Updated: 04/11/2014 13:25 | By Agence France-Presse

Extra-terrestrial Tweet-up links Tokyo with space

An unusual "Tweet-up" -- a meeting of people who know each other on Twitter -- involving an ambassador, an astronaut and a prime minister has taken place on a video-link between Japan and the International Space Station.


Extra-terrestrial Tweet-up links Tokyo with space

US Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy (L) and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe wave fairwell to Japanese astronaut and ISS commander Koichi Wakata (C on screen), at Abe's official residence in Tokyo, on April 10, 2014 - by Franck Robichon

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and US ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy chatted with the Japanese commander of the ISS, Koichi Wakata, as he circled the Earth hundreds of miles up.

The three, who are all active on the micro-blogging site, talked on Thursday evening about daily life aboard the station, while Kennedy and Wakata traded compliments on their activities in the blogosphere.

"It's an honour to be able to speak with you," Kennedy, the only surviving daughter of assassinated US president John F. Kennedy said.

"Congratulations Commander Wakata on being the first Japanese commander of the space station and I am glad that we follow each other on Twitter," Kennedy said.

"Ambassador Kennedy, it's quite an honour that you follow my tweets," Wakata replied.

Wakata who was flanked by fellow space-farers from Russia and the US, battled with zero-gravity to grab the microphone and make himself heard back on Earth as Abe addressed him.

"You are the first Asian to become commander of the ISS," the Japanese PM said. "Are there days when you think that it is hard work?" 

Wakata, a practised diplomat as well as an astronaut said the multi-national crew was an effective unit.

"I think we really work well as a team," he said. "But we are more than just crew mates, qualities from all the countries we represent complete each other and we can communicate perfectly," he added.

The conversation took place hours after a a Russian cargo ship docked with the ISS, bringing the crew crucial supplies and water.

Earlier this month NASA announced that it was cutting space cooperation with Russia -- except over the ISS -- because of Moscow's actions in Ukraine, including the takeover of Crimea last month.

NASA has been wholly reliant on Russia for delivering astronauts to the space station since the US retired its space shuttles in 2011.

Latest Photo Galleries on xinmsn

NEWS VIDEOS

MORE NEWS VIDEOS

facebook recommendations

LIVE NEWS RADIO STREAMING

  • 938 Live

    938LIVE is Singapore's only English news and talk station which transmits round the clock with an engaging and enticing spread of programmes on current affairs, health, business and lifestyle as well as news every half hour until midnight.

  • Capital 958


    95.8FM城市频道的前身是"第三广播网"。上个世纪30年代末,新加坡就有中文广播,一路走来经过不少政治,社会局势的改变,中文广播在本地一直扮演举足轻重的角色。