in Japan, I wanted to be an astronaut. That's probably nothing special as kids the world over must dream of being an astronaut when they grow up. Although multiple decades ago, I still can recall how obsessed I was with the idea. From my drawings to using big empty boxes from my dad’s shop strung together to look like a rocket lying horizontally on the ground, I could almost taste that cardboard cylinder rocket taking me into space.

As I mined my archived childhood memories, I do remember a distinctive “feature” all the rockets in my drawings had: mostly white from top to bottom, with black square patches strategically placed throughout. Yes, the telltale sign of the rockets from the mighty NASA Apollo program.

This recollection made me more nostalgic, and equally curious, of one other memory I have – watching, on our small TV set, fuzzy black-and-white video footage of astronauts landing and walking on the moon in 1969. So I did what anybody living in the 21st century will do – Google it – and there I was watching the glorious one-minute, 44-second footage of the lunar landing. I was content and was reminded of how great this country is.

My wife has been following the posts by American astronaut Scott Kelly, a highly decorated retired naval officer turned astronaut, for quite some time now. She has been nudging me to peruse his Instagram postings, Tweets and Facebook posts, but I always was too busy. I’m still busy but as soon as I rekindled my youthful memories with the lunar landing video on Youtube, I was down the rabbit hole.

“Blown away” is not a phrase I use lightly, especially when referring to someone’s use of digital world tools, but Scott Kelly has done just that. I wish I had listened to my wife (don't let her hear that) as I’m still catching up on his other contributions from space.

Anyone can Tweet and post videos. Sure, he was in an environment of which only a handful can say “been there, done that” so the pictures and videos can be exclusive for that reason alone. What Scott Kelly has done is not only share those exclusive images but to really “connect” with us whose souls never left terra firma. It was as if we were standing alongside him at the International Space Station observing how polluted the earth has become; celebrating Halloween together on ISS; getting a flu shot in zero gravity … whatever he was experiencing, technology let us experience and connect with him. Even after returning to Earth his communique connects with us.

Bravo, Scott Kelly! You are a maestro of using the communication tools entrenched in the digital world in a way I haven’t seen many do – i.e. “connect” with others!

Tak Sato

Business and technology strategist/consultant with over 25 years of experience. Holds Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Science and MBA from Cleveland State University.

As founder of geek with a heart, "Hand-holding You in the Digital World", Tak helps Individuals, Seniors, Families, Small Businesses, Schools, and Non-Profits utilize appropriate technology in their personal and professional lives.

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Volume 8, Issue 6, Posted 9:59 AM, 03.15.2016