The top tweets were chosen from influencers as tracked by GlobalData’s Influencer Platform, which is based on a scientific process that works on pre-defined parameters. Influencers are selected after a deep analysis of the influencer’s relevance, network strength, engagement, and leading discussions on new and emerging trends.

Top tweets on aerospace tech in Q4 2020

1. International Space Station’s tweet on Cygnus spacecraft launch bound for the space station

International Space Station, the official account of NASA on updates of the space station, shared an article on the launch of Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus spacecraft to deliver 8,000 pounds of payload including experiments and other cargo to the International Space Station (ISS). The spacecraft was launched from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.

Payloads for the space station comprised a new toilet featuring improved space toilet operations, cancer research materials, new crop to conduct space cultivation programme, and other technologies for spacewalks in virtual reality and waste management.

Username: International Space Station

Twitter handle: @Space_Station

Retweets: 225

Likes: 1,800

2. Spaceflight Now’s tweet on termination of Space X’s mission to launch GPS navigation satellite

Spaceflight Now, an online provider of space related news, shared an article about the failed launch of the US-based aerospace manufacturer Space X’s Falcon 9 rocket carrying a GPS navigation satellite during the engine start-up process. The launch was aborted automatically just two seconds before lift-off.

The GPS navigation satellite to be launched was built by Lockheed Martin. It is fourth in the new generation of GPS satellites featuring improved power, more accurate navigation signals and elongated lifetimes. Space X’s launch termination is one of several last minute launch cancellations made by other companies.

Username: Spaceflight Now

Twitter handle: @SpaceflightNow

Retweets: 66

Likes: 310

3. Loren Grush’s tweet on the test launch of Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket

Loren Grush, a senior science reporter at The Verge, a technology news website, shared an article on the test launch of US-based space company Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket to carry out multiple experiments in space. The reusable rocket with a space capsule was designed to carry paying tourists on a roundtrip to space and deliver NASA’s research payloads to the space station.

The un-crewed test flight marked the 13th launch of the New Shepard programme and the seventh flight for the rocket. The rocket carried NASA’s Safe and Precise Landing – Integrated Capabilities Evolution (SPLICE) payload apart from several other experiments. NASA will use SPLICE to test how it functions while flying to space and landing back on Earth. The data from the launch will be used to help future crewed and robotic spacecraft to land on the Moon.

Username: Loren Grush

Twitter handle: @lorengrush

Retweets: 32

Likes: 187

4. Andrew Jones’ tweet on China building rocket for manned moon mission

Andrew Jones, a correspondent at SpaceNews, a website providing space related news, shared an article revealing the development of a new launch vehicle by China to send astronauts to the moon. The new launcher, built to send a 25t spacecraft into trans-lunar injection, was unveiled at the 2020 China Space Conference in Fuzhou.

The 285ft-long rocket is being designed with three 16.4-foot-diameter cores at the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology (CALT) in Beijing. The mass of the rocket during blast-off will be around 2,200t, which is nearly thrice the existing largest rocket of China.

Username: Andrew Jones

Twitter handle: @AJ_FI

Retweets: 34

Likes: 84

5. Tyler Rogoway’s tweet on veteran pilot fighting AI-driven virtual rival jet

Tyler Rogoway, an editor of The War Zone, a defence website, shared an article highlighting the world’s first combat between a real aircraft and artificial intelligence (AI)-powered virtual rival jet. Red 6, an augmented reality (AR) company, and EpiSci, an AI company, conducted the live-flight AR experiment with a veteran F-22 pilot seated in a Berkut 540 experimental plane fighting a virtual Chinese J-20 fighter being projected from the AR headset of the pilot.

The demonstration leveraged Red 6’s Airborne Tactical Augmented Reality System (ATARS) comprising display and control systems that projected AR into the real cockpit. The technology could provide a better simulation of the tactical challenges thrown by the enemy jets and can reduce the costs of air combat training expenses significantly, the article noted.

Username: Tyler Rogoway

Twitter handle: @Aviation_Intel

Retweets: 26

Likes: 71