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NASA Invites 150 Twitter Followers to Mars Rover Launch
11.23.11
 
NASA will host a two-day launch Tweetup for 150 of its Twitter followers on Nov. 25-26 at the agency's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The Tweetup is expected to culminate in the launch of the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V 541 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The launch window open is scheduled to open at 10:02 a.m. EST on Nov. 26.

The Tweetup will provide NASA's social media followers with the opportunity to tour Kennedy Space Center; speak with scientists and engineers; and, if all goes as scheduled, view the spacecraft launch. The event also will provide participants the opportunity to meet fellow tweeps and members of NASA's social media team.

Curiosity's arrival at the Red Planet is anticipated in August 2012 at Gale crater. During the two-year prime mission, the rover will investigate whether a selected area of Mars offered environmental conditions favorable for microbial life and for preserving evidence about life if it existed.

Mars Science Laboratory is the fourth space mission launching this year managed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. The first three are Aquarius, launched June 10 to study ocean salinity; Juno, launched Aug. 5 to study the origins and interior of Jupiter; and the twin GRAIL orbiters, which departed for the moon on Sept. 10.

Launch management for the mission is the responsibility of NASA's Launch Services Program at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

What is a tweetup?
A Tweetup is an informal meeting of people who use the social messaging medium Twitter. This Tweetup is an opportunity to learn more about NASA and the Mars Science Laboratory mission, explore NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida and experience a launch.

How do I register?
Registration is now closed. It was open from noon EDT on Wednesday, Oct. 5 until noon EDT on Friday, Oct. 7. NASA will invite 150 participants randomly selected from those who sign up. Additional registrants will be placed on a waiting list.

Registration is for one person only (you) and is non-transferable.

Do I need to have a Twitter account to register?
Yes. This event is designed for active Twitter users who follow @NASA, @NASATweetup and other NASA Twitter accounts. The goal of NASA Tweetups is to allow people who regularly interact with each other via Twitter to meet in person and discuss one of their favorite subjects: NASA.

If you are not familiar with Twitter nor a regular user of Twitter and just want to see a spacecraft launch, NASA offers other ways to experience a launch. Learn more at http://www.nasa.gov/centers/kennedy/launchingrockets/viewing.html.

The Twitter account for the Tweetup is @NASA, and the hashtag is #NASATweetup. We'll use both to post updates and reminders about the event. Follow the mission via @NASA, @NASAJPL and @MarsCuriosity.

What are the registration requirements?
Registration indicates your intent to travel to NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida and attend the two-day event in person. Because of Thanksgiving, activities will take place on Wednesday and Friday. You are responsible for your own expenses for travel, accommodation, food and other amenities. Kennedy is a government facility. Those who are selected will need to complete an additional registration step to receive clearance to enter the secure areas at Kennedy. To be admitted, you will need to show two government-issued identifications (one with a photo) that match the name provided on the registration. Those without proper identification cannot be admitted. All registrants must be at least 18 years old.

Can I register if I am not a U.S. citizen?
Yes, non-U.S. citizens may register to attend the Tweetup in Florida. Please indicate your country of citizenship in the drop-down menu during registration. Kennedy is a government facility. If you have a green card, you will be processed as a U.S. citizen. Those who are selected will need to complete an additional registration step to receive clearance to enter the secure areas at Kennedy. To be admitted, you will need to show two government-issued identifications (one with a photo) that match the name provided on the registration. Those without proper identification cannot be admitted. All registrants must be at least 18 years old.

Does my registration include a guest?
Because of space limitations, you may not bring a guest. Each registration provides a place for one person only (you) and is non-transferable. Each individual wishing to attend must register separately.

What if I cannot come to Florida?
If you cannot come to Florida to attend in person, you should not register for the Tweetup. You can follow the Tweetup conversation using the #NASATweetup hashtag. NASA will broadcast a portion of the program on Nov. 25. You can watch the launch of Curiosity on Nov. 26 on NASA TV at http://www.nasa.gov/ntv. NASA will provide regular launch and mission updates on @NASA, @NASAJPL and @MarsCuriosity.

If you cannot make this Tweetup, don't despair; NASA is planning others in the near future at various locations. Check back on http://www.nasa.gov/tweetup for updates.

When will I know if I made it?
After NASA has received and processed the registrations, an email with confirmation information and additional instructions will be sent to those selected and those on the waitlist. We expect to send notifications by Oct. 12. If you do not make the registration list for this Tweetup, you can still attend a launch. Learn about other ways to experience a launch at http://www.nasa.gov/centers/kennedy/launchingrockets/viewing.html.

What if the spacecraft's launch date changes?
If the launch date changes prior to Nov. 25, NASA may change the date of the Tweetup to match the new target launch date. NASA will notify registrants by email. If the launch is postponed for 24 hours on Nov. 25, Tweetup attendees will be invited to attend the launch Nov. 26. NASA cannot accommodate attendees for delays beyond 24 hours. Tweetup attendees are responsible for any additional costs they incur related to any launch delay.

Does registration for and/or attendance at the Tweetup qualify me for media accreditation?
Your Mars Science Laboratory Tweetup registration and/or attendance does not qualify you for news media credentials at NASA's Kennedy Space Center, now or in the future.

Have a question not answered here? Need more information? Help is available by sending an email to HQ-twitter@mail.nasa.gov.

For more information about the Mars Science Laboratory mission, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/msl and http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl.