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NASA Hosts First Multi-Center Social Media Event for Mars Landing

NASA will host its first-ever multi-center NASA Social on Aug. 3 to preview the landing of the Mars Science Laboratory's Curiosity rover on Aug. 6 EDT (Aug. 5 PDT).

Events will be held simultaneously at six NASA field centers, including Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif.; Glenn Research Center in Cleveland; Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.; Johnson Space Center, Houston; and, Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va. Each center will be connected via a multi-center NASA Television simulcast with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory during its NASA Social, which was previously announced. JPL is the lead NASA center for Mars Science Laboratory’s two-year mission.

Participants will learn about the Mars Science Laboratory mission and the respective NASA field center. They are encouraged to share their experience with others through their favorite social networks. Along with discussing MSL and Mars, participants will get a unique behind the scenes look at the center and the diverse work of the agency through tours and presentations with scientists, engineers and managers. The events also will provide guests the opportunity to interact with fellow social media users, space enthusiasts and members of NASA's social media team.

No two locations are the same. Each center has a different itinerary depending on their location:


NASA's Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley, Calif., is inviting 20 social media followers for an all-day event to commemorate MSL and Mars. Ames developed the “Chemistry and Mineralogy” instrument (CheMin), a definitive mineralogy instrument that will identify and characterize past or present habitable environments as recorded in sediments and rocks. Participants will interact with researchers and see facilities that have contributed to landing MSL on Mars. NASA Ames was involved in the design and testing of the heat shield technology and conducted wind tunnel testing for the spacecraft's parachute. Guests will hear from prominent astrobiologists who study the origin, evolution, distribution and future of life in the universe – including Mars – and from researchers crafting future Mars mission concepts. Additional Ames tours will feature an immersive visualization of a Mars panorama, research laboratories and other highlights of Ames' expertise in exploration, science and aeronautics research.

NASA Glenn

NASA Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio, is inviting 30 social media followers to come and learn about the center’s current and historic contributions to the Mars Science Laboratory. You will see selected facilities and talk to the researchers that have been instrumental in the following elements of the MSL: Rover technology, the flexible canopy parachute that will slow down the MSL in the upper atmosphere as it lands on Mars, payload fairing used for MSL launch, dust and e-field sensors, flight sensors, Air Bag Landing System, the Multi-Mission Radioactive Thermoelectric Generator that powers MSL and keeps it warm at night, and traveling Wave Tube Communications System.

NASA Goddard

NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md., is inviting 20 social media followers to celebrate MSL. Goddard scientists developed the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument suite aboard the Mars Science Laboratory rover mission, which can identify a wide range of organic compounds in Martian rock and soil, and within the atmosphere. SAM will become an automated, mobile laboratory as it explores Mars' Gale crater tucked inside the Curiosity rover. Guests will be treated to a tour of the SAM Environmental Chamber and the Astrobiology Analytical Laboratory. The final stop will be a tour of the Integration and Testing Facility, where spacecraft are built and tested, for a unique chance to view and learn about the James Webb Space Telescope.

NASA Johnson

NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston is inviting 25 social media followers NASA Social guests will tour the center, visit the International Space Station mission control center, explore new technologies for the future of space science, and speak with managers, flight directors, trainers and astronauts. Scientists at the Astromaterials Research and Exploration Science Directorate at Johnson will discuss the key roles they play in the MSL mission to help look for “all of the things that are necessary for life such as water organic compounds and inorganic compounds.” Guests at Johnson Space Center will also have the opportunity to visit the astronaut training facilities to learn about the Astronaut program – from preparations and training for missions to items that improve long-duration missions for the astronauts such as better food while off the planet.

NASA Langley

NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va., is inviting 30 social media followers to learn about the center’s contribution to MSL and get behind-the-scenes access to NASA’s first field center. Experts will discuss the center’s role in the Entry, Descent and Landing phase of the mission, and the MSL Entry Descent and Landing Instrumentation (MEDLI) that will measure temperature and pressure as the spacecraft descends through the Mars atmosphere. Participants also will see MEDLI hardware, as well as tour Langley facilities. The tour will showcase past-to-present Langley, with a stop at the former Lunar Landing Research Facility where Neil Armstrong and other Apollo astronauts simulated moon landings, to the hangar housing research aircraft flying Earth science missions. – and perhaps a surprise or two along the way!

What is a NASA Social?

A NASA Social is an informal meeting of people who use social networking sites such as Twitter, Facebook and Google+. Participants at this event will be provided a unique in-person experience with the Mars Science Laboratory mission, and NASA that they are encouraged to share with others through their favorite social networks.

How do I register?

NASA Social registration opens at noon EDT on Friday, June 29, and closes noon EDT Tuesday, July 3. NASA will randomly select participants from online registrations. Please check with the center listed above for details on the number of guests they’re allowing. Registration is for one person only and is non-transferable.

People may register for NASA Socials at multiple locations, but selectees will only be chosen for one event.

Do I need to have a social media account to register?

Yes. This event is designed for active social media users who follow the Mars Curiosity rover, a NASA field center and/or NASA on Twitter (@MarsCuriosity, @NASA, @NASASocial), Facebook (MarsCuriosity, NASA) or Google+ (NASA). The goal of NASA Social is to allow people who interact with each other via social networks to meet in person and discuss space exploration.

Users on all social networks are encouraged to use the hashtag #NASASocial. Updates and information about the event will be shared on Twitter via @NASASocial and via posts to Facebook and Google+.

What are the registration requirements?

Registration indicates your intent to travel to one of the participating NASA centers and attend the events in person. You are responsible for your own expenses for travel, accommodation, food and other amenities.

Some events and participants scheduled to appear at the event are subject to change without notice. NASA is not responsible for loss or damage incurred as a result of attending. NASA is not responsible for loss or damage incurred if the event is cancelled with limited or no notice. Please plan accordingly.

NASA locations are government facilities. Those who are selected will need to complete an additional registration step to receive clearance to enter secure areas. To be admitted, you will need to show two government-issued identification with a photo that matches 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?

No. For the five NASA field centers listed above, all attendees must be U.S. citizens. If you have a green card, you will be processed as a U.S. citizen. To be admitted, you will need to show two government-issued identification 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 the event?

If you cannot come to the NASA centers to attend in person, you should not register for the NASA Social. You can follow the conversation using the #NASASocial hashtag on Twitter. JPL may broadcast a portion of the program with live chat on .

If you cannot make this NASA Social, don't despair; NASA is planning others in the near future at various locations. Check back on for updates.

When will I know if I am selected?

After registrations have been received and processed, an email with confirmation information and additional instructions will be sent to those selected and those on the waitlist. We expect to send notifications on or around Monday, July 9.

If you do not make the registration list for this NASA Social, you can still participate in the conversation online.

Does registration for and/or attendance at the NASA Social qualify me for media accreditation?

Your NASA Social registration and/or attendance do not qualify you for news media credentials at any NASA field center, now or in the future.

Have a question not answered here? Need more information? Help is available by sending an email to

For information about the mission, visit: and .