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Last updated on April 23, 2014 at 21:24 EDT

150 Twitter Users To Be Invited To Mars Rover Launch

September 29, 2011

NASA will host a two-day launch Tweetup for 150 of its Twitter followers on Nov. 23 and 25 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 10:21 a.m. EDT on Nov. 25.

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.

Tweetup registration opens at noon on Wed, Oct. 5, and closes at noon on Fri., Oct. 7. NASA will randomly select 150 participants from online registrations.

Image Caption: This artist concept features NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover along with an illustrated astronaut bird. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

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Source: NASA