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Rookie astronaut takes to Twitter to share life in space

By Irene Klotz

CAPE CANAVERAL Fla. (Reuters) - First-time astronaut Reid Wiseman arrived at the International Space Station two weeks ago, but zero gravity still surprises him.

"Laughed so hard, I cried yesterday during dinner. Tears don't run down your cheeks in space," wrote Wiseman, who is sharing his observations and pictures with a growing following on Twitter.

"Still adjusting to zero g. Just flipped a bag upside down to dump out its contents. #doesntworkhere," Wiseman tweeted last week.

His favorite picture so far is a view of the northern Australian coast. "The way the clouds and the red desert met the ocean, it's burned in my mind," Wiseman said during an inflight interview with CBS News broadcast on Monday.

"This will go in my living room," he tweeted along with the picture.

Wiseman is one of six men living aboard the station, a $100 billion research laboratory that flies about 260 miles (418 km) above Earth.

So far, the rookie astronaut has about 74,000 Twitter followers. More than 40 current astronauts from the United States, Europe, Japan, Russia and Canada use the social media service, sharing perspectives 140 characters at a time.

Tweeting astronauts include two-time shuttle veteran and Hubble Space Telescope repairman Mike Massimino, who has 1.3 million followers, and former station commander Chris Hadfield of Canada, with nearly 1.1 million followers.

Wiseman has the distinction of posting the first looping Vine video from space. The time-lapse clip shows the sun circling over Earth, never setting.

"The view out the window is way beyond whatever I dreamed it would be," Wiseman said in the CBS interview.

Wiseman's Twitter account is @astro_reid.

(irene.klotz@thomsonreuters.com)

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