July 23, 2024

NASA Invites 150 Twitter Followers to Mars Rover Launch

We gadgeteers felt the need to boost this signal:

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. EST 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.

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Source and more information at NASA Upcoming Events.

NASA Classic Sounds for Android and iPhone

Astronaut in spacesuit on the moonNASA has released historic sound bites that can be used for ring tones or computer messages.  Even the most mildly geeky among us must kvell at least a little at the thought. Imagine the delicate beeps of Sputnik gracing your ringer, or Neil Armstrong’s timeless “One small step for man….” The sound clips come in three formats, Android, iPhone and MP3. Personally, we find ourselves torn between the shuttle launch, the spooky Saturn emissions (apropos for Halloween!) and Astronaut Cooper’s comment, “It’s a new and strange environment, first, suddenly finding yourself in orbit.” We know the feeling, Coop!


Source: NASA

Braille Book Lets You Touch the Face of the Moon

Cover of "Getting a Feel for Lunar Craters"-black and white moonscape“Getting a Feel for Lunar Craters” is a new book from NASA designed to educate blind and visually impaired people about the Moon’s surface using tactile diagrams. David Hurd, a space science professor at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, created the book along with tactile engineer John Matelock after a visually impaired student enrolled in Hurd’s introductory Astronomy course.

NASA’s Lunar Science Institute is committed to the development of resources to bring lunar science into the world of those who cannot see. ‘Getting a Feel for Lunar Craters’ is one giant step for humankind, making lunar science visible through touch and sound,” said Yvonne Pendleton, director of the NLSI.

“Getting a Feel for Lunar Craters” is an excellent educational tool and we give it a strong BlindGadget 5 Robots rating. It would have been great to have had access to a copy when we took on Astronomy 1014 a few semesters ago. The tactile edition is available from the NASA Lunar Science Institute and there are also text and audio editions available for download.