Tweets in space: ISS hooked up to the web

The International Space Station has received a software update that enables something rather magical for the astronauts that inhabit it - access to the world wide web. Which we assume will henceforth be known as the solar-system-wide-web.

A NASA statement said: "During periods when the station is actively communicating with the ground using high-speed Ku-band communications, the crew will have remote access to the Internet via a ground computer. The crew will view the desktop of the ground computer using an onboard laptop and interact remotely with their keyboard touchpad".

The first use of the new system, by Flight Engineer T.J. Creamer, was to send a Twitter message back to earth. Previously, the astronauts had to email their tweets to the ground, where personnel then posted them to the astronaut's Twitter account. Now, however, we can hear what the astronauts are having for lunch as it happens.

Rumours that China has already hacked the space station are completely made up.