NASA Invites Social Media Fans to Behind the Scenes Look at Mars Mission
by Sean Captain, TechNewsDaily Managing Editor
June 26 2012 10:52 AM ET
The never-before-tried sky crane landing will be the climax of the Curiosity Mars rover mission.
What do Justin Bieber, Kim Kardashian and the Mars Curiosity rover have in common? Each is a Twitter celeb with its respective fan base.
While Kardashian tweets missives such as "Loving my Belle Noel ankle bracelets," Curiosity informs followers of its own fashion accoutrements, such as "There's a camera on my underside that takes pics of the descent to landing site."
Now followers of the latter can get a NASA-hosted preview and a behind-the-scenes look at the work going into their star's own "red" carpet event three days before the Aug. 6, 1:30 AM EDT landing.
A few weeks earlier, NASA selected 25 followers for a three-day program that includes watching the landing at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, CA. But demand was so large that it added five one-day events on August 3 at Ames Research Center, CA; Glenn Research Center, OH; Goddard Space Flight Center, MD; Johnson Space Center, TX; and Langley Research Center, VA.
The centers will be connected through a NASA Television simulcast with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. [NASA Launches Upgraded iPhone App]
Participants will learn more about the new landing procedure, dubbed "Seven Minutes of Terror" by NASA itself, which will offer at least as much drama as any other reality TV show, as the lander plunges through the atmosphere (hopefully) slowing from 13,000 to zero miles per hour in just seven minutes. If all goes well, the lander will soon be sending back pictures of Mars.
The invitation is not just for Twitter followers, but also for fans on other social networks, including Facebook and Google+.
Fans can register for the event between noon EDT June 29 and noon EDT July 3 at www.nasa.gov/social. A "Register Now" link will be posted to the page on Friday, June 29.