At NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, participants of the STS-133 Tweetup snap photos and watch intently as a dexterous humanoid astronaut helper, known as Robonaut, shows off its talents. Robonaut 2 (R2) will be delivered to the International Space Station on space shuttle Discovery's STS-133 mission. Although R2 will initially only participate in operational tests, upgrades could eventually allow the robot to realize its true purpose -- helping spacewalking astronauts with tasks outside the orbiting laboratory.
NASA is hosting about 150 of its Twitter followers from around the world and several dozen states and providing them with a behind-the-scenes perspective to share with their own followers on the social networking service. The "Tweeps," as NASA calls them, will have a chance to tour Kennedy, meet with shuttle technicians, managers, engineers and astronauts, and witness Discovery's launch. Discovery and its STS-133 crew are scheduled to lift off Nov. 3 at 3:52 p.m. EDT. For more information on the upcoming mission, visit www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/shuttle/shuttlemissions/sts133/. Photo credit: NASA/Frank Michaux