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NASA Social Gives Different Perspective On Space Shuttle Operations
09.19.12
 
NASA Social Media Event - Endeavour Final Ferry Flight - September 2012 NASA Social Media Event - Endeavour Final Ferry Flight - September 2012

Space Shuttle Endeavour's last mission – a coast-to-coast flight on the back of a NASA 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft (SCA) – is a sight to see. It's also a focus of a two-day NASA Social at the agency's Dryden Flight Research Center that began today.

The shuttle and the NASA 747 SCA are scheduled to arrive Thursday, Sept. 20 at NASA Dryden located on Edwards Air Force Base in California at about 12:35 p.m. PDT. Endeavour and its host 747 are scheduled to stay overnight before heading to Los Angeles International Airport on the last leg of its journey, with takeoff slated for about 7:15 a.m. on Sept. 20. The California Science Center in Los Angeles is Endeavour's final destination, where the orbiter will be on permanent display. (See related status updates on the shuttle's journey at
http://www.nasa.gov/centers/dryden/status_reports/SCA_Endeavour_status_09_12.html.

Social media fans attending the NASA Social at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center found equipment in Dryden's Experimental Fabrication Shop a ready target for their smart phone cameras.Social media fans attending the NASA Social at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center found equipment in Dryden's Experimental Fabrication Shop a ready target for their smart phone cameras. (NASA / Tom Tschida) › View Larger Image More than 2,300 social media representatives – those who have social media accounts on Twitter, Facebook and Google+ – signed up for one of the 40 slots at the Dryden event. Dryden, one of NASA's West Coast field centers, is located about 90 miles northeast of Los Angeles. It is a proving ground for technologies and theories through flight research. The information from that work contributed to the design and operations of the nation's orbiter fleet.

NASA Social attendees are learning about the Dryden research, aircraft and people that contributed to the space shuttle program, as well as key events such as the Approach and Landing Tests with the shuttle prototype Enterprise that validated that the shuttle could land unpowered. All but one of the early shuttle landings were at Edwards Air Force Base and the shuttles returned from space to a California welcome 54 times during the operational shuttle program.

NASA social media lead John Yembrick is moderating the event, which is including comments from NASA Deputy Administrator Lori Garver, and Jeffrey N. Rudolph, president and CEO of the California Science Center in Los Angeles.

In addition to seeing the arrival and departure of the 747 and Endeavour, participants of the NASA Social will also hear from the 747 SCA pilots and crew about their experiences. NASA Social attendees will also get to see two full-scale space shuttle solid rocket booster replicas recently arrived for storage at Dryden that are slated for display in the Endeavour exhibit at the California Science Center.

Attendees also will learn about NASA's plans for the next generation space travel during presentations by John Kelly, Flight Opportunities Program manager, and John Carter, Exploration Systems mission director at NASA Dryden.

Social media representatives are from all over the United States including Arizona, California, Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Ohio and Texas. The representatives' backgrounds include educators, social media strategists and videographers.

NASA encourages all social media followers to join in the conversation. Share information related to sightings of Endeavour by using the hashtags #spottheshuttle and #OV105.

Flying the F/A-18 flight simulator was a popular diversion for social media fans attending the NASA Social at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center Sept. 19-20, 2012 Flying the F/A-18 flight simulator was a popular diversion for social media fans attending the NASA Social at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center Sept. 19-20, 2012. (NASA / Tom Tschida) › View Larger Image

 
 
Jay Levine, Editor, The X-Press
NASA Dryden Flight Research Center