You can now test your knowledge of the world’s geography in a new trivia game on Twitter sponsored by NASA and the astronauts on board the International Space Station. It is kind of like our own “Where In the Universe Challenge” but strictly of images from Earth, and in this contest, there are even actual prizes. Astronaut Scott Kelly started the game this week, which is Geography Awareness Week. His vantage point is perfect for hosting the game, as where else can you get a better view of the various geographical features on our planet than from the International Space Station?
First of all, you have to be on Twitter, and follow Kelly: @StationCDRKelly. He’ll post a link to an image he took, and the first person to correctly identify the place depicted in his photos will win an autographed copy of the picture.
“Expanding our geography knowledge is essential to our economic well-being, our relationships with other nations and the environment,” Kelly said. “It helps us make sense of our world and allows us to make connections between people and places. Space exploration is a global endeavor, and the International Space Station is the result of these connections.”
The new trivia game is a way to engage the public in the activities of the ISS, and the pictures that Kelly, and other astronauts take from the station aren’t all just fun and games. “From the cupola, which is much like a bay window in a house, we are able to take pictures for many scientific reasons, but also to share with the public what we are learning about the planet on which we live,” Kelly said.
Kelly launched to the space station along with two Russian cosmonauts, Alexander Kaleri and Oleg Skripochka on Oct. 8. He is set to return to Earth March 16, 2011. The space station and its six crew members orbit the Earth more than a dozen times each day, traveling more than 320 km (200 miles) above Earth at 28,000 kph (17,500 mph).