This video captures the excitement of Day 2 of the Mars Curiosity NASATweetup. It was such a thrill to be there, and somehow this video (by Lou Braga, @Photog4NY) brings it to life!
Check out this photo from Chase Clark. He’s got a series of photos from the initial 1.6 seconds of the Atlas V rocket launch (Nov 26, 2011) that is propelling the Mars Curiosity rover to Mars.
Notice the ice on the rocket. Why is there ice? Why does it break off like that? What happens after it breaks off? Be curious and find out!
There are some very, very good videos about NASA, the space program, and the Space Shuttles. But this one captures so much of the behind-the-scenes (and especially the myriad of unsung heroes behind the program–down to the people who make sandwiches for the astronauts) that it is well worth the hour to watch it.
We finally received the itinerary for the #GRAIL #NASATweetup and it was worth the wait! The lineup for the day before the launch is amazing. Here are the details for September 7. Everyone in the afternoon session is a superstar. Be sure to tune in to NASATV to follow the Ustream video of the sessions! And of course, follow the #NASATweetup and #GRAIL hashtags on Twitter to follow our live reports that day! And then, of course, the launch on the following day (we hope!), September 8th.
GRAIL NASATweetup // September 7, 2011 // Kennedy Space Center, FL
7 a.m. to 8:45 a.m. – Registration at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex (@ExploreSpaceKSC )
9:05 a.m. – Meet the tweeps
9:50 a.m. to 1 p.m. – Tour of NASA’s Kennedy Space Center (@NASAKennedy ) and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, including stops at the Vehicle Assembly Building and Press Site launch countdown clock, Launch Complex 17 and #GRAIL, and Launch Complex 41 from which Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity (@MarsCuriosity ) will launch
1 to 3 p.m. – Break/Lunch on your own at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex
3 p.m. – Jim Adams (@NASAJim ), deputy director, Planetary Division, Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters, introduces Administrator Charles Bolden
(NASA Television begins http://www.ustream.tv/channel/nasa-tweetup)
3:40 p.m. – Sami Asmar, GRAIL deputy project scientist, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL)
4 p.m. – Maria Zuber, GRAIL principal investigator, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
4:20 p.m. – Break
4:30 p.m. – Eyes on the Solar System (@NASA_Eyes) demo with Doug Ellison (@Doug_Ellison ), JPL Visualization Producer
5 p.m. – Vern Thorp, manager, NASA Programs, ULA (@ULAlaunch )
5:15 p.m. – Stu Spath, chief spacecraft engineer, Lockheed Martin (@LockheedMartin )
6 p.m. – Group photo in the rocket garden
Last Wednesday night (while sitting at dinner for BrickFair in DC) I received one of the best emails I have ever read:
Dear Karyn Traphagen,
Congratulations! You have been selected to attend the NASA Tweetup on Sept. 7-8 in conjunction with the launch of the twin GRAIL spacecraft!
The two-day event will provide you the opportunity to tour the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex; speak with scientists and engineers from GRAIL and other upcoming missions; and, if all goes as scheduled, view the spacecraft launch. The launch window opens at 8:37 a.m. EDT on Sept. 8.
I am so very excited!! Here’s some of the details about the Tweetup. I’ll be posting info about the mission, the tweetup, and my adventures here and on Twitter (@ktraphagen).
NASA will bring together 150 Twitter followers to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center for a two-day Tweetup, Sept. 7 – 8, 2011, for the launch of twin lunar-bound Gravity Recovery And Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) spacecraft aboard a Delta II rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The launch window opens at 8:37 a.m. EDT on Thursday, Sept. 8. The two GRAIL spacecraft will measure the moon’s gravity field from its crust to core and provide scientists with a better understanding of how Earth and other rocky planets in the solar system formed.
As NASA Tweetup attendees, the 150 Twitter users will interact with engineers and scientists from GRAIL and other upcoming NASA missions as well as tour the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. If all goes as scheduled, participants will view the spacecraft launch. In addition, the Tweetup will allow participants to meet other tweeps and members of NASA’s social media team. Attendees were selected through a lottery system in which more than 825 @NASA Twitter followers registered.
NASA Tweetup participants are traveling from across the United States and the globe to attend. View the list of list of registered attendees on the NASA Tweetup Twitter account here.
NASA held its first Tweetup on Jan. 21, 2009, at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. NASA’s Tweetup Twitter account is http://twitter.com/NASATweetup and participants will be using #NASATweetup and #GRAIL in their updates while tweeting. Information about NASA Tweetup can be viewed here.
About the GRAIL Mission
The two GRAIL spacecraft will fly in tandem orbits around the moon for several months to measure its gravity field from crust to core. The mission will answer longstanding questions about Earth’s moon and provide scientists with a better understanding of how Earth and other rocky planets in the solar system formed.
GRAIL’s lift off is the third of four space missions launching this year under the management of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. Aquarius launched June 10 to study ocean salinity; Juno will launched Aug. 5 to study the origins and interior of Jupiter; and the Mars Science Laboratory/Curiosity rover heads to the Red Planet no earlier than Nov. 25. Visit http://solarsystem.nasa.gov/grail for additional information about GRAIL.