Monday, August 29, 2011

NASA GRAIL Tweetup Media Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: JONATHAN SMITH
jsmith@faithlafayette.org
@JonathanESmith

MEDIA RELEASE

Lafayette, IN Resident is One of 150 Selected to Attend NASA Tweetup for Launch of Twin Lunar-Bound GRAIL Spacecraft Sept. 7 - 8, 2011

NASA Twitter Followers Will Tweet from Kennedy Space Center, Fla.

Lafayette, IN August 29, 2011 - NASA will bring together 150 Twitter followers to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center for a two-day Tweetup, Sept. 7 - 8, 2011, for the launch of twin lunar-bound Gravity Recovery And Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) spacecraft aboard a Delta II rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

Lafayette, IN resident Jonathan Smith has been selected as one of 150 @NASA Twitter followers to attend and Tweet the event. The launch window opens at 8:37 a.m. EDT on Thursday, Sept. 8. The two GRAIL spacecraft will measure the moon’s gravity field from its crust to core and provide scientists with a better understanding of how Earth and other rocky planets in the solar system formed.

As a NASA Tweetup attendee, Smith and the other 149 Twitter users will interact with engineers and scientists from GRAIL and other upcoming NASA missions as well as tour the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. If all goes as scheduled, participants will view the spacecraft launch. In addition, the Tweetup will allow participants to meet other tweeps and members of NASA’s social media team. Attendees were selected through a lottery system in which more than 825 @NASA Twitter followers registered.

“NASA provides a tremendous opportunity to learn about our nation’s Space Program and see a rocket launch up close and personal.” Smith said, “Very few people are allowed this level of access to NASA facilities.”

Smith is the Director of Technology at Faith Ministries in Lafayette, IN and an avid space follower. He has attended several Tweetups including STS-132 and Pilot Day 2011 at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum. As a result of attending the STS-132 launch tweetup Smith traveled to Florida and saw the final 3 launches of the shuttle program. Follow his tweets at twitter.com/jonathanesmith.

NASA Tweetup participants are traveling from across the United States and the globe to attend. View the list of list of registered attendees on the NASA Tweetup Twitter account: http://twitter.com/NASATweetup/grail-launch

NASA held its first Tweetup on Jan. 21, 2009, at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. NASA’s Tweetup Twitter account is http://twitter.com/NASATweetup and participants will be using #NASATweetup in their updates while tweeting. Information about NASA Tweetup can be viewed on http://www.nasa.gov/tweetup .

About the GRAIL Mission
The two GRAIL spacecraft will fly in tandem orbits around the moon for several months to measure its gravity field from crust to core. The mission will answer longstanding questions about Earth’s moon and provide scientists with a better understanding of how Earth and other rocky planets in the solar system formed.

GRAIL's lift off is the third of four space missions launching this year under the management of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. Aquarius launched June 10 to study ocean salinity; Juno will launched Aug. 5 to study the origins and interior of Jupiter; and the Mars Science Laboratory/Curiosity rover heads to the Red Planet no earlier than Nov. 25. Visit http://solarsystem.nasa.gov/grail for additional information about GRAIL.