Just three weeks after launch, two million “Hello!”s had been sent to Cristoforetti via Friends In Space. In total, thousands logged on for the length of Cristoforetti’s stay at the ISS. Back on earth, the web app was the subject of dazzling coverage in mainstream publications including Wired, Time, Fast Company, Vogue, Vanity Fair, and other outlets.
“Friends In Space is a fascinating site to toy around on. The visualizations and interactions are simple enough to make the data easy to grasp, but it’s complex enough that you’ll want to spend some time exploring, seeing how much more you can discover about the mission. Every so often a fuzzy conversation between the astronauts and mission control will pipe into your speaker—it’s a nice reminder of the wonderment that comes with space travel. In real time you’re hearing someone currently stationed far beyond our comprehension communicating with someone back on Earth. Now, we have the chance—no matter how simple a “hello” is—to communicate back.”