@Astro_Tim Sends First Tweets From ISS


NASA astronaut and U.S. Army Col. Tim Kopra has become the first International Space Station crew member to use the social media tool Twitter to discuss living and working in orbit.

Kopra (@Astro_Tim) recently joined the Expedition 20 crew after arriving at the orbiting laboratory July 17 aboard space shuttle Endeavour. He is set to return to Earth on the STS-128 mission, which is targeted to launch Aug. 25. To follow Kopra on Twitter, visit:


Kopra will provide followers with a unique perspective as an Expedition 20 flight engineer and member of the Army. He is an Army aviator and West Point graduate. He periodically will answer questions submitted on the Army’s Web site. To submit questions and view Kopra’s answers, visit:


This is Kopra’s first spaceflight. He completed his first spacewalk July 18 during the STS-127 mission. Kopra is in orbit with station Commander Gennady Padalka and Roman Romanenko — both Russian cosmonauts — and NASA astronaut Mike Barratt, European Space Agency astronaut Frank DeWinne and Canadian Space Agency astronaut Bob Thirsk.

Timothy L. Kopra (Colonel, USA)
NASA Astronaut

PERSONAL DATA: Born on April 9, 1963, in Austin, Texas. Married to the former Dawn Kaye Lehman of Lewisburg, Kentucky. They have two children. He enjoys running, swimming, and biking. His mother, Martha A. Kopra, resides in Austin, Texas. His father, Dr. Lennart L. Kopra, is deceased. Dawn’s parents, Charles B. and Betty H. Lehman, reside in Lewisburg, Kentucky.

EDUCATION: McCallum High School, Austin, Texas, 1981. Bachelor of Science, United States Military Academy, West Point, New York, 1985. Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, 1995. Master of Strategic Studies, U.S. Army War College, 2006.

ORGANIZATIONS: Society of Experimental Test Pilots; Army Aviation Association of America; American Helicopter Society; United States Military Academy Association of Graduates; West Point Society of Greater Houston; Phi Kappa Phi.

SPECIAL HONORS: Empire Test Pilot School Award for the best Developmental Test thesis, Class 110, U.S. Naval Test Pilot School (1996); Bronze Order of Saint Michael, Army Aviation Award (1999). Awarded the Bronze Star Medal, two Meritorious Service Medals, Air Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, and various other service awards.

EXPERIENCE: Kopra received his commission as a second lieutenant from the U.S. Military Academy in May 1985 and was designated as an Army aviator in August 1986. He then completed a three-year assignment at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, where he served as an aeroscout platoon leader, troop executive officer, and squadron adjutant in the 101st Airborne Division’s air cavalry squadron. In 1990, he was assigned to the 3rd Armored Division in Hanau, Germany, and was deployed to Southwest Asia where he served in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. He completed his tour in Germany as an attack helicopter company commander and an operations officer. After returning to the United States and completing graduate studies at Georgia Tech, he was selected in 1995 to attend the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School. Upon graduation, he was assigned to the U.S. Army Aviation Technical Test Center, where he worked as an experimental test pilot on various projects and served as the developmental test director for the Comanche helicopter program. Other military schools include the Army Parachutist Course, Pathfinder Course, Air Assault Course, the Combined Services Staff School, and the Command and General Staff College.

NASA EXPERIENCE: Kopra was assigned to NASA at the Johnson Space Center in September 1998 as a vehicle integration test engineer. In this position, he primarily served as an engineering liaison for Space Shuttle launch operations and International Space Station (ISS) hardware testing. He was actively involved in the contractor tests of the Extravehicular Activity (EVA) interfaces for each of the space station truss segments.

Selected as an astronaut in July 2000, Kopra began his initial training the following month. Kopra then completed two years of intensive Space Shuttle, Space Station, and T-38 flight training. He then served in the Space Station Branch of the Astronaut Office, where his primary focus involved the testing of crew interfaces for two ISS pressurized modules as well as the implementation of support computers and operational Local Area Network on ISS. After completing a Russian language immersion course in Moscow, Russia, Kopra began training for a long duration space flight mission in July 2005. Since then, he has completed training at each of the international partner training sites and served as a backup crewmember to Expeditions 16 and 17. Kopra is assigned to Expedition 19. He will launch to the International Space Station with the crew of STS-127, targeted to launch in July 2009.