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NASA Social: Welcome Discovery to Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum
Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum and NASA will host 30 of their social media followers at the museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Va., to welcome space shuttle Discovery to the national collection. Participants are allowed to bring one guest.

The event will be the first NASA Social, where fans and followers from multiple social networks including Twitter, Facebook and Google + are invited to participate. This Discovery Social is planned for April 19, 2012.

Discovery is expected to land at Washington-Dulles International Airport on April 17 and will be officially transferred by NASA into the Smithsonian’s collection in an outdoor ceremony open to the public on April 19. The April 19 event will begin with Discovery’s arrival from adjacent Dulles Airport, onto the tow road behind the Center.

NASA Social participants will have the opportunity to:
  • tour the Udvar-Hazy Center and explore the amazing collection of aviation and space objects on display
  • speak with museum curators, NASA scientists and engineers
  • view and take photographs of space shuttles Enterprise and Discovery together for the first time in history
  • meet fellow space enthusiasts who are active on social media
  • meet members of the Smithsonian and NASA's social media teams.

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 National Air and Space museum and NASA, which they are encouraged to share with others through their favorite social network.

How do I register?
Registration opens at noon on March 15 and closes at noon on Friday, March 16. Thirty (30) participants will be randomly selected from online registrations. Each participant may invite one guest; all must be 13 and older.

Registration is for one person and their guest and is non-transferable.

Do I need to have a social media account to register?
Yes. This event is designed for active social media users who follow Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum and NASA on Twitter (@airandspace, @NASA, @NASASocial), Facebook (NASA, National Air and Space Museum) or Google + (NASA, National Air and Space Museum). The goal of NASA Social is to allow people who regularly interact with each other via social networks to meet in person and discuss the museum, NASA, aviation and space.

Users on all social networks are encouraged to use the hashtag #OV103 and #NASASocial. Updates and information about the event will be shared on Twitter via @airandspace and @NASASocial and via posts to Facebook and Google+.

What are the registration requirements?
Registration indicates your intent to travel to the National Air and Space Museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Va., and attend the April 19 event 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. The Smithsonian is not responsible for loss or damage incurred as a result of attending. The Smithsonian, moreover, is not responsible for loss or damage incurred if the event is cancelled with limited or no notice. Please plan accordingly.

On the day of the event, registrants must show a valid government issued ID (driver's license or passport) that matches the name provided on the registration. Those without proper identification cannot be admitted. All participants will be asked to sign a photo release form allowing the Smithsonian or NASA to use images or video taken of you during the event. Participants under 18 must have a parent or guardian sign for them. You will also be briefed on guidelines designed to respect the privacy of the Museum visitors.

Can I register if I am not a U.S. citizen?
Yes, non-U.S. citizens may register to attend the event. Please indicate your country of citizenship in the drop-down menu during registration. Please note and follow the above requirements regarding valid identification and signing of a photo release.

Does my registration include a guest?
Participants are allowed to bring one guest. If you are selected to attend, registration provides a place for you and one guest and is non-transferable. Registrants must be 18 or older, and guests must be 13 or older.

What if I cannot come to Virginia?
If you cannot come to Virginia to attend in person, you should not register for this event. You can follow the conversation on Facebook, Google+ or Twitter using the #OV103 hashtag. You can also watch the April 19 ceremony on NASA TV at The Museum and NASA will provide regular updates on all three social networks. Check out for more information on how you can participate.

If you cannot make this event, don't despair; both the Smithsonian and NASA are planning others in the near future. Check back for future Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum events at and NASA events at

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 by March 21.

If you do not make the registration list for this NASA Social, you can still attend the public activities at the museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center and participate in the conversation online. Find out about all the ways you can participate in Discovery’s arrival at

What if Discovery’s arrival dates change?
All activities related to space shuttle Discovery’s arrival are weather dependent. If the dates change, the NASA Social will be rescheduled for the new date of the transfer ceremony. Participants will be notified by email. Attendees are responsible for any additional costs they incur related to any rescheduling of the event.

Does registration for and/or attendance at this NASA Social qualify me for media accreditation?
No, your registration and/or attendance does not qualify you for news media credentials at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, now or in the future.

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

For more information about the arrival of space shuttle Discovery: